5 Easy Steps to Teach a Dog to Lay Down

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Amongst many skills, Teach a Dog to Lay Down command is quite essential. It is part of their behavior that helps them stay calm and composed. Laying down means not moving around and bumping into things and injuring themselves or others, especially if they are in a new place. Teaching your dogs to lay down is also necessary so their muscles can relax from all the standing they do throughout the day. The ability to lay down is also one of the things that will keep your pet safe. 

Why Teach A Dog To Lay Down Is Not A Simple Task.

There are a few reasons why “Teach a Dog to Lay Down” is not a simple task:

  1. Dogs are not naturally inclined to do so. They would much rather stand or sit.
  2. Even if you can get your dog to lay down, they will likely get up again as soon as you release the command.
  3. Laying down is not a comfortable position for dogs.

They would much rather be in a position where they can see what is happening around them.

How Do I Teach My Dog To Lay Down??

Prepare yourself with: 

  • Treats
  • A training place 
  • Lots of patience and time to give them regular training

Step 1 – Teach a Dog to Lay Down With A Treat.

Start working with treats. It’s the best way to begin training. Dogs tend to respond better if they are rewarded. Hold the treat and make sure that they can have a sniff of it. Using the same hand to gesture and lure them down to the ground. Once they are down, offer them the treat. 

This may be practiced separately while they are sitting or standing. They should also learn to lay down from their standing position and be able to do the same from the sitting position. 

Your dog will follow well and the process of “Teach a Dog to Lay Down” because they know they will receive a treat if they do so. Repeat the procedure until your dog can easily understand your hand gesture that you want them to lay down, and they will get a treat. Consistent praise along with the treats is also necessary as your pets love to be appreciated, and they strive to make you happy. 

Step 2 – Adding A Verbal Cue 

Once your dog is following the hand gesture and laying down when you signal it, it’s time to give the command a name. To train your dog for this, take them to the same place you had trained them earlier and name your command. It can be ‘Down’, ‘Lie Down’, ‘Down Boy’, or even ‘Lie’ “Teach a Dog to Lay Down”- you just need to remember what you label the command and keep it that way. 

  1. Hold the treat in your hand
  2. Say the command
  3. Pause for a moment 
  4. Signal with your hand. 

Repeat the process till they get familiar with the command. Whenever you command them, they will lay down because they understand the command. 

Step 3: Fade Out The Hand Gesture (Teach a Dog to Lay Down)

Once your dog can identify the verbal command, it’s time to fade out the gesture. Then, continue with the training process without making the hand signal. Give your dog some time once you say the command, and if it does not follow, you may signal once in a while. 

The idea is to shift the procedure to a verbal command with occasional hand signaling. Then, treat them once they can follow and act without being lured.

Step 4: Try The Command In Different Places.

This is the next step while teaching dog down commands. They must be able to follow and respond in different locations and standing on different sides and positions. Ask your dog to lay down in different areas of your house, outdoors and inside. Make them lie down while standing, sitting, or lying beside them. 

You may also want to take a few training steps back while disciplining them in new places. For example, use hand gestures and voice commands for new places if they don’t respond well. 

Step 5: Try it Without the Treats

The final step would be to phase out the treats because we want the laydown attribute to become a part of the dog’s behavior. They need to realize that laying down has to be done without treats. 

However, you can always reward them with praises, hugs, belly rubs, or an extra round of fetch. Giving only edible treats may not be a very healthy idea. Still, we can’t disappoint them either, as they may start ignoring you. 

So reward them, but remember that rewards can be in multiple forms and may not be just sweet treats. 

Some Tips for Training the Down Command

Though teaching dogs is one of the most specific trainings for dogs, it still can give a hard time. But to make quick progress, a few suggestions may work. 

  • If your dog cannot grab the idea of laying down, try to teach them with a simulation. For small dogs, lure them under your legs that are placed like a bridge. Once they try to reach for the treat from under the cramped space, they will lower their body to crawl and get into a laying down position. Reward them once they are in the desired position to make them understand what you want. You can try using a table or a chair for bigger dogs. 
  • Never force your pets to go into a down position. When trying to pressure your pets to do something, no good has ever come. Doing so might also result in resistance and stubbornness to ignore the command.
  • Sometimes your pet might be uncomfortable or sick – ensure that the position you are asking for is not hurting them. Any chronic injuries to the legs might make the laying down position inconvenient. 
  • Try to train when your puppy is tried – they will also enjoy the treats and the relaxed position. Active and energized puppies and dogs are more interested in playing rather than being trained. And since the down position keeps them more relaxed and calm, it’s best to practice it when their energy levels are low. 
  • Ensure they receive their treat only when they are in the correct down position. Do not treat them halfway through or after standing or sitting up again. This will instruct them otherwise. You aim to reward them for the laying down position; hence be sure to reward only at that position. 

In Conclusion

Behavioral training for dogs is essential for their well-being and handling difficult situations. It’s given that teaching a dog to lay down can be fun and an excellent platform to strengthen your bond and communication with your pet. And once they start responding to verbal cues, it is easier to control their actions in public or in new places. 

However, we also understand that you like to spend time with your beloved. Still, sometimes it is difficult to train them regularly. Well, Buckaroos 360 provides training to all sorts of dogs, which includes a wide range of sessions to facilitate you in such endeavors. With community and private lessons, in-house and online convenience, all are available. Find the most convenient service area near your location or contact us to acquire our services. 

Till then, happy training the down command!

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