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How to train a dog to lay down

Updated on June 29, 2011

A dog that knows how to follow the lay down command can be taken just about any where. To lay down is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. Lying down will help the dog to rest and relax after a strenuous activity. This command is very necessary if the dog is acting like crazy. Moreover, the training sessions enhances the relationship between master and pet. Teaching the dog to obey commands is kind of difficult at first but once you have succeeded in training the dog to follow one command, other obedience lessons would be easier.

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Positive frame of mind… positive reinforcement

Never start the training if you are not in a good mood. Patience is the name of the game. Remember…rather than a lot of yelling and punishment, your dog will respond better to positive reinforcements. Toys, treats and praises will entice the dog to obey the commands. Positive reinforcement speeds up the learning process of the dog. Praises, petting…a belly rub will be associated by the dog to the performance of a good behavior. Because dogs have a will to please and their aim is to make the master happy, they are most likely to repeat the good behavior.

Basic lie down positions

The dog can either assume the sphinx position where the hindquarters are under the body and the forelegs are extended forward or the plane position where the dog plops down in a heap with the paws on the sides.

The dog’s attention

Dogs are easily distracted. Before starting the training you have to gain the attention of the dog and to get the dog to stay focused. Look at the dog and call its name. Showing a toy or a treat is a no-fail method of making the dog attentive.

Training the dog

Kneel down in front of the dog and allow him to smell the treat you are holding. Because most dogs are food motivated they would try to follow your hand. Don’t let the dog have the treat, instead move your hand down to the floor until it is between the forelegs of the dog. Move your hand forward but not too far. As the dog stoops down to follow the treat in your hand give the “lay down” command. The dog may have his chest on the ground but the hind quarters will still be up in the air. You can either move the hand with the treat a little farther to make the dog lie down completely or guide the rear end to lie down by exerting gentle pressure. Praise the dog and give the treat once it is in the desired position. The idea is for the dog to associate the treat and the praise to obeying the command.

How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down

How to Train Your Dog to Lie Down

Teaching Your Dog to Lay Down


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