How to train a dog to lay down?

April 13, 2012

Training is essential to the well being of the dog. Training makes the difference between an ideal well behaved pet and one that is annoying and hard to handle. The interaction between owner and dog during the training strengthens the bond between owner and dog. Training the dog to lay down is one of the most basic and very important commands you can teach your dog. If you are like most dog owners you would always want to have the pet with you. Dogs always want to have the attention of their masters. Teaching him to lay down would be very beneficial if you have to talk to someone and you need to settle or calm the pet. Friends who would want to pet your handsome dog would be more comfortable if the dog is lying down.

Training the dog to follow the lay down command can be a bit tricky given that most dogs are not comfortable in that position. Dominant dogs would resist obeying the command. Nervous dog would be fearful of being submissive. The owner has to gain the trust and the respect of the pet before it can be trained to follow the lay down command. The training is best started when the dog is still a puppy but it is possible to train older dogs as well.

It would help you a lot if you can choose a location with few distractions to teach the dog. Puppies can be trained inside the house but larger dog would do well in basements or in fenced in yards. Arm yourself with the dog’s favorite treats to reward the dog. The training would be easier if the dog already obeys the sit command. Have the dog in the sitting position. Allow the dog to smell the treat in your hand and then slowly move your hand downwards. The dog is expected to follow the treat in your hand with its nose thus it would crouch and lay down. Praise the dog and give a treat. This process must be repeated several times. Notice that you are not yet giving the lay down command. You can give the lay down command when the dog is laying down consistently. You can reinforce the command with body movements. You can point down to the ground or bend a little. Bending down though can be done while the dog is still perfecting obeying the command. The hand movement is very important to make the dog understand the command. A well trained dog will lay down even if the master is only pointing to the ground. Always be consistent with the command and the hand gestures so as not to confuse the dog. Once the pet has perfected the lay down command you can lessen the treats but be lavish with your praise.

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