Teaching Your Dog To Lay Down

An Easy Trick, Perfect For The Pub

Much similar to sit, lay down is an easy command to master when focusing on the basics. This command can be extremely useful in situations of jumping up, over excitement… and most importantly, comes in very handy at the pub! First of all, I would highly recommend teaching your dog to sit prior to lay down. This will make the training much easier as it will start the training session off on a positive and is one of the two usual starting positions.

Step 1: Gain your dog's attention by presenting them a treat. Once they are focused, command “sit” so and praise the second their bum is on the floor and they are looking at your for direction.

Step 2: Hold the treat in between your middle, index finger and thumb and lower the treat from above their head, down past the nose onto the floor and hold it there, whilst commanding “Down” or “Lay Down”. As this stage it is important to only release and give the treat if their bottom remains in the ground. If your dog stands up once it’s head is down, simply withdraw the treat and repeat step 1.

Step 3: Once your dog has got the hang of keeping its bottom on the floor, start to draw the treat away from the dog (towards you) slowly saying “Down”. He/she should then keep their bottom on the floor, slide out their paws and come down into a laying down position. Ensure to praise immediately! This is the hardest stage of teaching to achieve, but once they’ve got it, they should be able to do it every time.

When training, is it extremely important to set your dog up for success by encouraging them and only setting goals that you think they can achieve. If your dog simply isn’t understanding, then take a break and come back to it later.