Basic Training, Part 2 – Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down

Once your dog is sitting every time you ask, teaching her to lie down on command needs to be next on your agenda. A well-mannered dog that sits and lies down on command is a dog that will not jump on strangers or grab at food, treats, and toys.

While holding a treat in your hand, ask her to sit, making sure her eyes are on your face and you command her full attention.

Hold the treat directly in front of her nose and lower your hand to the floor. Say the word “Down” in a kind, but firm tone as you drop your hand. You may have to kneel or crouch close to the floor to make this move effective.

At this point, your pet should lower her head and drop her shoulders to follow the treat. If she doesn’t, repeat the gesture using your vocal command, and gently push down on her shoulders with the other to show what “Down” means.

When she lies down, give her the treat and pet and praise her. Make this a consistent part of your training – ask, reward, and praise.

Allow her to get up, then repeat the “Sit” and “Down” commands until she is responding on her own. At some point, you can slowly begin to withdraw the treats when she begins to react without them.

Practice this part of your training every time you want to give her a treat. As when you were teaching her to sit, only pursue this part of her learning in 20-minute increments. 

 

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