Training Dog Behavior - Laying down

Learn how to train a dog to lay down with these easy steps

See also how to train a dog to sit and training a dog to walk on leash

Laying down is another basic dog training command that is essential for your dog to master. 

Like the sit command, laying down is a natural behavior for your dog so it isn't difficult for him to do.  When you learn how to train your dog to lay down, you can use that action to put your dog in a passive stance when needed. 

For example, you may want to have your dog lay down when he is introduced to children.  You'll also use the lay down command on a regular basis when you take your dog to the vet.  This command can be especially useful for owners of large dogs.

Do not teach your dog to lay down before he knows first how to sit.  Once your dog has mastered sitting on command, it will be easier to teach him the laying down behavior. Laying down is a natural extension of the sit command. 

How to train your dog to lay down - Step by Step

When training your dog to lay down, use the following method:  

1.       With your dog standing in front of you, place a treat in the fist of your hand.

2.       Perform the sit command.

3.       Treat your dog.

4.       Place another treat into your hand.

5.       Letting your dog see the treat in your hand, move your hand downward to the floor between your dog’s front paws.

6.       When your dog follows the treat into a crouching position, say “Lay Down.”

7.       If your dog is not completely down at this point, give him a little help by pressing lightly between his shoulders until he is all the way down.

8.       Once your dog is laying down, say “Good Lay Down”, treat him and praise him

9.       Repeat several times.

10.         As you repeat this command, lessen the emphasis on your hand going in a downward motion and begin asking your dog to lie down without guiding him with a treat. Continue to treat and praise your dog when he performs the command correctly.

11.         Repeat the command several times until your dog easily lays down without you guiding him with a treat.