How To Teach A Dog To Lay Down?

How To Teach A Dog To Lay Down

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Sometimes you just want your dog to lay down, calm down and relax. The “Down” command is perfect for these situations. It’s one of the basic commands every dog should know. It can be complicated to teach a dog to lay down due to the natural resistance of dogs, especially puppies, to get on the ground and stay there. However, with some patience and strong will, you will eventually teach your dog to lay down. 

Dogs that already know the “sit” command will learn faster the “Down” command. If your dog doesn’t know this command check this training guide.

How To Teach A Dog To Lay Down?

Before you start training make sure that you are calm and understand that it will take time for the dog to understand what you want. Every dog is different, some dogs will learn faster, while others need more time. 

  1. Choose a quiet place without many distractions to train your dog.
  2. Give the “sit” command.
  3. When your dog is in a sitting position take a treat.
  4. Move the treat from the dog’s nose to his chest and continue to the floor.
  5. If a dog follows the treat into a lying-down position, reward him with praise and treats.
  6. Repeat the previous steps until the dog reliably follows the treat.
  7. Once your dog is following the treat on a regular basis, it’s time to add the “Down” command.
  8. Again, practice until your dog reliably follows the command.
  9. Once your dog is reliably following the “Down” command, try with no treat.

Introduce Distractions, Practice In Different Places

Ok, now that your dog is reliably following the “Down” command, even without treats, it’s time to kick the training up a notch. 

Since you expect your dog to follow your commands everywhere, you need to practice those commands in real-life situations. 

Therefore, take your dog out and train the “Down” command in public places with many distractions.

However, don’t rush things, increase the difficulty gradually. For example, train in your house until the dog is reliably following your commands, then move to the backyard. After that, try to teach your dog how to lay down in a park, where there are many distractions.

In case the dog doesn’t follow your command, get back to the previous steps and practice.


Teaching your dog new tricks can be fun and entertaining for both the dog and its owner. To teach your dog to lay down you need to be patient, persistent, meticulous and calm, and relaxed.

The dog will eventually learn what you want from him, so don’t give up.

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