Training your Dog to Lie Down on Command
Lying down when you give the "Lie Down" command is usually
one of the more easy commands for a dog to master. Most dogs
will grasp the concept quickly and as they become better at
it you can add different levels of complexity.
As with most training it is helpful to start out in a quiet
place free of distractions where you can have your dog's
full attention. You will also want to have your pup's
favorite dog treats on hand before you get started.
To begin, put your dog in the "Sit
Down" position. Then place a
treat between your thumb and index finger so it is
protruding out from your fingers a bit. Next hold your hand
in front of your dog's snout and start moving your hand out
and down towards the floor.
Moving your hand in this motion with the treat keeping its
interest is exactly the motion it will need to use to lie
down. If it follows your hand with its nose and ends up in
the lying position, reward it with the treat and praise.
You will know your dog is in the right position when its
belly touches the ground. You want your dog to associate the
feeling of its belly touching the ground with being
Once your dog has mastered the position you can add the
voice command. For the next round, when you take the dog
down to a lying position speak the words "Lie Down."
Remember to reward good behavior often during the training
and don't go on past the dog's attention span. Many short
training periods are much more effective with dogs than
rarer and longer ones.
Another variation that is very easy to add is moving from
the voice command to a hand signal. Once your dog obeys the
verbal command well, start adding a hand motion each time,
pointing to the floor or sweeping your open palm down toward
the floor. Over time you can eliminate the verbal command
and your dog will lie down just with a point of your finger.
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