How to Teach Your Dog to Lay Down – 6 Tips
Teaching your dog to lay down can be a tough job, especially if your pup is the excitable kind. Read this blog post for 6 of the best tips that will make this task easier for you.
Teaching your dog to listen and follow your commands isn’t an easy job. No matter how hard it is to teach your dog to understand basic commands, it’s something you’ve got to do in any case. If your dog isn’t trained to listen to you, they won’t abide by what you say and going out with them will be an absolute nightmare.
One of the most important commands that you need to teach your dog is to ‘lie down.’ Teaching your dog to lay down is a significant part of teaching your dog to settle and calm down. It’s also a good way to keep your dog out of trouble. It’s one of the six important things that your dog must learn to stay safe. It also prevents any unwanted dog behaviors, such as dashing through the door.
If you’re new with dogs and it’s your first time keeping a pet dog, you may already be struggling to teach your dog some basic commands. But hang in there – your dog will come around it. Just follow the tips below to make the entire ordeal of teaching your dog to lay down easier for yourself.
1. Stay Consistent with Your Command
The first and the most important tip that you must follow when teaching your dog to lay down is to be consistent with your cues. A dog doesn’t know how to interpret different statements for the same order. If you’re telling your dog ‘down,’ it should only mean you’re asking your dog to lay down and not get down from anything they’ve climbed over. You need to stay consistent with your commands. In fact, not just you but everyone in your family should follow the same cues. If you want your dog to lie down when you command them with a ‘down,’ all other people in your house should use the word ‘down’ every time they want the dog to lie down.
2. Train Them when They’re Tired
Dogs are hyperactive and playful creatures. Making them sit down isn’t easy. You shouldn’t expect your dog to lie down when they’re active and energetic – because they won’t listen. Train your dog when they’re tired. Work on teaching them after a walk or a few minutes of playing around when you know your dog is too tired to run around anymore.
3. Never Force Your Dog to Lie Down
You may want to push your dog down on the floor to tell them what you want them to do when you say ‘down,’ but that’s not how you should be doing it. If you push your dog down in a sitting position, they’ll only resist the pressure and stand up. You might even end up frightening them, and the position would appear less appealing to them. So always remember, when you’re teaching your dog to lie down, never force them into a sitting position.
4. Lure Your Dog Down
This is one of the most effective tips that will help you teach your dog to lie down. Use a dog treat to lure your dog in a sitting position. Hold a dog treat between your fingers and bring it close enough to your dog’s nose so they can smell it. As soon as you’ve your dog’s attention, lower your hand to the ground. Your dog will automatically lower its nose to the treat. Move your hand outwards, away from the dog. Your dog will automatically follow. Once your hand is outwards enough, your dog will move onto all four of its limbs. As soon as your dog comes in the right position, click and give your dog their reward.
Repeat this routine several times till your dog starts to understand these visual cues. Once you notice your dog is getting better at it, introduce the verbal cue.
5. Give Your Dog a Treat in Down Position
One important tip that you must keep in mind is to give your dog a reward when they’re in a down position. When your dog is finally lying down, that’s the time you’re supposed to offer a reward. Don’t offer a treat after they’re sitting up again. That way, you’re actually rewarding them for that position. Rewarding them in a down position will make them feel like they’ve achieved something, and that’s exactly what you want them to perceive.
6. Give Your Dog Time
Don’t shout at your dog if they don’t get it right in a few tries. They’re not humans that understand words. They’re animals, and they’ll take their time to learn. The key tip for teaching your dog to lay down is to be patient with them. Talk to them in a loving yet compelling tone. Never get angry. You’ll only scare your dog and nullify any chances of them learning to follow commands. Give them time to learn slowly.
We won’t say teaching your dog to lay down will be easy. It’s also important to remember that every dog is different. If your friend’s Shepherd learned to lay down in a week, your dog won’t necessarily take that long too. It could be more or less. You need to be patient and consistent, and your dog will come around to understanding what you’re saying eventually.
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