There are a lot of useful tricks that you can teach your dog. Probably, one of the most basic commands that you can teach your dog would be how to lay down on your command.
It should be one of the commands that any pet owner should teach their dog. It does help in calming your dog and letting them settle themselves peacefully in one place. It can also be the foundation for other dog tricks like the rollover command and the bang-you-are-dead trick which your dog can learn.
Before starting your dog training, you might want to have a steady supply of your dog’s favorite treats in your pocket. Choose a place where both of you can train without any distractions and where your dog would feel very comfortable.
Lastly, it would much easier to teach your dog if he is wearing a leash for the meantime. This way you would have control of the situation when training your dog.
You also need to remember before starting is to never force your dog in a laying down position. Your dog can turn aggressive if you force him to lie down. Both of you might get injured and this would also create distrust between your pet and prevent future training.
Training your pet to lie down on command is easy and rewarding him with treats would appeal to him more and make him want to follow your commands faster and eventually learn the command quickly.
You can use your hand as a signal or cue when you command your dog to sit:
1. Place your hand just about 1 inch above your dog’s nose. Just allow him to sniff and make contact with your hand.
2. While your dog is busy in inspecting your hand and continues sniffing it, you can start slowly moving your hand down to the ground.
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Let your hands rest at least 2 inches above the ground and just a little bit level in front of your dog’s paws.
3. When you are place your hands in front of your pet dog’s nose, he should be engaged with the whole exercise or at least sniffing your hand the entire time.
If your dog disengages himself from smelling and exploring your hand, firmly say “No” and immediately take the treat of his reach. This serves as a reminder to your pet that he will not get a treat if he doesn’t follow your commands.
4. When your pet’s nose nearly touches the ground to where your hands are placed, you can now move it to the ground slowly and you can slowly move away from your pet until he is in a laying position.
You can consider him to be fully laying down if your pet’s legs and rear end touches the ground.
5. The exact moment that your dog has completely lied down, immediately praise your pet and place some treats between his paws while he is on the ground.
You can place several treats on the ground so that your he wouldn’t be able to get up immediately. This also makes it easier for him to get used to the idea of fully laying down on the ground. The longer he is laying down, the better he becomes comfortable in that position.
6. Give your dog the cue before he can get back up on his paws.
He has to wait for your cue command before he stands up. Again, try to reinforce to your dog that he has followed your command fully before praising him.
If the following steps don’t work for your dog at the beginning, then it’s time to get creative with your training.
a) Lead your dog just under your knee to get him into a laying down position.
You can sit on the floor or ground on your knees similar to making a low bridge as if you are exercising. Place his favourite treats under your leg so that he will be forced to crawl underneath your leg to get this treat. The moment that his legs and rear end reach the ground, you can reward him by giving him a treat and praising him.
b) You can also train your dog when he is naturally laying on the ground.
If you saw your dog laying down on the ground, it would be the best time to give him his treats and praising him that he is in a good position while laying on the ground. Your dog would know that he is following a command when he is in laying position
The video below shows you 5 alternate methods you can use to teach your dog to lie down:
Encouraging Better Performance from your Dog
When your dog goes down in a lying position, slowly introduce your cue word. Your dog needs to patiently wait for your cue before waiting to be released or be allowed to stand up. Then, you can slowly remove your lure (or treats) when training your dog.
You can now introduce verbal cues before rewarding your dog with treats when laying on the ground. It might take several times before you dog gets the connection and will start to wait on your verbal cue to lay down before receiving his treat.
However, there may be instances where your dog might be anticipating on your cue for him to lay down, you have to stop him from doing this and just tell your dog “Down”.
Give your dog a few seconds to make him think about the action he needs to do. In case your dog does the opposite and doesn’t lay on the ground, you can incorporate another treat to help him remember and then try again.
Teaching your dog tricks and commands can be a challenging process at the beginning. On your part you have to a lot of patience as the process can be equally frustrating on most parts.
But the laying down position is one of the commands that you should teach your dog. Just remember to stay positive during the entire training process and give help and guidance when your dog needs it.
If you want to know more about other dog training videos, check out Doggy Dan’s website. There are hundreds of videos that can help train your dog with different commands and tricks.