Lay Down

Laying Down

Make sure your dog is comfortable with the sit command before you begin teaching him how to lay down.

  1. 1. Start with a treat in your hand. Show your dog the treat and then ask him to sit.
  2. 2. Slowly lower your hand towards the ground. As your dog’s head starts to lower, reward and praise him.
  3. 3. Continue to practice the lay down command over multiple sessions and make sure you reward your dog for each step they take closer to fully laying down.
  4. 4. A soon as your dog lays down completely, reward with a jackpot of treats and praise.

Important tip—your dog doesn’t have to lay all the way down at the beginning, work on this in baby steps! What you’re doing is called shaping the behavior.

This simply means that you’re breaking down a behavior into tiny increments, and reinforcing the dog at each incremental step until you’ve achieved the full behavior.


Sniffing or licking the treat

If your dog is more interested in sniffing or licking the treat in your hand instead of laying down, slowly slide your hand farther away from his body. Make sure to watch Nicole practice this technique in the video above.

Not fully laying down

Sometimes it helps to get down on your dog’s level, especially if your dog isn’t fully laying down. Remember to be patient with this one—wait for your dog to make a small movement down and then reward them with a treat.

Share your progress

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Pupster approved training products to teach lay down.