So, how do I go about teaching a puppy to lie down?

Teaching a puppy to lie down is an important lesson, and one of the five basic dog-training commands that your puppy needs to know. It has two variations, “down”, and “go lie down”. The “down” command is most useful outdoors, and the “go and lie down”, indoors.

You should have already taught your puppy to sit, before going on to this lesson.

Outdoors, when you’re out on a walk and you encounter a busy road, or for any other reason that you need your dog to come under your immediate control-the “down” command is used:

  1. Start teaching your puppy this lesson with his collar and lead on, in a place with few distractions, and begin by commanding him to sit.
  2. Kneel down beside him, holding the treat in the fist of one hand and his collar in the other. Allow your puppy to smell the treat, so that he's attentive.
  3. Giving the collar a gentle downwards pull, and revealing the treat at the same time, ease your dog down. As soon as the dog is in the down position, issue the command “down”.
  4. Reward your puppy with the treat and plenty of praise. Maintain him in the down position, by holding on to the collar. Release him from this position with the command “okay”, and more praise.
  5. If your puppy doesn’t respond to this willingly, then you’ll have to physically place him in the down position. Issue the command “down” when there, and then reward and praise him.
  6. Repeat this exercise every day for 7 days, and for a couple of times a day. Gradually move to an area with more distractions. Make it fun, and your dog will respond accordingly.

Puppy lying down

Teaching a puppy to lie down on her bed.

This is the “go lie down” command and is very useful indoors. Some dogs are very energetic, excitable, and sometimes over the top extroverts. Some beg at the table, jump all over guests, or can just be a pest, or in the way at times.

Consequently, the “go lie down” command was invented. Before you teach your dog this command she must be well acquainted with, and responsive to, the “down” command:

  1. Begin this lesson by guiding your dog to her bed by holding on to her collar loosely in one hand.
  2. Issue the “go lie down” command when she’s on the bed. Providing that she’s conversant with the “down” command, she should lie down on the bed. When she does, even if you need to coax her, reward her with the treat and praise. Then use the “okay” command to release her after a few seconds.
  3. Repeat this several times until she gets the hang of it and readily lies down on her bed. Next.
  4. Go a short way away from the bed, get your pup’s attention by allowing her to smell the treat in your clenched hand, issue the command “go lie down” whilst walking towards the bed, point to the bed, wait for her to lie down. Then reward her and praise her. After a few seconds release her. If she doesn’t respond to this of her own accord, take her to the bed again by slipping your fingers through her collar and guiding her there.
  5. Repeat this lesson every day for 7 days, and for a couple of times a day. Gradually extend the distance from her bed, and introduce distractions, so that eventually your puppy will respond under any conditions.
  6. Your dog isn’t going to latch on to this lesson straight away, be patient, make it fun, use a happy, animated tone of voice, and reward all her good work.

As with all puppy-training exercises repetition eventually leads to success. So keep going until your dog has thoroughly learnt this valuable lesson. Gradually phase out the treats so that she is only rewarded on a random basis. But always give her praise, as this will come to mean just as much to her as the treat does in the long run.

Teaching a puppy to lie down is just one segment of our puppy-training guide.....

Dog walks man

So why not find out All About Teaching a Puppy to Heel.
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