Teach your dog to lie down

Teaching your dog to lie down will be useful, especially when you want them to be calm and relaxed both in and out of the house.  

Firstly, make sure you have taught your dog to sit. Then start by asking them to do this. Make sure your pooch knows you have a treat in your hand. 

Now you’ve done that, here’s what you should and shouldn’t do.  

How to train a dog to lie down:  


  • Move your hand towards the ground, just in front of their paws. 
  • If they follow the treat and lay down, mark this behaviour and reward them. 
  • Once your pup has the hang of this, try without the treat in your hand. Remember to still mark and reward when they lie on the floor.  
  • When your pup is reliably laying down, you can introduce your verbal cue. Say “down”, then use your hand gesture. Mark when they lay down and reward them. 
  • Over time your pup will begin to lay down as soon as they hear the word.  
  • If they don’t naturally lay down, you can mark and reward them for just moving towards the floor, bending down, or lowering their head to begin with. Then start to reward them for getting closer and closer to the floor. Repeat this until your dog is following the treat all the way down.    


What not to do: Never push their back down to force them to lay down, simply show them what you want them to do and reward them for this.  

Now they know down, why not teach your pup to leave and check out our top ten tips to make training stress-free and enjoyable for both you and your pooch.