Hello, I am Jamie Bozzi and we’re here at Dog Beach and Ocean Beach, in beautiful San Diego, Calif. Today I’m going to show you how to teach your dog to lie down.

Three Steps to Train a Dog to Lay Down

You’ll need a marker and a motivator — treats. What is a down behavior exactly? The down queue means the dog puts his chest or elbows on the ground.

There are three steps:

Step one: have the treats in your hand, drop your hand to the ground but don’t move your hand.
Step two: just wait, be patient, give your dog about 30 seconds to probably drop. Most dogs will paw or lick at your hand and eventually drop.
Step three: click and treat. The click is the marker, and treat, drop treats between its paws.

What to Do if Your Dog Doesn’t Lay Down?

What do you do if the dog doesn’t lie down? Well down is the natural behavior for dogs, they do it several times throughout the day. You can jumpstart this natural behavior by using an obstacle, like a coffee table or chair depending on the size of your dog. The dog has to drop on to his chest and/or elbows to go under the obstacle, voila, you have it down.

What to Do if Your Dog Pops Up Immediately?

What do you do if the dog immediately pops-up from the down? Here’s where the treat delivery is very important. Only deliver the treat when the dog is in the down position, ducks down. So he is cheating his elbows are off the ground. If the dog pops-up, whisk away the treat immediately, when the dog offers the down behavior again, treat again between the dog’s paws. Good boy!

Tips for Training a Dog to Lay Down

Keep your training session short, only one to two minutes. Change the picture often — dogs are situational learners. If you teach the dog only in the living room there is a high likelihood that the dog will only perform the behavior well in the living room. Make sure you ask for the down behavior at the beach, at the park, in the kitchen, in the living room and the dining room. Down! Yeah!

Be creative and have fun with it, and that’s how you train a dog to lie down.

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