If you are the owner to a new puppy or maybe just an older dog who could use some training, then this instructable is for you!
Today, I am going to show you a few simple steps for teaching your dog how to lay down!
Step 1: Find a Reward
The first and most important step for training your dog any trick is to find a reward good enough to motivate your dog to listen. Like me, most dogs will do just about anything for a yummy snack. If you want to make sure you have your dogs full attention for training I recommend getting a good bone as a reward for learning this skill!
Step 2: Get Your Dogs Attention
The next thing you will have to do is get your dogs attention. When my dog is sleeping I have a sure way of waking him up. I like to shake his treat box. As soon as he hears that sound he comes running my way. Some other ways you can try to get your dogs attention are calling their name or even whistling.
Step 3: Start With Sit
Once you have your dogs attention, have them get directly in front of you and have them sit. If your dog already knows this command, most likely you wont even have to tell them to sit. Once they see that treat in your hand they will know exactly what to do!
Step 4: Treat to Nose
When your dog is sitting and facing you hold the treat right in front of their nose. Not only does this help get the dog's attention, but it will guide their movement. A lot of times which ever direction your dog's face is pointing, is the direction their body will go. Hold the treat in front of their nose so that when you move the treat their nose and body will follow.
Step 5: Treat to Floor
Keep the treat directly in front of your dog's nose. Then, slow move the treat to the floor. As your hand moves down, your dog's body should follow. The moment your dog's belly touches the floor say "lay down". This will help your dog associate "lay down" with the position of their body on the floor. After saying "lay down" be sure to follow immediately with a "Good dog" and a pat on the head.
Step 6: Practice
Repeat these steps over and over for about ten minutes at a time. If you want your dog to lay down like a champ you will want to repeat this practice 2-3 times a day for about two weeks. Once you are confident your dog understands this trick try replace the treat with a simple hand motion and verbal rewards like "Good dog", "Yes", or "Good lay down"!