How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down

Dogs need to follow a leader and rules to live in peace and stability. Therefore, training and teaching them basic commands is essential for establishing your authority and getting the dog to obey you. Among these are teaching the dog to sit, shake a paw, lie down, do their business outside and walk without you needing to pull on the lead. If you are training your dog and want to know how to teach your dog to lie down, carry on reading this OneHowTo article and discover the key points.

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Steps to follow:

The first thing to know if you want to teach your dog to lie down is that not all dogs learn as quickly as each other, so patience is essential to get results. Also, it is always best to start with the training when they are a puppy, as this is when they learn and internalize orders fastest. However, this does not mean that an adult dog can't learn; only that it will be a bit more difficult.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down - Step 1

Before beginning this command, it's important to have already taught them how to sit, as it will make the learning process a lot easier. You will also need treats to motivate and reward them when your dog does well.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down - Step 2

Start by taking a treat in your hand between the thumb and forefinger and ordering your dog to sit. When it does, bring the treat to its nose so it can smell it and then lower your hand toward the ground. Automatically your dog will follow until it is lying down to try and get it. When it lies down, give them the command "lie down", "floor", "drop" or whichever one is the most comfortable for you but always use the same word in a forceful tone. Dogs learn by repetition, so it's important to always say it in the same way.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down - Step 3

When your dog is down on the floor give them the treat as a reward. Positive reinforcement is vital to getting the best results with our dog. If your dog tries to get up when you give it the treat, move the treat away and then place the hand with the treat in it on the ground again so that your dog understands that he won't get the treat if he's not lying down.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down - Step 4

If, when you lower your hand, your dog follows it with its eyes but doesn't lie down, encourage them to do so by waving your hand slightly without lifting it up from the ground. If necessary, show a little bit more of the treat. Repeat this process several times a day, with breaks to avoid them getting bored, until your dog lies down just by lowering your hand.


When your dog has made the connection between the hand gesture and the treat, then we can start to do it without a treat. It is very important that you say the command every time your dog lies down to associate it with the movement. Now, do exactly the same but without the treat. So, move your hand as if you had a treat between your finger and thumb and make the same gesture. When your dog lies down, applaud energetically.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down - Step 6

Once your dog has learned to lie down without a treat, it's time to start saying the command "lie down" without moving your hand to the floor. Gradually, your dog will internalize it and only do the movement with the command. Provided it does so, remember to reward your dog to motivate them and show them they have done well.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down - Step 7

Remember that patience is key when teaching commands. So, if it's proving difficult for your dog to learn to lie down without accompanying the word with the hand movement, you need to re-use it. Then you can gradually stop using your hand until your dog learns.


How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down - Step 8

If you want to read similar articles to How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

  • If possible, choose the shortest word you can for the command because dogs learn these quicker than longer words.

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