How to Train a Dog to Lay Down –

Teaching your canine or younger pet the best way to lay down could be probably the most daunting duties some canine house owners face!  But coaching your canine doesn’t must be tough.

Sounds foolish, proper?  Laying down is pure and needs to be simple to coach throughout your coaching periods; however the reality is that many canines and particularly younger puppies resist this command or cue as a result of it makes them uneasy.

I’ve had many pet house owners and grownup canine house owners in my lessons which have struggled with the best way to prepare a canine to put down.  They wrestle and struggle and nonetheless the canine or pet resists!

And, I’ll admit, I’ve actual issues bodily “forcing” a pet right into a down place, it takes away the belief that the canine and proprietor really feel and it may create issues and even aggression from the pet.  Physical pressure and correction is unquestionably not the way in which to show a pet, particularly, something that we need to prepare them to do or educate them to be taught.

There are native canine coaching lessons and pet coaching lessons that routinely put prong collars, or pinch collars, or spiked collars, on each canine and even younger pet that walks by way of the door.  I’m horrified by such a lack of awareness and coaching on their half.  This coaching organizations ought to know higher!  Corrections, particularly bodily corrections are confirmed to be the lease efficient strategy to be taught.  And, corrections and bodily corrections can create concern and concern aggression, and simply plain aggression in puppies when they’re sufficiently big to problem their house owners!

I’ll, from time to time, assist an grownup canine bodily right into a down place, however it’s uncommon.  We will get into how to do this and why there’s a distinction, a bit later on this article.

First, allow us to attempt to perceive our canine companions and why they could keep away from the “down” command or cue, particularly in sure conditions.


I’m a agency believer that good canine trainers put themselves into their canines’ paws and attempt to be understanding of their usually advanced behaviors, first.

You see, canines are animals.  I do know that feels like widespread sense, however but, so hardly ever do folks or canine house owners take a step again and take into consideration conduct and coaching in animal phrases or phrases from a special species.

We, as people, are so busy in our lives; doing our personal issues that we simply anticipate our canines to have widespread data and customary emotions.  But, nothing is farther from the reality.  Your canine doesn’t spring from the womb understanding the best way to please you and/or the best way to talk with you.

Sure, laying down is a pure conduct, however it isn’t pure for all canine to carry out it on cue or in sure locations.

Let us perceive, the why’s.

Feeling Exposed

Laying down makes very submissive or fearful canines or puppies really feel uncovered and primarily extra weak.

Imagine somebody working at you wanting to interact in a bodily struggle; would you drop and lay down or would you plant your ft and put together for the oncoming struggle or take a look at?

I’m guessing there are only a few individuals who would lay down.

Laying down, truly demonstrates the motion of completely giving up.  Waving the white flag, when you do.

That is why the “take down” in sports activities like MMA are so essential and so vital.  To discover out extra about take downs in MMA click on here.


Never have I seen knowledgeable fighter flop right into a down place after fists are bumped.  And, people who struggle keep away from the “take down” tooth and nail till it’s not, actually, an possibility.  Often their our bodies are simply giving up, as a result of the opposite fighter is profitable.

I perceive that life is filled with principally pleasures and fantastic issues and normally, in the suitable neighborhoods, shouldn’t be stuffed with fights and combating; however some puppies are simply extra nervous than others and have hassle entering into this place for his or her house owners.

If your pet is nervous, he may have extra confidence in himself and in your relationship earlier than you can be finally profitable with the down command or the down cue.

Remember that your relationship is vital with many of those canines!  Make positive to have a optimistic relationship based mostly on treats, time collectively, optimistic reinforcement and enjoyable.

These puppies take time to heat up and be taught trusting behaviors.  But any good relationship, these with spouses, youngsters, pals, all of them take effort and time, is that not proper?

Don’t let your pet increase himself!  Puppies develop up earlier than you realize it they usually have crucial phases the place they should socialize and be uncovered to many or quite a lot of issues.   Be there for his rising and his coaching, it’s essential.

For extra on remembering and even studying about your pet’s developmental levels of conduct wants click on here.

Dominant Dogs and Dominant Puppies

Okay, okay I would be the first to say I HATE the phrase “dominant” as a result of there was such a unfavourable affiliation made for this phrase by way of the canine coaching world.  It is usually used waaaaay an excessive amount of and means too usually and blamed for all canine and pet conduct issues.

But, the reality is, as a lot as I’ve realized to despise the phrase, I’m coming again round to it, as a result of it usually is one of the best ways to explain sure behaviors.

Dominant conduct is, on no account, a nasty factor!  I’ll say that once more for these of you studying this;  Dominant conduct is, on no account, a nasty factor!

On the opposite hand, Submissive conduct is, on no account a nasty factor or a preferential conduct.

The dictionary defines dominant as:  Adjective:  most vital, highly effective, or influential.  Synonyms: Ruling, controlling, commanding.

None of these issues are actually dangerous issues or dangerous behaviors except they’re misused.

Submissive as outlined by the dictionary:  Adjective: prepared to evolve to authority or the desire of others; meekly obedient or passive.  Synonyms: compliant, yielding, malleable or acquiescent, accommodating.

Again, none of these issues are a nasty factor except proven or used to the intense.

Take me for example, I’m, what appears to be like like a really dominant particular person.  I maintain my shoulders again, my eyes ahead and I cannot essentially again down from a problem.  At one level in my life I used to be going to go away the canine world and turn into a part of the “blue” or police world.  I took some exams and handed with flying colours and was very near sacrificing one for the opposite, till I had the chance to begin my very own 501(c)(3) nonprofit coaching Service Dogs.  My dominance would have made me an incredible cop.

I not too long ago was talking to a brand new good friend, once I talked about I’ve actually by no means been in a bodily struggle.  She was oddly shocked, I suppose due to my dominance in robust conditions.  But you don’t must be a fighter to be dominant.

I’m additionally, fairly submissive in some conditions.  I might sacrifice or do absolutely anything in a relationship or friendship.  I as soon as labored 6 weekends in a row after one worker was fired in order that my work household might have a few of their time without work with their family and friends on the weekends.  I’m additionally very non-confrontational and fairly passive in relationships in my life.  I’m something however dominant in these conditions.

Different conditions dictate completely different actions, in my world, and to have one of the best stability out of life and get probably the most out of family and friends whereas not being taken benefit of on this planet.

So, lengthy story brief, sure dominant puppies and dominant canines are harder to get into the down place.

A really assured, highly effective and commanding canine or pet doesn’t essentially like being instructed what to do, in any respect.  But as described above, the conduct of laying down is barely extra submissive as a result of it makes the canine extra weak.

Laying Down shouldn’t be Conducive to Excitement

Quite a lot of puppies simply have easy pleasure issues or the lack to adequately management his impulses.

Laying down, the conduct on cue, in all probability isn’t going to occur in case your pet is carried away or over stimulated.

So with each pet there is a perfect time or place to coach and plenty of instances that aren’t excellent or conducive to coaching such a inflexible and solitary conduct.

So how are you aware which pet or canine you may have?

The pet or canine described within the first instance was fearful.  He isn’t assured in new conditions so he’s too nervous to put down.

The pet within the second instance might be over or too assured in most new conditions.  He doesn’t need to lay down as a result of he has higher issues to do than take heed to you!

The pet within the third instance is carried away and over stimulated.  He doesn’t need to lay down as a result of he merely doesn’t need to maintain nonetheless.

I see all of those puppies in my pet socialization lessons.  The scared pet who can’t carry out at school, the dominant and nippy pet with the opposite puppies and his house owners, and the carried away simply can’t be taught as a result of he’s over stimulated.

And, sure, there’s a pleased medium pet or canine who has no hassle laying down 😉 this makes the best pet or canine to show!

The Bests Way to Teach

So allow us to discuss one of the best methods to show, any of the three fundamental forms of puppies point out within the earlier part, your pet to put down.

These are literally one of the best methods to show or prepare your canine to do something that you just would possibly ever want him to do for you in coaching.   Remember that to ensure that your canine to be taught, you must educate your canine.


This is a reasonably easy, and doubtless one of many best methods to show your canine or educate your pet a conduct.

This is normally seen first in house owners who educate their canine to sit down.

Luring is once you put a deal with in your arms, then put the deal with as much as the canine’s nostril and encourage him right into a sure state of affairs or behaviors.

In phrases of instructing your canine to sit down, we put the deal with in our arms and lure his nostril upwards towards the ceiling.  In most coaching conditions, pulling the canine’s nostril upward forces the pup tush towards the bottom and into the sit place.

It is at this second that we mark the conduct with a clicker and clicker coaching or a clicker and a verbal marker in order that the canine understands that the conduct of sitting is definitely rewarding.  Dogs and puppies typically are usually simply lured into the sit place as a result of it’s fairly pure.

But, I also can lure my canine into heel place, I can lure him ahead, I can lure him again and educate him to observe these treats.

By utilizing optimistic reinforcement and the clicker you educate the canine to belief the lure and to indicate a mess of behaviors in order that he will be extra simply skilled.

This is a significantly better thought than bodily forcing your canine right into a sit with a leash correction or by forcing his backside down into the sit place.

Add the verbal command or the verbal cue as soon as the pet’s conduct is dependable and constant.


I saved this description for second to be outlined as a result of I feel most individuals don’t understand how essential “capturing” a conduct will be to our coaching periods and strategies.

Most folks nearly naturally know the best way to lure sure behaviors after which simply give a deal with, however capturing takes a complete new line of pondering and coaching and REQUIRES a marker (i.e. clicker) which is an effective factor!  After all, we’d like it to speak with our canines and puppies; since they don’t converse English.

Markers are a means of instructing and speaking what we WANT to our canines.  This form of coaching is crucial.  Don’t get within the behavior of simply specializing in correcting dangerous conduct.  Instead, you might want to reward or seize good conduct.

Need to be taught extra about markers or clickers, click here to be taught from the grasp herself, Karen Pryor.

The marker tells the canine that he did one thing good, and {that a} deal with is coming his means.

Science has truly confirmed that capturing a conduct that’s already being proven is best and a extra highly effective means of coaching and instructing your canine  than luring!  This is one of the best ways to show your canine.


Because some canines and puppies be taught to depend on their house owners to lure them with the intention to be taught.  But if you’re capturing a conduct that’s already being proven it isn’t reliant on one other particular person’s actions.

Let’s take sit.

To seize this conduct, I might take my clicker and treats out and easily wait till my pet sits.

He could leap, he could flail, for a second or two, however most probably after that he’s merely going to indicate the pure conduct of sitting.  That is once you time your click on to the second your pups rump hits the bottom and then you definitely deal with.

The pet doesn’t depend on you to shove the deal with towards his nostril to start the conduct.  The pet realizes that his conduct of sitting is what introduced the reward, subsequently he’s extra prone to sit sooner or later.

Add the verbal command or the verbal cue as soon as the canine or puppies conduct is dependable.

How to Train a Dog to Lay Down


I are likely to lure a bit in another way than most canine house owners or canine trainers.  I’ve discovered over 25+ years of canine coaching expertise what works greatest for many reluctant puppies on the subject of the down conduct.

Most canine trainers will lure the deal with down between the pet’s legs after which draw the deal with out towards his paws.  If you go slowly sufficient, this may be very efficient, his physique begins to decrease after which his elbows hit the bottom.  However, if you’re too fast or have an excessively reluctant pet the pet’s backside will stand up because the deal with goes out towards his paws.

So, to keep away from this I be sure that first the pup’s rump or backside is already towards a tough floor like a wall or my leg and shoe, so he can’t simply again up.  Then I draw the deal with downward towards his elbow and barely in towards his physique.  This helps his physique to crumple down and in towards the deal with.  Remembering as quickly as these elbows hit the bottom I click on and launch the reward.  I discover that this isn’t 100% but it surely is a little more dependable than the strategy provided above.

Once he’s doing this reliably inform him what he’s doing or add the verbal command or verbal cue.


This in fact is my favourite!  Remember science tells us that that is one of the best ways to coach and fewer reliant on us (our fingers and our our bodies getting down with the pet or canine in query; which is a giant drawback with down!)

For extra about capturing click here.

I both start by engaged on “sit” and different behaviors after which I calmly wait…  I do know that is tough.  But, persistence in canine coaching is crucial.  Waiting will assist your canine present plenty of behaviors with out stress.  If he does one thing I don’t like, reminiscent of leaping or barking, I merely ignore these behaviors for now.

As quickly as he will get pissed off and lies down, click on and reward!  This is a really highly effective instructing second in canine coaching.

You also can train your pet till he’s very drained, convey him in after which await nature to take its course and him to lie down on his personal.  This will be only with dominant puppies!

Again add the verbal command or verbal cue as soon as the conduct is being proven constantly.

puppy training, ridgeback training


I, personally, just like the “down” conduct over nearly every other conduct my canine can present.  It is a extra dependable conduct.  I educate my puppies and my canines that if they need one thing they need to lay down with the intention to win the sport.  So if my canine desires your toddlers fries on the ball park, he isn’t going to knock him down and steal his fries; he’s going to put down at his ft and wait to be rewarded!  After all, that’s the recreation!

And, good canine coaching needs to be enjoyable and rewarding.  It ought to nearly all the time really feel like a recreation.

How to assist an grownup canine who is totally resistant:

I spoke briefly about this earlier.  I refuse to do that to puppies as a result of I feel it ruins belief.  But I’ll bodily assist an grownup canine be taught.  Why the distinction?  pet coach teaches a pet to suppose and be taught and present plenty of behaviors with the intention to be clicked and rewarded.  But many grownup canines have already been taught with compulsion so they’re frightened about making a mistake and getting in hassle, so they’re much less prone to present behaviors throughout coaching.

I needed to do a few of these very often when taking grownup canines from shelters and coaching them as Service Dogs.   Want extra details about Service or Assistance Dogs?  Click here.

Pressure level

There is a stress level proper behind the shoulder blades that when stress is utilized nearly makes the legs crumple.  Click and deal with!

Physically Helping

The subsequent means I attempt is calmly bodily assist.  The canine should not be panicked for this to work, in any other case return to capturing.  I calmly kneel down beside the canine, put my arm over his shoulder and with my physique weight barely over his shoulder blades, I slide his arms out from beneath him.  Click and deal with as quickly because the canine lies down.


I’ve used a leash and pinning the leash on a buckle collar, however it’s my least favourite means and is normally solely the resort of a canine that’s selecting to not pay attention or nothing else has labored.  Again the canine must not be in a panic in regards to the conduct and state of affairs.

How to coach a canine to put down could also be extra difficult than you thought, however in truth, if you’re a great optimistic coach there are many methods so that you can accomplish it in a enjoyable and communicative method.   Training your canine needs to be a reward for you each and a time so that you can bond!

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