Teaching the down - methods to use and what you say




I have been interested to look at this subject after I noticed so many of my clients struggling with what should be a simple command. All dogs lay down and go to sleep but quite often are not given a command/word for it. And so when say the word, especially in a training session, our dogs have no clue what it means.


Here is what I have found:


We say down- when we really mean “don’t jump up”

We say say down - when we really mean “sit”

We say down - when we really mean “get off the ——furniture, worktops etc”


So we need to be careful with the words we use and if you can’t change the word you use, then use a different word for lying flat on the floor.


Another thing is we want our dog to do it willingly and with no force, don’t we?

Let’s hear how you get your pup to do it again and again.



Here are some tips for getting your dog to lie down on your command.


Sometimes it is necessary to get your dog to lie down and be quiet. There are times when you need them to rest and be still. Especially if you have stopped to chat or maybe sitting in the pub garden for a drink or meal. 😀


Get yourself a good box of treats and sit on the floor. - I would have a lid on the box!


Stretch your legs out and slightly apart so you can encourage your dog to join you - use your treats. Reward them for laying down beside you - and keep telling them down.


Another way is to slightly raise your leg up - bend it so your dog can just crawl under, use treats to lure them under and keep saying down - or your chosen word.


With pups you can sometimes get them to follow your hand to the floor and reward them but it doesn’t seem to work with smaller dogs.

Teaching your dog to lay down


Once your dog understands what it means, then make it a game and keep rewarding. Now you can enjoy the trip to the pub garden and teach them to stay and relax 😀🐕💕

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