Teaching Dog to LAY DOWN – Dog Training Tip #2

Teaching Dog to Lay Down
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Teaching your Dog to “LAY DOWN” is an easy trick to teach your dog once they learn the “SIT” command. As with the “SIT” command, there are a variety of different methods to teach it. At Athenas Pets, we try to give you the easiest tips that get the best results.

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The following is an excerpt from our Athenas Pets Dog Whistle and Dog Clicker Training Guide, which is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD. This guide offers several tricks and other fun training techniques to enjoy during quality time with your dog. This trick can be taught with or without a Clicker.

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Teaching dog to LAY DOWN – Athenas Pets Dog Clicker Method:

Teaching your dog to lay down is another very basic trick. It is one of the tricks that lays the foundation for future tricks (pun intended). Getting your dog to sit will be essential to success in this trick.

Make sure that your dog knows the “SIT” command before starting this trick. This is a nice trick for your dog to know before moving on to the “STAY” trick or the “LEAVE IT” trick. Grab your Athenas Pets Dog Clicker and let’s get started!

First, Get your Dog to Seated Position:

The first thing you want to do is get your dog in a seated position by using the “SIT” command. DO NOT PRAISE or REWARD your dog when they sit. You want them to know there is more to be done before they can get your PRAISE or REWARD.

Onto the “DOWN” Command:

Once your dog is sitting, grab a treat and hold it in front of their nose. Now move that treat down towards the ground in a straight line. Your dog’s head/body should follow. Next, move the treat back towards you in a straight line along the ground.

Overall, you should be creating an L-motion with the treat; first down then towards you. This should lure your dog into a laying down position. If it’s successful, click the dog clicker as soon as your dog’s stomach touches the ground and say the command, “DOWN”.

Now PRAISE and REWARD your dog. Keep repeating this until your dog has the hang of it.


Saying “LAY DOWN” could confuse your dog in the long run. We recommend you stick with “DOWN”.

Teaching dog to LAY DOWN – Next Steps:

Two Dogs Laying Down

Now you want to slowly take the treat out of the equation. Use your closed fist instead of the treat in front of your dog’s nose. You still want to make an L-motion with your fist. If they complete the trick like they did before, follow the same steps. Click the dog clicker, say the command, “DOWN”, and PRAISE and REWARD your dog.

Do this until your dog is comfortable with it. If you want to take it one step further, you can get your dog to sit, and say the command, “DOWN”. You need to make sure your dog is already extremely comfortable laying down with the motion of your hand as explained before. If your dog lays down with just the command, click the dog clicker and PRAISE and REWARD them. This is great!

What If My Dog Doesn’t Get It?

If they don’t understand, you may want to go back to trying the L-motion with your hand again until your dog has the trick engrained in their brain. Sometimes dogs are hesitant to lay all the way down. In this case, there are a few things that you can do to encourage the behavior.

Rather than click, PRAISE and REWARD when your dog gets all the way down, you can do these things as soon as they make an effort in the right direction. Gradually increase your standards for what “an effort in the right direction is”.

For example, if at first you were clicking, PRAISING and REWARDING for a slight nod or bow, now make them extend their legs further or make them get their stomach even closer to the ground before giving them what they want.

Although we include these tips in the case your dog is having some trouble, it is important to note that most dogs will pick up on the teaching dog to lay down behavior right away. Now all you have to do is get your dog, get excited, start training and have fun!

More Details and Ordering Info:

Dog Whistle for Dog and Puppy Training

At this time, the Athenas Pets Dog Whistle and Clicker are available in a kit which includes: (1) Silent Dog Whistle; (1) Dog Clicker and (1) Downloadable Training Manual. This kit is available in the US and in-stock to BUY NOW.The Dog Whistle needs to be “tuned” to your dog. It’s a simple process, covered in the eBook from above or for a quick explanation see this article: Silent Dog Whistles – Do They Really Work?

Best of luck to you and your dog.  At Athenas Pets, we’re always thinking of ways to make the human and pet experience better.  We offer a number of training and fun products in this regard.

Send us a message to let us know more about your experience.

Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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