How do I teach my dog to lay down?

I've tried the classic "sit" then put the treat towards the floor to get him to lay down. Doesn't work. He's a little guy so he just stands up and puts his head down. I don't want to be forceful with the baby, but I feel like I'm running out of options here. Are there any other ways to teach a short, stubborn dog to lay down??

Asked by Kiwi on Mar 19th 2012 in Commands
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Best Answer


I thought I answered, but it seems to have vanished. I'd forget about luring and just shape a down with treats and a clicker.

Basically, you get some good treats, not just treats, I mean some OMG!!! OMG!! OMG!!! TREATS!!!!!! treats.

-Click and Treat any movement your dogs makes toward the ground.
-if he dips his head, c/t
-if he bends his leg, c/t
I did this with my poodle the other day, took 3 minutes.
Do NOT wait for the entire behavior to c/t.


Teaghan answered on Mar 19th.

Other Answers


Bruno CGC

You have get down low, really low. Hold the treat in your closed hand, literally ON the floor, not just "towards" the floor. At the same time move it out away from him a little bit as he's bending down to try to get it. Hard to describe, but it will eventually work- I saw this firsthand with a Chihuahua in my obedience class with Bruno.

He doesn't have to be sitting first either- my trainer called it a "Sphynx down" when the front end goes down first, leaving their butt up for a second or two. (That's how you can train "take a bow".)

If you clicker train you could also try "capturing" the behavior- just be ready to reward him whenever you see him lie down of his own accord.

Bruno CGC answered on 3/19/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


He is just still learning what each thing means. Be patient, he is not being stubborn.

Sit on the ground with your dog and you have the dog in sit position with a really smelly tasty treat in your hand. Take the treat straight down between his paws and onto the floor.. now the tip is to move the treat slowly backward and/or forward on the floor between his paws to get his rump to go down.

Best of luck! :)

Obi answered on 3/19/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer