So you pup has mastered the art of sitting! Luckily, laying down is one of the few basic commands that your dog naturally does. Now it’s just a matter of training them to link that skill to a verbal command.
Step 1: Sit position
First, put your dog in the sit position. Feel free to give a quick reward to your pet since you may still be working on sit. Once your dog is in the sitting position, attention on you, it’s time to introduce the new skill.
Step 2: Put treat to nose
Just like we did when teaching sit, you want to put the treat near your dog’s nose. Your goal is to get it close enough that it gets their attention and keeps them in sit, but far enough that they won’t be able to take it from you.
Step 3: Pull treat down toward the ground
Now that you have your dog interested, slowly start to move the treat down toward the ground. You want your dog’s nose, and thus their body, to follow. Repeat “Down” or “Lay Down” as your dog moves. This will help them start to associate the words with their actions.
Step 4: Reward and repeat
Once your dog’s body is touching the ground, give them their food reward, along with any petting and verbal praise you deem appropriate. The important thing is to repeat this exercise in several sessions throughout the day, each day. Repetition is the key to a well trained pup.
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