7 Easy steps to get your dog to lay down

So you’ve mastered sit! It’s time to move on to teaching a lay down. I use this from teaching them to relax (on a lap, in a dog bed, etc), calm greetings with nervous dogs and humans, and later for teaching other tricks like roll over!

Let’s get started! 

  1. You’ll want to be on your dogs level, for a smaller dog it may help to do this on a couch, ottoman or training platform.
  2. Ask your dog to sit
  3. Slowly lower your hand with a treat towards the ground.
  4. Reward any small body movements towards laying down – don’t expect to get a full lay down. I usually start to reward when I see the dog starting to hunch down.
  5. Continue to reward lower movements – raising your expectations to reward slightly lower
  6. Put your hand with the treat flat on the ground and wait for your dog to lower themselves to it and reward small movements closer to the lay down
  7. Continue doing this and as your pet progresses only reward when your dog fully lays down.

Are you stuck?

  1. Try getting even lower, lay on the ground so you are very low too – or really move your pet up higher to your level.
  2. With your dog in a sit take your hand with the treat and try bringing it forward to see if your dog stretches forward for the treat. Be patient and don’t give up after one try.
  3. If you find that doesn’t work you can try bringing the treat in closer to your dogs chest sometimes this makes them lower their front end as they try to reach the treat.
  4. If your pet is backing up try practicing with them sitting with their butt and tail against a wall.

We hope these tips and video help your pup become at a pro at laying down.

What next? Consider teaching one of these fun behaviors:

  1. Go to bed
  2. Ensure you’ve conquered all our top puppy tricks
  3. Prevent and stop jumping at the door
  4. Spin in a circle

About Author

Hi! I’m Nicole Ellis

Certified dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert. Friend of animals, horse rider, book nerd, Disney nerd, outdoor wanderer.

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