Teaching Your Dog to Lay Down

Professional dog trainer Victoria Warfel, of Dark Saber Dog Training & Behavior Modification in Gainesville, Fla., shows the proper way of teaching your dog to lay down with her dog Jedi.

Breaking it Down

After a dog has learned his name and knows sit, he is ready to move on to laying down.

You want to start off by telling your dog to sit.

Then, as he is watching your hand with the treat, move it toward him, down to his feet and out in front of him. There is no need to touch him to get him to lay down.

The goal is to make sure the dog's behind stays on the ground. If it stays down, verbally congratulate him and reward him with the treat. If his butt pops up, simply take him back to sit and lead him down with the treat again.

Once the dog gets it after a couple tries, introduce your word of choice for the trick, and slowly fade off leading with your hand.

Helpful Hint:

If you push or physically force dogs to do any trick, they will fight it, and it will only make them want to do it even less. If it hurts them, they could remember and associate the pain with the trick rather than that positive reinforcement.