Basic Training: Ways to Teach Your Dog to Lie Down

training dog to lie down

Basic Training: Ways to Teach Your Dog to Lie Down

One bonus delight that many fur parents, specifically dog parents, receive is when they are able to teach their canine baby a new trick or two. This is particularly true when it’s fully successful, and it’s a trick that can come in handy later on. A crucial basic command in dog training is getting your dog to lie down, which can also help keep him or her in line.

While the command “sit” can keep your dog in place, they are far more settled when they lie down. In turn, they are far less likely to suddenly get back up again without your command to do so.

Be Prepared

  • The very first step in training your dog to respond to the command “lie down” is making sure he or she can follow the “sit” command. After all, sitting is the initial action before lying down, so it’s crucial that sitting on command is already part of their behavior. 
  • Stay aware of your body language, as canines are far more responsive to that. Humans respond more verbally; dogs take cues from body language. 
  • Find a mat that the dog can lie down on or go ahead and buy a new one altogether. This way, their training sessions will not just be comfortable, but also pleasant.
  • Make the most out of training treats. If you’re worried about making a mess, there are treats on the market that will leave minimal crumbs on your hands. Look into the ones that aren’t particularly greasy, either, to keep things pleasant for you and your dog.

Lie Down

There are quite a few ways to train a dog to lie down. One of the more popular ways is with his or her favorite treats.

1. Get your dog to sit. Get a treat and, while he or she is still in that position, hold it close to their nose. Keep it far enough away that they won’t be able to just grab it. However, it must be close enough that they will be able to smell it.

2. Use the treat to slowly lead him or her down towards the floor.

3. Whenever the dog suddenly sits up, hold back the treat, then start over. You should only finally let the dog have the treat when they are fully down on the floor. Do not give it if they are only partially down, or if they’re in a position wherein their butt is still up in the air.

4. As soon as it seems like they’re getting the idea, say the word “DOWN” while he or she is lowering down to the floor.


Getting a dog to lie down is not only a neat trick, but it can come in handy over multiple situations. Before trying to teach him or her about lying down, make sure they have mastered the “sit” command first. Use treats smartly, and be sure to stick to the word “down” since it’s sometimes confused with “off.” Most of all, be patient and try to make the experience one you and your beloved pup can bond over.

Looking for dog obedience training tips? Check out Dog Obedience Training Blogs! We’re devoted to providing helpful information when it comes to training your furry best friend.

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