How To: Teach Your Dog To Lay Down on Command

By Michael Albee

Teaching Your Dog To Lay Down

When you Teach Your Dog to Lay Down on command you can use two easy methods.


Because laying down is a natural thing for a dog to do, you can simply wait for the dog to begin to lay down and say the word DOWN and then praise and reward it. This is know as “Capturing” the behavior.

This method is reasonably easy to do, but it may take a bit longer because you will have to wait for the dog and be watching for him to begin the process of laying down.


How To: Teach Your Dog To Lay Down

The second method of teaching your dog to lay down on command is to begin by having your dog in a  “Sit” in front of you. Using a food lure or toy, put your hand in front of your dog about an inch away from it’s nose.With the dog sniffing the treat, or trying to take the toy, drop your hand SLOWLY toward the floor. Your dog’s nose should follow your hand. If the dog breaks off, stop, and begin again.

Your hand should end by touching the floor even with your dog’s toes. (Nose to Toes). When your hand is on the floor your dog should crouch down and then lay by your hand. At that time you make it by saying “Good Dog” and give it the treat that is in your hand.

TRAINER’S NOTES – How To Teach Your Dog To Lay Down

Don’t be in a big hurry during this training. If your dog continues break away from your hand while training, reset him and start over.

Your “proofing” goal is to be able to say the word DOWN and point at the ground, and your dog will lay down.


Keep your training sessions short. Your training sessions should be kept to 2-5 minutes in length. Finish each session with your dog correctly doing a behavior.

Always do something that your dog likes to do when the session ends. Playing with the dog’s favorite toy or going for a walk will keep your dog interested in training. Because there is a “fun time” following the training, it will make the dog more willing to train well.


There are several variations of this training that will get the same results. If you need help teaching you dog to “STAY” you can contact us and we can give personal instruction. Contact Us.

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“Teaching the Lay Down Command is Very Simple!”