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Teaching The "Lay Down" Command to Your Dog

The “down” or “lay down” command is also one of the basic commands. It should be the second command it learns. This command is one you can teach your dog once he learns to sit on command. 

It is not hard to train this command and once you have you can teach the stay command.

Here are the steps you will need to teach your dog to lay down on command:

Begin by putting the dog into a sit. 

While holding a treat in your left hand, lower the treat to ground level and at the same time give the dog the “down” command firmly. Make sure that the treat in your hand is guarded with your fingers so the dog can't get to it until you want it to. The dog will try to get the treat, and while doing so it will put it's head down on the ground to try to get the treat. Hold on to the treat until the dog completely lays down. Then reward the dog with the treat and say "GOOD DOG". Keep in mind that the dog may not catch on right away so you will need to be patient. You can assist stubborn dog by using gently force on the butt to get it's bottom to go down.

When the dog lays down always be sure to give it lots of praise. Show it that you are really happy by using your voice and body language. When you want the to get up, say OK or what ever you us for a release command.

Remember that at first the dog will get right back up. That's OK because it give you the opportunity to begin the behavior again. 

Repeat the training five to ten times during each session. At first, you may only get three or four time. Repetition is important but you don’t want to do too much at one time. You should try to get in three or four training sessions throughout the day.

As with all training, keep your sessions short. Advanced training should be kept under 10 minutes in length. Always do something that the 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.

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