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Lay Down is one of the basic commands every owner has to teach their dog(s). Actually, it’s more than a mere command. It’s also a tool that helps you calm down and control your pooch when they misbehave, don’t follow your orders, or are too friendly with some people. Although it’s a fairly easy command to teach as it’s a natural movement, it still requires using the right methods. If you want to teach your dog to lay down, you should consider three things (methods).
Which are they?
Let’s check it out!
Teaching your dog to recognize the command from the other words you say and respond to it is the most difficult part. The best way to teach them that “lay down” is command is by repeating it often and in the same way. No word changing, no tone changing – everything should be the same at all times.
You can choose between “lay down” and “down” as the word(s) of the command. But, once you choose one of them, you should never change it. Although you can choose any of these two, a simple, sharp “down!” is the better choice.
However, you have to be careful about how you use the word. Namely, if your pooch is on the sofa and you say “down” without the sharp tone, they may think you allow them to lay down and rest.
Once the command is defined, you need to think about the movement you are going to perform to instruct your dog while training it. There are a few ways you can do that, so you need to choose one.
Some owners use their hand to get down their dog to the floor. They use a treat (placed in their hand) to get their pooch laying down. Then, they give their dog the treat when they lay down. In this way, they teach their pet that they need to lay down to the floor to get a reward.
Another option is to hold your dog’s collar and apply gentle pressure on their shoulder downwards when you say “down”. Repeating this movement-command combination will show the dog that they need to lay down when they hear the command. But, make sure you don’t force the dog to lay down with the gentle pressure, rather use it to show and encourage them to go down to the floor on the word “down”.
Of course, nothing comes free in this world, including the dog’s obedience. That’s why you need to reward your dog for every well-performed trick. The reward can be a bone, a dog treat, or a piece of food (e.g. a slice of meat). In order to show them that they are going to get the reward after they perform the trick, let them lick it before you start the training. This type of encouragement will lead to better results. Plus, you will have more fun during the training as the dog will try to do their best to get the reward.
These three things will help you teach your dog to lay down on command. Once they learn the command and start doing as instructed, you can stop using these methods.
If you use a treat in your hand to get your dog down, you can stop using it after they learn the command as you will have control over them. On the other hand, if you use the “gentle pressure on the shoulder” method, you can gradually ease it out as your dog start moving on its own when you give out the command. And, when you notice they perform the trick without any help, you can remove the reward as well.
As you can see, teaching your dog to lay down doesn’t have to be difficult. Following these things (methods), staying consistent with the command, and patience will help you train your dog without much trouble.
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