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Teaching your dog to Down

It will be helpful to teach your dog to lay down, especially if you want them to be quiet and peaceful both inside and outside the house.

To begin with, confirm that you have taught your dog to sit. Start by requesting that they do this. Make sure your dog is aware that you are holding a treat.

Here are some things you should and shouldn't do now that you've done that.

  1. Move your hand towards the ground, just in front of their paws.

  2. If they follow the treat and lay down, mark this behaviour and reward them.

  3. Once your pup has the hang of this, try without the treat in your hand. Remember to still mark and reward when they lie on the floor with a treat from your pocket.

  4. When your pup is reliably laying down, you can introduce your verbal cue. Say “down”, then use your hand gesture. Mark when they lay down and reward them.

  5. Over time your pup will begin to lay down as soon as they hear the word.

If they don’t naturally lay down, you can mark and reward them for just moving towards the floor, bending down, or lowering their head to begin with. Then start to reward them for getting closer and closer to the floor. Repeat this until your dog is following the treat all the way down.

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