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How to train your dog to lie down

 How to train your dog to lie down

Teaching your dog to lie down under command will help him develop self-control and will be very useful in everyday life with your pet. Keep in mind that it is not an easy exercise to teach all dogs because it puts them in a vulnerable position. Therefore, you need to be very patient when training your dog to lie under command. 

The last criterion that you must fulfill is for your dog to lie down under the lead and maintain this position for a second. To achieve this training criterion, you must divide the exercise into several simpler criteria. 

In this dog57 article, we tell you about the training criteria you'll be working on in this exercise: your dog lies down when you point it, your dog stays for a second, your dog lies down even though you move, your dog lies for a second even though you're moving, your dog lies on command. Remember that you should train in a quiet place, without distractions, and closed, until you have met all the suggested training criteria. 





You may also be interested in How to Teach Your Dog to Play Dead 

Standard 1: Your dog lies down when signaled 

Put a small piece of food on the dog's nose and slowly lower your hand on the floor between the pet's front legs. After eating, your dog will lower his head, then his shoulders, and finally lie down. 

When your dog is lying down, click a button and offer him food. You can give him food while he is lying down, or have him rise to take it as shown in the picture sequence. It doesn't matter if your dog gets up after clicking. Repeat this procedure until the dog is lying down easily each time you lead him with food. From then on, gradually reduce the movement you make with your arm, until just enough to extend your arm down so that it is lying flat. This may take several sessions.

When you make your dog lie down only when you extend your arm down, practice doing this signal without food at hand. Every time your dog lies down, click, take a piece of food out of the fanny pack or your pocket, and give it to your dog. Keep in mind that some dogs do not like to lie down just to follow a piece of food, so be very patient with this exercise. It may take several sessions. 

Also keep in mind that some dogs lie down more easily if they are seated first, while others lie down more easily if they are standing first. If you need to get your dog to sit up to practice this exercise, do so by guiding him as you would for a sit training. Do not use the command to sit your dog. When you have your dog lie down on a cue (no food at hand) 8 out of 10 repetitions in two consecutive sessions, move on to the next training criterion. 

"Lie down" to compete 

If you want your dog to learn to lie down straight, as is required in some dog sports, you should include this standard as soon as you lie down on the dog. Therefore, you will only reinforce behaviors that approximate the behavior you want. 

However, keep in mind that this cannot be ordered from a young puppy or dog whose morphology makes it difficult for them to lie down straight. And you can't order it from dogs with back, elbow, knee, or hip problems. Training your dog to lie upright includes another criterion, so it will take longer to achieve the desired behavior. 

Criterion 2: Your dog lies for a second 

Have your dog lie on the cue without food in your hand. When he's lying down, count "one" in your head. If your dog holds this position until you have finished counting, click, take a small piece of food from the package and give it to your dog. If your dog wakes up while counting the "no," move a few steps without clicking or giving him the food (ignoring him for a few seconds). Then repeat the procedure. 

If necessary, use shorter intervals, counting "Un" mentally, instead of "Uno" for a few repetitions. Then try to increase the length of time the dog lies on the floor until you count "one" in your head. You can perform 2 or 3 repetitions of the previous standard before starting this training standard session. 

Criterion 3: Your dog is lying down even if you are moving 

Do the same procedure as in the first standard, but run or walk on your site. It also changes position for your dog: sometimes to the side, sometimes forward, sometimes diagonally. At this point, you should also be sure to get your dog to lie down in different locations in the training area. 

You can do several repetitions without moving before starting each session of this dog training standard. You can also hold the food in your hand and do the full movement, lowering your hand to the floor for the first (approximately) 5 reps of the first session, to help your dog generalize the behavior. 

Criterion 4: Your dog stays in place for a second despite your movement 

Do the same as in Standard 2, but run or walk where you are while procedure indicating that the dog is lying down. Do 2 or 3 repetitions of Criterion 1 before starting each session, so your pet knows the session is all about lying down exercise. 

Move on to the next criteria when you have achieved an 80% success rate in two consecutive sessions. 

Standard 5: Your dog lies at a command 

Say "lie down" and point your arm so your dog is lying down. When your dog is lying down, click, take a piece of food from the can and give it to him. Do several repetitions until the dog begins to lie down as commanded, before signaling. From that moment on, gradually reduce the signal you send with your arm until it is completely eliminated. 

If your dog lies down before giving the command, simply say "no" or "ah" (use either, but always the same word to indicate that he will not receive the piece of food) in a calm tone and move a few steps. Then give the command before the dog lies down. 

When your dog associates the 'lie down' command with the lying down behavior, repeat Criteria 2, 3 and 4 but use the verbal command instead of the signal you sent with your arm. 





Possible problems when training a dog to lie down 

Your dog gets distracted easily 

If your dog is distracted during a dog training session, try training somewhere else where there are no distractions. You can also do a quick sequence of handing him 5 pieces of food before the session begins. 

Your dog bites your hand 

If your dog hurts you when you give him food, give it to him in the palm of your hand or throw him on the floor. But if he hurts you when you guide him with food, you will have to pick up on the behaviour. In the next topic, you will see how to do this. 

Your dog does not lie down when you guide him to eat 

Many dogs do not lie down with this procedure because they do not want to put themselves in a vulnerable position. Others don't go away just because they're trying other behaviors to get food. If your dog won't lie down while he's leading his food, consider the following: 

Try to start training on another surface. If your dog won't lie on the ceramic floor, try a rug. Then you can generalize the behavior.

Make sure that the food you guide your dog with is appetizing to him.

Move your hand more slowly.

If you kick your dog out of a sitting position, move your hand forward a little once you've got it almost to the floor. This movement forms an imaginary "L", first down and then slightly forward.

If you throw your dog from a standing position, direct the food toward the middle of the pet's front legs and slightly behind it.

Try alternatives to teaching your dog to lie down. 

Precautions when training your dog to lie down as ordered 

When you teach this exercise to your dog, you want to make sure he is not on an uncomfortable surface. Surfaces that are too hot or too cold can prevent your dog from lying down, so make sure the floor temperature isn't too high (just touch it with the back of your hand to check the temperature). 

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