What are the first steps in teaching your dog “lay down?”
The first step in teaching your dog to lay down, is to lure them into it. Luring is simply having the dog’s nose follow a treat or some other lure. Hold the treat right by the dog’s nose and SLOWLY lower the treat straight down between the dog’s paws. Once the nose is there, drag the treat away from the dog’s nose until the dog is laying down. This is the fastest way to teach down.
However, teaching your dog to lay down on command can be one of the hardest commands, so be patient. You might want to treat your dog just for lowering the head by the paws.
Do not say the “down” command yet. You want to make sure the dog has the movement of sitting down first. If you start saying the word “down” too soon, and your dog does not put his tummy on the floor, he might think “down” means to put the head down or to look at you.
It is important to only do down step one 6-12 times so that your dog does not become overly dependent on treats.