How to teach a dog to lay down?
Teaching a dog to lay down on command can be tough. Laying down can be uncomfortable or leave a dog feeling a little vulnerable. Laying down is a lot of movement. It might not seem like it, but bending your back legs and your front legs and lower all the way, is a lot of little movements to accomplish one thing.
Just stay patient:
If you just stay patient and do not get frustrated with your dog. Make sure they are not distracted. Also, make sure that your dog is not in some pain like arthritis that might be preventing him from doing the full movement. Maybe practice on a bed or soft carpet to make your dog more comfortable.
Take breaks if you need to!
Here Toby took over 20 minutes for me to get him to lay down. I could have easily, pulled his legs from under him or pushed on him. But he would not have learned anything. Being a basset hound means his legs are short and his nose is long. So luring him down and then across the floor, he only followed his long nose without ever bending his knees. After 20 minutes, we were successful! He finally laid down. We did a huge celebration. The next one only took a minute and the ones following were instant.