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How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down

One Fundamental Trick to Teach All Dogs

It's up for debate what the most important command is for a pooch. I know the words sit, stay, and drop it come out of my mouth all the time but lately North's learning some more fun tricks. He's long since mastered "down," which I use for lay down, but starting from that position has led to three more cool things.

If you've never commanded down, it's not hard to teach, especially for snack lovers. Grab a tiny training treat. Make sure your dog sees it and have him sit. Say "down" (or "lay," if you'd prefer) and simply move the hand with the bit towards the floor so he naturally has to move his head down and paws out, too. After he consistently performs with word only, use the position to begin teaching roll over, play dead, crawl, and other ones that start out this way!

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kitkatherine kitkatherine 5 years
teaching my dog with any little treat was easy - she can sit, lay down, come up to a sit from a down, do a circle, shake, stay - it's great. but she's also stubborn and there is that "what is in it for me?" feel when you just give her the command. she does auto sit at all stop signs though!
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