How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down And Stay Awesome

Not much is more rewarding than teaching your dog new commands. Seeing them enjoy the learning process is fun and rewarding. Teaching your dog to lie and stay can be useful when you need them to stay in one position and be calm for longer periods of time. My method of how to teach your dog to lie down and stay is the reward based method.

Reward based training is the best method of how to teach your dog to lie down and stay. Make sure that you reward your dog with a treat and lots of praise immediately after he correctly follows your command. Dogs are very observant of your body language actually more so than verbal language based commands, so always repeat each hand signal you use in the same way. They are also very perceptive animals, which is why they respond very well to voice commands. Make sure that each command is clear and short so as to not confuse your dog whilst training.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down And Stay
Saber in a down stay

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down And Stay

Give your dog the verbal command “Down” and then bring a treat down past his nose towards the floor. It’s best not to teach the down command from a sit.

Keep the treat in your hand on the floor and slowly move it away from your dog’s nose, towards your feet.

As he follows the treat with his nose he should go into the “Down” position. As soon as he lies down, immediately give him the treat and reward him with lots of praise.

Stand up and take a step backwards to encourage your dog to get back up, and then repeat this process until your dog becomes comfortable with it. Once he gets good at it put the treat in one hand behind your back. Repeat the process but use your empty hand to guide your dog into the “Down” position. Reward him with the treat as soon as he gets into the correct position.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down And Stay
Saber in a down and stay

Teaching your dog to stay

Most every time when you tell a dog to lie down,  you do not want him to get straight up again.  So let’s add some duration to this ‘down’ command.

You do not need the word stay. I actually use the word stay at all.   It implies that any time you say sit, or down, to your dog without using the word stay,  the dog can just get up or release when he feels like it.

Surely, when you tell a dog to lay down, you mean ‘lay down and stay til I say you can get up’?

That is what ‘’down’ means.  It is a long duration behavior, and one that we use practically, when we want the dog to stay in one place for a significant length of time.

Teach your dog a release cue

A release cue is a great tool in dog training. It says, we’re done, you’re free to go. No more training games for the time being.

Ideally you should choose a release cue that isn’t frequently heard in conversation. I use free dog some people use free or break. These are probably better choices, especially if the whole family will be giving commands to your dog.

If you are using a marker such as YES, or a click from a clicker, then that will be your release cue.

You don’t need to add another, though at this point you can swap the click or word yes for a permanent release cue if you want to.

Leaving the dog laying down

Distance is the second component of the stay.  You should begin this indoors.

Once you have got a thirty second or so stay,  you can start to introduce a bit of distance between you and your dog.

Take a step away from the dog and return. Mark and reward if he maintains the down.

For example, to begin with,  you can  lift one leg and put it down again rather than actually moving away.

Gradually increase the distance that you move away from your dog over several training sessions.

You should be able to walk several steps away from the dog and be at the other side of the room for a while at this point.

From here just keep practicing and building duration until the dog understands that down means down until I give the release cue.

How To Teach Your Dog To Lie Down And Stay
Saber down at distance

Building The Command

It goes without saying that the command must be proofed, by that I mean that giving the command and getting a responce from the dog around distractions. Build this up slowly around low distractions and building up to area’s of high distraction. Most of all make the training enjoyable and fun…


Saber personally paw stamps all posts

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.