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How To Train Your Dog To Lie Down

Every dog needs to know when it's time to lie down. Dog trainer Basil Theofanides shows you the best way to get the message through


“Welcome to todays lesson, it’s all about the D word. What do you think the D word is? Dog! No it’s actually the down or the drop, teaching our dogs to lie down. Some people use the command ‘down’, others use ‘drop’, I like to use the word ‘drop’ because it has a nice crisp sound to it.”

“What’s a practical use for teaching your dog to lie down?”

"When there is food around”

“Well done that’s good Gene. It’s a good exercise because it’s a passive exercise. It’s a subordinate exercise for your dog but it also reflects that you’re the pack leader, put your dog in a subordinate position.

Other practical uses, when you are introducing young kids to the dog, particularly if he is a boisterous dog, put him in a drop position and therefore he is going to be much more relaxed.”

“First of all, we’re going to use food to lure the dog into the action. Incidentally when you do give your dog this treat it only needs to be a tiny little treat like this. You don’t want a huge Flintstone bone for your dog as a treat, just a tiny little treat.

So first of all hold the leash in left hand just bunch it up like that, now crouch down but bring the food to your dogs nose now right now straight to your dogs nose, now relax your leash, place your left hand on the dogs shoulders, bring your food to the ground slowly nice and slow. When your dog lies down just praise but don’t say anything. Place left hand on her shoulders; bring the food to the dogs nose. Slow, slow, slow and praise – happy voice!

Well done and say ‘finish’. Let's get Brutus another crack at it. You know what you could do is bring the command ‘drop’ in there because he’s doing really well. So you say ‘drop’ as lies down, not before as he hits the deck – ‘drop’. ‘Drop’, praise and ‘finish!’”

“What’s happening over here Sydney? I thought she was already lying down!”

“She won't get down!”

“Alright so don’t push too hard. So what you can do is just stretch your hand a bit further out, keep your hand on the shoulders. I’m going to have it there and we don’t actually let her get up. She doesn’t like the fact of having to go down in that submissive position. What I would do at home is elevate her, perhaps put her onto a chair perhaps put a cushion down just bring the food to her nose and when she lies down, you have to be patient then you praise her and give her the reward.

"Also she’s got a bed I presume at home? So this is what you do, as you see her do it, just wait until she lies down at that moment ‘drop’, ‘good girl’ and give her a little reward. So that’s an easy way of doing it too."

"Well done guys that was a great session. You need to practice this a couple of times a day for proficiency and then gradually wean them off the food after a couple of day. You know the best time of day for this, here is a little tip for you. Not first in the morning when they are full of beans at the end of the day when they are tired and they are about to lie down anyway. Put it into your training. “