Down – Layer 1

Objective:  To teach your dog that laying down makes good things happen.


Optional Video:  Dog Training- Capturing the Down

Preparation:  You will need a chair, lots of soft, yummy treats, a leash, a magazine or book and your dog.


Step by Step Instructions Comments
You are going to wait for your dog to offer a down. Start with your dog on-leash to prevent your dog from wandering away before they figure out what you want
Look at your magazine and watch your dog with your peripheral vision.  It may take a while for your dog to figure out what will earn the ‘Yes’ and a treat so be patient. No cue or release word is used at this point in training
The moment your dog lays down, mark with a ‘Yes’ (or click). Your dog has lain down when her belly and elbows are touching the ground.  She can be in either a relaxed down or the sphinx position.
Toss a treat to reset your dog for another chance to offer the behaviour and earn a treat.
Repeat the above steps for 60 – 90 seconds. Give your ‘all done’ cue and practice again later in the day or tomorrow
Once your dog is readily offering the behaviour in one room in your house, repeat the above steps in different rooms in your house
Troubleshooting:  what if my dog doesn’t rest her elbows on the ground?
Mark with a ‘Yes’ only when her elbows touch the ground
When to Advance  
When you notice that your dog is laying down in your presence much more frequently than they did before you started rewarding for this behaviour.
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