Training your dog to lay down is one of the four essential obedience training commands and is the first step to allowing them to truly accept your leadership.

Taking your dog through basic obedience training is where you start to truly open the lines of communication and establish yourself as their responsible leader – and nowhere is this truer than learning how to teach your dog to lay down. The “down” command is the very first time you will train your dog to lie in a submissive position – so they will likely be reluctant at first – but when you are successful in training your dog to lay down it will go a long way to allowing them to accept your leadership.

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The “down” position sees the dog having their belly flat on the ground with their paws out in front. It is a much more stable and relaxed position for your dog to remain in than sitting, which is a position that has your dog eagerly waiting to jump up and perform the next activity. Both commands are used regularly as a precursor to an additional command, and therefore training your dog to be efficient at following both is a fundamental aspect of good puppy manners.

The difference is that the “down” position is one where your dog should be able to patiently await your next instruction no matter how long it might take, whereas the “sit” position is more often used to quickly gain your dog’s attention and get them into position for the next command. For this reason, the “down” position is much more suitable when you eventually start training your dog to stay – though, if you do train your dog well enough they should be able to comfortably remain in either position until your next instruction. After your dog has a good understanding of the “sit” command, you should immediately start training them to lie down.

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