Lie Down, Rufus

Teaching Your Dog This Cue Is Easier Than You May Think

 Before you start teaching him, get your treats ready. While your dog is in front of you, hold the treat in the following manner: hold your hand open, with your palm facing downwards. Use your thumb to hold the treat underneath your hand. As the treat is now at the bottom of your outstretched hand, the dog is encouraged to lower himself in order to get to the treat.

We can train the dog to go down from both the sitting and standing position, with only a small difference in the two methods. Go about it as follows:

Lie Down, Rufus

July 30, 2020

Down From Sit Position

  • Sit on the floor with the dog standing sideways in front of you.
  • Ask him to sit, or lure him into a sit with a treat right in front of his nose. Now, slowly bring your hand straight down between his front legs. It’s very important to go slowly, otherwise, the dog might completely miss it!
  • When the dog’s nose is almost on the floor, as he is following the treat, slowly bring your hand with the treat slightly forwards, away from the dog. Hold your hand flat against the floor. As he then moves forwards, the whole body should go down to the floor.
  • As soon as he goes into the position (not before), say ‘down’, praise the dog in a happy voice and allow him to nibble on the treat, while still lying down.

Down From Standing Position

  • Once again, have your dog standing sideways in front of you.
  • Bring your hand, holding the treat, straight down between his front legs, slowly.
  • As his front legs go flat on the floor, once again flatten your hand against the ground, and now move your hand with the treat slowly towards the dog.
  • Once he lies down, say ‘down’, praise him and let him eat the treat, while still lying down.


Remember to factor the number of treats into your dog’s daily food allowance. You can use some of his food, or small treats. Small, thoroughly cooked chicken pieces also work if your dog likes, and can eat, chicken. Visit Family Pet Centre in Centurion or Fourways for a variety of treats, or shop online at [Maybe a link to the treats section will work well]

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