Besides teaching your dog manners, obedience training helps strengthen the bond between dog and owner. Training can be done at home easily, as this video shows. Watch April Mackin, a trainer who works with dogs in Disney films, as she shares how to teach a dog to lay down in 2 minutes.
If you prefer to read, here's the transcription:
"Hi, it's April. I'm back again and this episode is how to train your buddy to lay down and stay.
"Ok, this is Rosebud and what we would like to do with you today is show you how to train your little buddy to do a lay down-stay. What you wanna do is have your dog sit in the sit position and I like to give 'em a little treat. I have my treat in my hand and then you guide her down with your hand cue - lay down, stay, good! Good! So let's try that one more time. Stay, good, now I'm going to reinforce that sit so she doesn't know exactly - she has to pay attention to me - now lay down, stay - giving her a stay cue - good girl! Very good.
"The hand signal for lay down is take your hand in front of the dog's nose and lay it down. (Note: you can see April demonstrate this at the 0:52 mark.) Happy training! Remember to always use positive reinforcement and keep your sessions short but repeat them several times a day."
Some key points:
Hand signals work. Visual cues are more easily understood to dogs than the English language. Dogs often learn the hand signal first, then the verbal command. The added benefit of hand signals is you can give the command even if you can't say it.
Make it fun. Treats and short bursts are more interesting to your dog than long work sessions. When your dog is interested, he's more likely to pick up what you're teaching.
Build on existing commands. If your dog already knows sit, you can use it here to help your dog learn stay. (Need to work on sit? Get April's tips on how to teach a dog to sit by clicking the link.)
As April demonstrates, it's simple to learn how to teach a dog to lay down. It just takes some treats and practice and you can train your dog at home.
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