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For many dog owners, teaching basic dog commands like “sit” and “down” is a relatively easy task. However, even these basic commands can prove difficult for all dogs. When it comes to training small dogs to lie down, many small dog owners speak of excessive difficulties, in comparison to larger dogs. Though small dog training comes with a little baggage, every small dog has the ability to learn.
Why Your Small Dog Doesn’t Lie Down When Prompted
First, you’ll want to be certain that the reason your dog doesn’t lie down isn’t due to a medical issue. If so, you’ll want to visit your veterinarian. However, if your dog seems comfortable lying down on his own, then it’s probably a behavioral issue.
Training some dogs to lie down can be difficult. They are already so low to the ground, that asking them to go lower is a big ask. Think of how small your “wittle” Yorkshire is. Lying down puts him in an even more vulnerable position than he’s already in as a small dog. If your small dog has even been stepped on, then there’s a good chance they stay on their toes to dodge foot traffic.
When training small dogs you’ll want to leverage a few hacks to train your dog that it’s okay to lie down with visitors around.
Basic Hacks For Training Small Dogs to Lie Down
If you’ve ever attempted to train small dogs, and your commands just aren’t sinking in, here are a few small dog training hacks to help move the process along:
1. Make Them Taller
Work on your “down” command when seated on the floor. You being lower to the ground may make your dog feel more comfortable about lying down.
2. Get Low, Get Comfortable
Grab a bed or pillow that your small dog usually lies on. Placing your dog on a familiar and comfy surface can help settle his body, and make him more apt to lying down.
3. Lure Treat Training
If you’re still having difficulty getting your small dog to lie down on their bed, grab a treat and lure them over the edge. Your dog’s body should fold into a down position as his head follows the treat.
4. Utilize Your Lap
Your small dog is likely accustomed to your lap. So, small dog training from this position might help get the job done.
5. Create Leg Tunnels
With a treat in hand, create a tunnel with your legs and place the treat on the far side. Your dog should lower his body in an attempt to crawl to the treat. Before he starts crawling, give him the treat.
6. Play the Waiting Game
If the going has gotten too rough, than it’s time for the waiting game. At some point your small dog has to lie down. So, you wait and every time your dog lies down, praise and reward him. Though this hack takes a while, it’s a solid last resort.
Training small dogs to lie down can be time extensive. It’s important to patient with your dog and understand that they see the world differently than we do. When everything around them is so large, they need to stay on their feet to keep up. With the right amount of small dog training, you’ll have your little cuddle-bug lying down soon enough.