How to Train Your Beaglier to Lie Down
Teaching a Beaglier to lie down is another one of the most basic and useful commands. It helps you gain some control over your pet, much like you have when you teach them to sit or stay. Telling him to lie down has other benefits, too, however. If you are lying on a couch with your dog you can tell him to lie down with you. It can also be used to calm him down after playtime or when meeting other animals or people. It can put your dog into a comfortable position and help them to relax or even possibly go to sleep.
All dogs, of course, already know how to lie down. All you have to do is teach them the command so that they can do it on cue. Teaching a dog to lie down can give you a little more control over your pet and also help you to manage and handle his impulses. This is a good command to keep a Beaglier well-behaved and in line. It makes them more acceptable in public places and also more pleasant when you are enjoying a meal at the table. The command isn’t a very easy one for all dogs to learn when compared with other commands, like sit or stay, but it depends on the dog as well as you. Nevertheless, it can be extremely useful to have a dog who knows “down.”
Making the lessons easier
Remember that the entire process will be easier if you choose to teach your Beaglier in a calm environment and you yourself are in a good state of mind. Find a time and place where your dog can be focused without outside noises or visual distractions that will interfere with your lesson. Generally the best place to do this is in an undisturbed room in your house. Do what it takes so that both you and your Beaglier can perform at your best—training when either of you is stressed or tired won’t be as effective and may even reverse your progress. Let your dog take frequent breaks and try to have brief lessons multiple times a day. If you notice he isn’t responding or seems disinterested he may just be ready for a short break. Also be sure that you are ready for the lesson. You will have to be patient and understanding with your dog and make sure you don’t discourage his progress with negative reinforcement. Use few words so as not to confuse him.
Steps in teaching “lie down”
To begin with make sure that you have a reward you know your Beaglier will like—the most common reward is a dog treat, but some people may use dog toys. If you would like you can also use a clicker in place of a treat. First make sure that he is aware that you are holding a treat—but don’t give it to him, of course. Use it to make sure you have his attention and so that he knows that if he does the right thing he will be rewarded.
It is usually a good idea to begin your Beaglier off in a sitting position. This generally makes the lesson easier. Later on you can teach him how to sit from a standing position but first it is smart to have the “sit” command down fairly good. Make sure that you say “down” so that your dog understands how the command and action fit together. Say the command emphatically during the training session. Over time he will be able to obey the command without the treat.
After he is sitting put the treat right in front of his nose and bring your hand down to the floor between his paws and then a short distance in front of him as he moves down. Generally Beagliers simply follow the treat to the floor and end up naturally in a lying-down position. If your dog goes down right away then be sure to praise him and give him the treat. Make sure that you are particularly enthusiastic to reward his obedient behavior.
For the difficult dogs
If your Beaglier doesn’t go down right away to the lying position just keep your hand on the floor and continue to repeat the “down” command. He should figure it out eventually, he just may be somewhat unsure as to what you are expecting him to do. If at any point he gets excited or doesn’t understand and springs back into the sitting position or the standing position make sure that you snatch back the treat and don’t reward him. Be patient, however, and don’t scold. Simply start from beginning once again and go through the process over. Only give him the treat when he obeys.
Increasing the challenge for your Beaglier
Very gradually make the lessons a little more challenging. Over time slowly incorporate duration, distance, and distractions. After your Beaglier has lied down wait a few extra seconds before giving them a treat, and increase the time slowly. Once you have done this take a step away from your dog before rewarding him, and each time increase the distance slightly. After your Beaglier has the command down really good introduce distractions, like doing the command in a park or while you are bouncing a ball. Don’t introduce these new challenges too fast, and make sure you are going forward at a pace your dog can still learn at.
If your Beaglier is having a little trouble going down you can always put your hand gently on his neck under his collar and add slight pressure as you place the treat on the floor. This will also keep him from standing back up or from catching the treat out of your hand. Another creative technique if you are having issues is to sit down on the floor with your knees up off the floor. With your Beaglier on one side of your body take the treat in your opposite hand and guide him under your legs with it. This should force him to crouch down. After he is in the lying position reward him. You can also wait for your dog to lie down on his own. Keep your eye on him and the moment he drops down say the command “down” and reward him with a treat.