How to Train Your Corgi to Lie Down

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Written By Dane Michael

I am a passionate dog owner for 10+ years. MyFavCorgi is a community of 500,000+ corgi fans with advice to buy, raise and care for your corgi.

You may have already started training your corgi puppy. You’ve mastered how to sit and got the heel command under control… 

This is all great! But if you want to be the best owner ever (and let’s face it, who doesn’t!), then you need to know how to get your corgi to lie down.

It’s one of the real fundamentals of dog training – and will come in handy when you need to control their behaviour while you’re out playing.

Here are the steps you need to take to teach your dog to lie down.

1. Set the environment – grab their favourite treat and find a safe spot

When you get started, it is best to ensure that your corgi is in a space that will encourage them to lay down.

For instance, if you’re on cold tile or hard floorboard, they will be less likely to lay than on carpet or grass. Training should be fun and comfortable for both of you.

Treats are one of the best ways that you can encourage your dog to follow your instructions. So go grab a pack of their favourite now.

It’s much better to encourage positive behaviour than to punish or forcibly-correct poor behaviour. It also encourages trust between you and your corgi.

2. Hold the treat in front of your corgi

​Start with your corgi in front of you – ideally in the sitting position if they’ve learnt it. Hold the treat in front of their face, where they can see it.

You will use the treat as a lure to gently instruct your corgi into position.

For the DOWN command, you can do this from either the STAND or SIT position. It can even as an addition to another command like HEEL.

If you are worried about overfeeding your corgi while you train them, you can use training time as a substitute for a meal. Just make sure your dog is getting enough nutrients to stay happy and healthy.

3. Move your hand with the treat towards the floor in front of them

Now that you’ve got their favourite treat in position, the training really begins.

Hold your hand out with the treat in front of their nose and gently move it down in front of them. Keep their eyes on it, until you reach the ground.

If they (and you) are doing it right, they will follow your hand all the way to the floor. This should shape their body into the lying position, so they can get as close as they can to the treat.

You may need to push the treat towards them as you lower, and then pull back, to correct the flow of the body down. If they are struggling to get it right, you can use obstacles like an arm, leg, or chair to encourage them to slink under it.

Do not force your corgi into the laying position. They often will get stressed or confused by the process, and this is not what we want for our pet.

You will need patience with the process, but with luck, they’ll pick it up quick!

This corgi is laying down, although not all the way!

4. Reward your corgi when they do the correct action

Once your corgi has performed the move, you can reward them with the treat. Simply release the treat into their mouth, and give them approving statements.

You can continue to repeat the process, rewarding them each time they get their action correct. If they mess up, simple reset and start again. You do not need to push them if they make a mistake.

Remember, training is a gradual process, and each step may take a few tries (or even a few days) to get right.

5. Repeat while adding the DOWN command

Once your corgi has got the move under control, it’s time to introduce the command.

The best command to use is DOWN, but many trainers often use the double-barrelled LIE DOWN, which works as well.

You should introduce the command when your corgi is starting to lie down – as you are lowering the treat. Like any other command, you should match the action with the command. Saying DOWN too early or too late will confuse them, and disassociate the action and the command.

Remember you want to be using a command that is specific to them lying down.

For instance, it is best to use DOWN for getting them to lay down, but OFF if you want them to get off the furniture. If you use DOWN for both, like when using it too early or late, you will confuse your corgi and make it harder to train them.

6. Push the training – increase the duration, decrease the treats

While this may sound like one of the hardest parts of training (and you’re right!) it can also be one of the most fun. And it’s one of the most important as well.

This stage is all about getting them ready to perform the action in-field. That is, in an environment outside the home.

Once your corgi is laying down, add a second or two to the timer. An easy way to do this is by counting to yourself, or singing the alphabet song. As time goes on, you’ll get further and further down the line.

Likewise, now you can reduce the number of treats you are giving your corgi as part of the training process.

For example, give them a treat every second attempt, rather than every time. Then reduce to every third, fourth, fifth, and so on. It’s a process! But one that is absolutely necessary.

7. Take your corgi into the outdoors to try out their new skill

Your corgi should now have the command under control!

This means that you can take them outside to enjoy their freedom with the safety of this new skill in your arsenal.

The best place to practice is somewhere you have control over your corgi. Great choices include your backyard, a friend’s backyard, or the local dog park.

Try to stay in areas that are less busy when you are starting out. It’s much easier for your corgi to hear and follow their commands when there are no distractions.

See all these steps in action below.

Final thoughts on how to train your corgi to lie down

The DOWN command is one of the most useful skills for your corgi to master. And these tested and trialled training tips will have your corgi laying down on command in no time.

Now that your dog knows this basic command, you can continue to improve on them further and teach them more. Perfect to help build the connection between you and your loving pet!

Here are a few more skills you can teach your corgi.

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