Training A Puppy to 'Lie Down and Stay'

Do you want a well-behaved Cocker puppy?  Of course you do! Training a puppy can be hard work, but get it right and it can be so rewarding!  Read on to learn how to teach your Cocker to lie down and stay put until you release him.  

Training A Puppy: The 'Down & Stay' Command

Training a puppy can take a bit of time and patience but the rewards are great because a well-trained dog is a well-behaved dog!

Max, my golden cocker spaniel in a down and stay position - he's such a good boy!

Whether you're training a Cocker Spaniel puppy or and adult dog, any time invested in their training will certainly be worthwhile.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the 'down and stay' command is a combination of two sets of basic puppy obedience training; the 'Down' command and the 'Stay' command.

If you're wondering when you'd use this command, consider the following scenarios where you may want to:

In fact, this command will come in handy for lots of situations where you're not prepared to give your Cocker Spaniel the attention he's demanding, or where it's simply not practical to do so.

If you're going to be any longer than a couple of minutes, it's much kinder to your dog to ask him to lie down and stay, rather than sit and stay

If your puppy already has these two commands under his belt, it will be simple enough for him to move on to the combined 'Down & Stay' instruction.

However, if your Cocker hasn't yet mastered these commands, I recommend you teach him each separate command and then come back to this page when your dog is ready.

Use the following links to take you to the relevant pages:

Teaching your puppy to lie 'down' on command.

Teaching your puppy to 'stay' on command.

Training A Puppy To Lie 'Down and Stay'

The 'Down & Stay' Command: Step 1

  • Using the 'Down' command, ask your Cocker Spaniel puppy to lie on the floor. Use your hand, palm facing down towards the floor, as your visual command.

  • Don't make eye contact with him; keep your hand in the 'Down' position, and give him the command to 'Stay'.

  • Keep your hand in the 'Down' position, and either walk around the room or sit down and read a newspaper or a book. Don't look at your dog or he may expect you to play with him or give him your attention.

  • Leave your puppy in the down position for between 10 and 15 seconds before rewarding him with lots of praise and a treat.

  • If your puppy moves before you release him, don't reward him and don't give him any praise. Instead, ask him to lie down and simply try the exercise again but, this time, only leave him for a few seconds.

    Don't allow your dog to fail. Don't let him get away with getting up before you release him otherwise you run the risk of diluting the training.

  • It's important to be consistent when training Cocker Spaniels, so practice this exercise regularly. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave him until he can remain in the 'Down and Stay' position for at least 15 minutes. Even better if he can manage longer than that!

Training A Puppy: Step 2

  • Once your puppy has got to grips with this command, begin the exercise again, but this time, don't use the verbal command; use the visual hand signal only.

  • Remember not to make eye contact with him , simply give the hand signal.

  • If he responds in the way that you want him to, and stays quiet and in position for 10 minutes or more, reward him with lots of praise and a treat.

In no time at all, you'll find that your puppy will respond to the hand signal alone and you'll be surprised at how often you use it!

Cocker Spaniel training, whether for puppies or adult dogs, is very important if you are to remain in control.

Training your puppy may not always be a walk in the park and training an adult dog will probably take longer as he may need more time to understand what you want from him.

However, your patience and perseverance and his willingness to please will get the desired results.

You can read more about training Cocker Spaniels in our article on puppy training tips.

Happy training!

Your Puppy's Next Obedience Training Lesson


» » Training A Puppy The Down & Stay Command

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