Training Cocker Spaniels Lie Down and Stay Put

Training cocker spaniels can be hard work if you're an inexperienced puppy owner, but get it right, and it can be so rewarding. Learn how to train your dog here.

Training Cocker Spaniels to Lie Down and Stay Put

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

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

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

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

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:

Training cocker spaniels to lie down.

Training cocker spaniels to stay.

Training Cocker Spaniels 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 Cocker Spaniels: 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. Try using only the visual hand signal.

  • 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 of your pet at all times.

Training your puppy may not always be a walk in the park, but training an adult dog may be even harder as he may need more time to understand what you want from him, not to mention having to shake off all the old/bad habits he's learned over the years.

However, your patience and perseverance and your dog's willingness to please will get the desired results.

Happy training!

Your Puppy's Next Obedience Training Lesson

Training cocker spaniels (or any breed for that matter) to come back to you is probably one of the most important commands you'll ever teach your puppy.

Some day it could even save his life! Learn how to teach your pup the recall command.

A beautiful golden Cocker Spaniel lying in a field of clover.Teach your puppy the recall command

You might like these

Photo Credits for Training Cocker Spaniels to Lie Down and Stay:
1. Copyright of About Cocker Spaniels
2. Arroz Con Nori at