Training Advice Needed


New Member
I have 2 training problems that I need some advice on. First off, My 2 year old lab refuses to learn the command lay. He has mastered every other basic trick and more but refuses to lay down when anyone is near him. I do not know how to convince him to lay down. Second, he refuses to get in my vehicle. If we have to take him anywhere i.e. the vet, we end up picking him up and sitting him in the back. We would like to take him a lot of places with us as we like to hike. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.



Well-Known Member
How have you been teaching him to lay? Some dogs dont like hands-on methods...some also feel very vulnerable in the down and so it can take time for them to gain the trust/confidence to do so.

Getting into your vehicle...I would feed him in there for a while, so he wants to go there, and also take him places he enjoys so that he sees your vehicle as a provider of good things :dogsmile:


New Member
There is a good tutorial on lay down in the classroom section of the site. I would start there and if that doesn't work for you then maybe a problem needs to be pinpointed and worked on.

As for getting into the car.. About one out of every 50 to 100 times my dog goes in the car it is because we are going to the vet.. When I am just running to the bank or get some fast food, anything... I have my dog get in the car so she enjoys it. She is spending time with me in there, and getting to see new things. If the only time you put your dog into the car is going to the vet, they will associate Car = Vet... Vet = Bad... Car = BAD. You can try the whole feeding method if you want, but I would suggest just coaxing the dog in with a treat, and then a solid praise. If they won't get in on their own, don't get angry with them, just pick them up and then treat them while in the car. Maybe take some extra trips to the pet store, or do what I do.. Bring the dog along on errands.


New Member
Good advise so far. I agree with what was said by Hockey and Stormi but I wanted to add that you could use a 'kong' to get the dog 'liking' the car rides. Fill the kong with whatever treats or kibble you want, take it out to the car with you, when she gets in the car, give her the kong to chew on while in the car. Makes the car a positive place. I would also take her more often , even if you just go for a ride and never get out of the car. That may help her fear. Also, don't force her in, let it be her idea, you can lure but don't touch her or 'push' her in. Hope that helps.


Jean Cote

Staff member
What if you just wait him out? He's gonna have to lay down sometime!!!! So you can have a clicker and treats in your pocket and click anytime he lays down. Then walk up to him and give him a treat. Give him another one if he is still in a down position.

Your dog needs to feel comfortable with you being around while in a down position before you can 'train' the down. :D


Well-Known Member
I had never thought of giving my dog a kong whilst travelling sarhaspups! I guess that may work better than feeding them whilst the car is stationary/the engine going but not moving.

There is one other thing you could try if he is fearful of going in the car, and that is to try some herbal remedies to reduce stress. I have never tried them with my dogs, but I know they have worked for some of my friends.


Well-Known Member
Could your dog have a physical problem that makes it hard for him to lay down or get into the car? Is he overweight?

I too would make sure your dogs gets treats every time he gets in the car. Will he get in if everybody else is already sitting in the car? You could try that (of course in a safe place) and then reward for him if he comes with you and take him to a fun place. Does he do ok once riding in the car?

Make sure you start the down training somewhere where your dog has a soft surface like a rug to down on. Maybe first make him comfortable just relaxing next to you and give him lots of treats for staying.

Good luck!