Your puppy should start this training in the ?sit? position, so do this after he knows how to sit. Also, be careful about what cue word you use. If you use ?down? to tell him get off the couch or bed, he?ll be confused.
Begin with the ?sit? command in an area without distractions. Make sure the floor is reasonably comfortable. Small dogs especially may find a cold, hard surface unappealing. A carpeted area is good.
When your puppy is seated, give him the verbal ?down? cue. Hold a treat in your hand where he can see and smell it. Move your hand with the treat downward to the floor. The puppy will bend down to follow the treat by getting in a lying position.
Make sure his entire body is down. If you need to, lower your dog’s body to the floor so the puppy understands what lying down means. If his rear end is up, he doesn?t get a treat, and you start from the beginning. As soon as your puppy is lying down, give him his treat and praise him.
When he has mastered this, start using a downward hand movement without the verbal command to get him to lie down. When you do this, keep the treat hidden to allow the puppy to focus on your hand.