Pete the Pug is cute, friendly, stubborn, smart, mischievous... did I mention stubborn? His owner has taught him to sit, and he is pretty good at that most of the time. Actually, he is a bit overweight so 'sit' is right up his alley! But when his owner tries to get him to lie down, Pete is a little resistant. Maybe lying down is not that comfortable for him; his home has hardwood floors. They don't provide good traction and are not super comfortable to lie down on. Or it might just be that Pete the Pug finds it too much effort to lie down unless it’s his idea. Remember the part about being stubborn? Oh yeah, and one more thing about this Pug, Pete, he sheds, a lot! When you have company over you might want to be able to direct Pete to lie down, and not crawl all over your friend wearing her new black dress, on the way to an event. Teaching your stubborn, hairy Pug to lie down does not have to be too difficult, it just requires a little persistence and technique!
Teaching your dog to lie down is a useful behavior to keep your pet from jumping up on people or things he is not supposed to. 'Lie down' also keeps your precocious Pug out of trouble or mischief, or maybe just the appearance of mischief, around people who are nervous of your dog-- like your Aunt with her skittish Siamese cat, or your 18 month old nephew who seems to be in his “scared of his own shadow” phase.
Most owners find that commanding their dog to 'sit' before commanding their dog to 'lie down' or 'down' works best, as your dog is already halfway there once he is in the sitting position. Once your dog has the hang of 'down' you may be able to cut out the intermediate step. 'Lie down' is a useful command in a variety of situations to provide control and safety for your dog, and is generally considered part of the standard set of obedience commands that every dog should know.
Teach your Pug to sit first, it is easier to get him into a 'down' position from a 'sit' position. Use treats to shape, lure, and reinforce the 'lie down' command. Pugs tend to be highly food motivated, so treats are guaranteed to be well received! If you are working with a young dog, you may need to find a quiet place, free from distractions to help your Pug focus on training. Start working in a place with good footing and with a cushioned surface like a mat or blanket for your comfort-loving Pug, to encourage him to lie down on command.