Have you ever noticed when we talk to our pets we tend to use sentences and expect them to understand what we are saying? I am 100% guilty of this. For goodness sakes I have whole conversations with my pets. They look up at me like they are nodding along and know exactly what I just told them. But the truth is they have no clue!! When you are asking your dog to do a certain behavior whether it is to lie down or get off the bed you need to pay close attention to the words you use.
Just imagine you are trying to communicate with someone that speaks different language. You would normally talk slower and minimize the amount of words you would use. This is the same thing when you are talking to your dogs. Dogs primarily communicate through body language and secondary through vocalizations. Because of this you need to stay consistent on the words you use and keep them as simple as you can so your dog has a higher chance of being successful. The key is giving your dog the tools to succeed and if you are using sentences instead of single words you are setting them up to fail.
The other night Dexter, my dog, was on the bed and my husband asked him to get down. Well he knows the word “down” for “lie down.” So what does he do, he lies down as hard as he can on the bed and doesn’t move. He was doing exactly what he was asked to do and didn’t understand why this human was getting so frustrated.