Teaching Sit and Down

This is for general public (not recomended for service dog training!)

'Sit' is one of the most useful commands, as well as one of the easiest to teach. A dog can never get in trouble pulling, jumping on visitors, or running into the street...if he's sitting.

 

  • Find a quiet spot free of distractions.

  • Get your dog's attention by saying his name and waggling a food treat in front of his nose.

  • When he turns toward you say, "Sit", and slowly raise your hand ever so slightly up, keeping it as close to his nose as possible.

  • As his head comes up to follow the treat, his bottom will automatically go down. As soon as his bottom hits the floor say, "Yes," and reward him with a bit of food.

  • Repeat several times.

  • Gradually make it more challenging by adding, one at a time, the three D's: duration, distance, and distraction. First, duration: each time your pooch sits on command, on the next try add one second to the delay between when his rump hits the floor and when you deliver the reward. Then, distance: stand one step further away from your dog each time you give the command. Finally, add in distractions, such as facing a different direction or bouncing a ball when you give the command.

  • Go slowly when adding challenges, and if your dog ever goofs, go back a step until he's getting it right again.

 

 

TIP: Resist the temptation to push on your dog's back to force him into a sit. Thanks to something called the opposition reflex, he'll just brace against the pressure. It's much easier to lure him into position with a treat or toy.

 

If your dog jumps up rather than sitting, you may be raising your hand too high; try keeping it just an inch away from your dog's nose. It's also possible your hand movements are too jerky. Aim for smooth and steady.

 

If your dog pops out of his sit before you have a chance to praise or reward, you may be taking too long to praise and reward. Try to say 'yes' the moment his rear hits the ground, and deliver the reward one to two seconds later.                                                                                      

 

 

Lying down is one of the harder commands for dogs to learn, but it's very useful. Dogs who understand 'down' are much more welcome in cafes and other public places, and much more pleasant to have near the dinner table. 'Down' is also a handy command if you want to keep your puppy in place for a while: it takes more energy to get up from a down than a sit, so dogs are less likely to break the position.

 

 

  • Find a quiet spot free of distractions.

  • Ask your puppy to sit. (Later on you can teach him to lie down from standing, but it's easiest to start from a sit.)

  • Holding a food lure near your pup's nose, say "Down," and slowly bring your hand straight down to the ground between his front paws.

  • If your puppy sinks into a down position immediately: say "Yes" in an upbeat, happy tone and reward him with a bit of food. If your pup doesn't follow the lure right away: keep your hand on the floor, covering the food, and give him a moment to figure it out. He'll probably lie down soon; reward him enthusiastically when he does!

  • Repeat several times.

  • Gradually make it more challenging by adding, one at a time, the three D's: duration, distance, and distraction. First, duration: each time your pooch lies down on command, on the next try add one second to the delay between when he hits the floor and when you deliver the reward. Then, distance: stand one step further away from your puppy each time you give the command. Finally, add in distractions, such as facing a different direction or bouncing a ball.

  • Go slowly when adding challenges, and if your puppy ever goofs, go back a step until he's getting it right again.

 

 

TIP: It's easiest to teach puppies 'down' from a sitting position, but as soon as your pup's got the idea, practice the command from standing. If you ever have to give an emergency 'Down!' command, you'll want your puppy to obey from any position.

 

 

If your puppy or dog just won't lie down, or won't lie down completely, try bringing the treat down between your dog's paws, and then bring it ever so slightly toward his nose. This often makes dogs sink down a little lower.

 

If your puppy/dog stands up and walks forward,you may be accidentally pulling the treat forward. Make sure you're lowering the treat from a position right in front of your puppy's nose straight down to the ground.

Contact Information:

Working Dogs For Vets

2781 Hwy 43 North

Lawrenceburg, TN 38464

Tel: 84-Dogs-Help=843-647-4357

support@workingdogsforvets.org

or Shelter contacts adopt@workingdogsforvets.org

Working Dogs For Vets is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Federal Tax Id # 47-2426504

©2018 Working Dogs For Vets

A Special Thank You to our Partners & Sponsors!

Post 24 Huntingdon, PA 

Tyrone Howard Gardner Post 281 

Thank you for your support! 

Doggie Stylzlogo.png