Teaching Sit and Down

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

There are different methods for showing your dog what “Sit” and “Down” mean. Use whichever works best for your dog. Train for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time.



Items needed: High value treats (meat, cheese, jerky) Training collar and Leash


How to teach “Sit”


Step 1- Luring- done for puppies or if your dog has never been taught sit

1. Get your dogs attention with the treat in your hand and have them standing in front of you.

2. Put the treat right in front of their nose, then say “Sit” as you slowly lift the treat above their head. They should follow the treat and sit. You can also use the leash to keep them from jumping up or use a hand to guide their butt down. After this has been repeated over a few days and your dog will sit without using your hand to lure them back, move on to the next step.


Step 2

1. Say “Sally sit,” and pause

2. If the dog does not sit after a few seconds, say no, give a short correction with the collar and try again

3. Praise heavily one the dog has sat


Sit every time you stop when heeling and at every door.


How to teach “Down”


Step 1 Luring

1. Begin with your dog sitting. Treat in hand.

2. Say “Sally down,” while leading your hand from their nose to the ground. If needed, use their collar to apply pressure downwards or keep them from walking forward.

4. Praise when they fully lay down.


Step 2

1. Begin with your dog sitting.

2. Say “Sally down,” while you scoop their front legs out from under them.

3. At the same time, press their shoulders with your left arm.

4. Praise.

When a dog jumps on you, say “off” not “down.” Don’t use a word to mean two different things!



If your dog is extremely shy or fearful, they may freeze in place during this exercise. If they are very playful, they may squirm around.

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