Sit, Stand & Down


1. Say "Joe Pup, Sit." 2. Keeping the lure close to your puppy's nose, slowly move it upwards and backwards over the pup's muzzle towards his eyes. As your pup lifts his nose to follow the treat, he will sit down. (Do not lift your hand too high or your puppy will jump up.) 3. As soon as your puppy sits, say "Good little doggie!" and offer a piece of kibble as a reward.

But what did Joe Pup actually learn? Have you taught your puppy to sit? Well, not really. Your puppy knew how to sit when he was only three or four weeks old. More specifically, you have taught your puppy to sit on request. We are not so much concerned if and when your puppy decides to sit of his own accord, but rather, that he sits when requested to do so. Also, you have taught your pup to sit on request only when he was already standing. For your puppy to respond reliably, he must additionally be taught to sit when he is lying down, and to sit from any other body position and activity. Thus, when teaching just three basic body positions — sit, down and stand — the first step is to teach six separate changes of body position: to sit when standing and lying down; to lie down when sitting or standing; and to stand up when sitting or lying down. 

Sit from Down 1. Say "Joe Pup, Sit." 2. Hold the lure (palm upwards) in front your pup's nose and then quickly raise the lure upwards and backwards over the pup's head. You may need to waggle the lure or clap your hands over your pup's head to energize him to sit up. If your pup has rolled over to recline on his back, take one step backwards, bend down, and pat the ground in front of his nose. When your puppy rolls back into the Sphinx position in preparation to get up, step in quickly and lure him to sit. 3 When your pup resumes sitting, praise enthusiastically and maybe offer a food reward if he sat up quickly.

Down from Sit 1. Say "Joe Pup, Down." 2. Waggle the lure in front your pup's nose. Quickly lower it to the ground between the pup's forepaws and hold it there palm downwards. Wait for your pup to lie down. Be patient. Inching the lure away from the pup's forepaws may facilitate the process as your pup reaches forward with his nose. Alternatively, slowly move the lure towards your pup's chest to cause the pup's rear end to plop down. 3. When your puppy lies down, say "Good little doggie" and maybe offer a food reward if he lies down promptly.

Down from Stand 1. Say "Joe Pup, Down." 2. Quickly lower the lure all the way to the ground and hold it palm down between the pup's forepaws. This position change is the hardest and so hold your hand steady until the puppy lies down. Once the pup's elbows and sternum touch the ground and the pup assumes a playbow posture, move the lure towards the puppy's chest and this will prompt the rear end to plop down. 3. Praise and reward accordingly (bear in mind this exercise is the most difficult). "Goooood Puppy. Good down!"

Alternative Down 1. It can be a bit tricky teaching Down from the Stand. A simple ploy is to lure your dog under a coffee table, or even under your leg. Say "Joe Pup, Down." 2. Waggle the lure to pique your pup's interest 3. As your pup sniffs the lure, slowly move it away from his nose... 4. ... and your pup will lie down to crawl under your leg!

Stand from Sit 1. Say "Joe Pup, Stand." 2. Slowly move the lure parallel to the ground, forward and away from your pup's nose. As the puppy stands, lower the lure a little to get the pup to look down. (If the pup looks up, he will promptly sit again after standing.) Do not lower the lure too far, though; the pup might lie down. 3. Calmly praise and maybe reward the pup to reinforce solid stands. Gently and rhythmically pushing down on the pup's withers helps solidify the stand stay. The firmer you push, the more solid the stay. 

Stand from Down 1. Say "Joe Pup, Stand." 2. Move the lure upwards and forwards in front of your pup's nose. Again, if the pup is out for the count, stepping back and tapping the treat on the ground usually re-energizes the pup. 3. Praise and reward the pup on those occasions he stands up promptly.




Training:  Sit, Stand & Down