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Sit And Down – Puppy Training

Building up to a bomb-proof Sit


Definition of the Sit and the Down:

The bomb proof Sit is simply a term given to a dog who will stay in a sit even though a bomb may go off in the distance. Unfortunately, many dogs will only sit when there is a bowl about to be put down! Training a Sit or a Down in the house is often not too difficult, but suddenly outside it becomes a different story! Sit and Down should mean anywhere, in any place and at any time, but you have to build up to it. Here’s how.

Training the Sit:

  1. Holding a piece of food above your dog’s nose say the word “Sit”.
  2. At the same time move the food straight backward so that it is behind his head.
  3. As his bottom touches the floor release the food and reward.
  4. Repeat several times.
  5. With time do less of a hand signal and more of a verbal command.
  6. Soon your dog should understand the word Sit.

.Once you have taught the Sit at close range you can train the Sit at a distance:

Sit at a distance:

Using a leash, a crate an assistant or a pen

  1. Attach your puppy to a leash and at first just practice the Sit with the leash loose on the ground.
  2. If you have a crate / a pen then gently place your puppy inside and practice a couple of Sits to get her comfortable.
  3. Then attach the leash to a table or secure object and move back a yard. If you have an assistant then they can hold the leash.
  4. Say the word Sit in a calm gentle way and reward your puppy when she sits.
  5. If your puppy does not get it then just wait for 5 seconds. Try again or move closer to your puppy and practice at this distance for a while.
  6. Once your puppy is getting it right simply start to move farther away until you can say Sit from the other side of the room.

If your puppy becomes stressed, then do not push it and wait a week or two until they’re older and much more confident

The easy method!

Another way to train a Sit at a distance is to only say Sit when you are a distance from your puppy and see what happens. If your puppy comes towards you, then move backward and repeat it. Some puppies are more tuned into the Sit and will not follow you, and so it works. Others follow you and will move as you move backward and see the Sit as a command to sit at your feet. If this sounds like the situation, then make use of the first method.

Training the Down:

  1. Place your puppy into a Sit
  2. Holding a portion of food in front of your puppies nose, move it slowly down the front of your puppies chest.
  3. At the same time say the word Down.
  4. Move the food down to the ground and then hold it so that your puppy has almost to move backward to sniff it.
  5. When your puppy is almost down, stay still and let your puppy work it out.
  6. Do not release the food until your puppies tummy hits the ground.
  7. However, in the early stages, you may want to encourage a near down!

Down at a distance:

Train the Down at a distance the same way you train the Sit at a distance using a leash.

Only advance to Sit and Down at a distance when your puppy is ready – they are really advanced commands and not easy to pick up quickly.

Sit, Down, Stand:

Here are all the possible combinations that you should practice with your puppy using the three words:

  1. Sit-Down
  2. Sit-Stand
  3. Down-Stand
  4. Down-Sit
  5. Stand-Down
  6. Stand-Sit

If you want to remember it then practice this little exercise and rhyme with your puppy, “Sit-down-stand-sit-stand-down.” As a sequence, it will cover all 6 moves off.



Q: Should I say my dog’s name before the word Sit or not?

A: There is no need. I only recommend that you put your dog’s name in front of the recall… e.g “Sammy come” this helps to get his attention after he has come you should be able just to say the command.


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