Dog stays in position until owner releases them. 

Laying the foundation:

  1. Ask the dog to sit or lay down, and give him a treat (but no click/”yes”). Then immediately release him with the words “okay” as you take a step backward to encourage him to get up and move with you. This teaches your dog that he sits/lays down and needs to stay in that position until he is released with your verbal release cue. Fade out the backward step over time.
  2. Add duration. Return to the least distracting environment and begin to add duration. Your dog now needs to hold the sit/down for 1 second/Treat, 2 seconds/T, 3 seconds/T. Build up to 15 seconds. Then move to another environment and start again with a 1 second/T. Always release with your release cue “okay”/CT. Vary the duration, don’t always make it harder.
  3. Add distance. Here your dog must maintain his sit/down as you take a step away from him and back towards him. Cue your dog to sit or down, lean away from him and Treat. Next time, take 1 step away from and 1 step back towards him and treat. Gradually, increase the distance a step at a time. Always release with your release cue “okay”/CT. Vary the distance, don’t always make it harder.

Helpful Hints
• When teaching duration or distance, if your dog breaks the sit/down, you have increased the time/distance too rapidly or the environment is too distracting. Go back to a shorter time or fewer number of steps.
• Vary the duration or distance so it is not always more difficult with each repetition. Sometimes you will ask for 5 seconds, other times you will release immediately.
• With each repetition, reward your dog with a treat while he is in the sit/down position (but do not click), then release his sit/down with your “okay” cue, then CT.

Tori Peterson