A Quick-Start Guide To Training
Any Dog In A Flash!
By Dean Rankin
Part 1: Introduction
Hi, and welcome to how to teach your dog to do amazing tricks and to obey your every command
without ever having to hit him or yell at him or use any type of negative reinforcement. The
strategies you’re going to learn in this audio set are the exact same methods that Hollywood
producers use to make dogs and other animals perform amazing tricks and obey every single
command. And the beautiful part about it is it doesn’t have to be unpleasant for your dog. As a
matter of fact, this entire system is built around having a good time and showing your dog how
much you love him and care about him. So with that said, let’s get started.
The method we’re going to be using is known as clicker training. It’s training that’s almost
entirely built on nothing but positive reinforcement, teaching your dog to learn using absolutely
no types of physical negative reinforcement or corrections whatsoever. And I know this might
sound a little bit unbelievable, but it works incredibly well.
So let’s take a situation where you’re walking your dog. Instead of yanking on a leash to make
him stop pulling or instead of shoving him into place to make him sit, instead of giving some
occasional praise and hoping that your dog is just going to get it and understand what you’re
talking about, in this method, dogs are taught using scientific principles that have worked
consistently over time.
Part 2: Laying the Groundwork
So if you’re wondering how well this method works, take a look at some of the dogs on
television. For example, let’s think about the dog Eddie on the popular television sitcom, Frasier.
Look at how well-behaved Eddie is and how he seems to look at each character almost as if on
cue. He sits, stays, he barks. He does everything.
Well, this is no luck. This is exactly what happens when you train a dog using these methods.
After all, while they’re filming that television show, they can’t simply slip a choke chain around
Eddie’s neck or give him a jerk or yell at him or give him a treat when he’s good, because hey,
it’s live. It’s on camera. But Eddie performs flawlessly show after show, all the time, and he has
a blast doing it.
This whole enjoyment feature is what’s really appealing about using positive training with
clickers or bridge words. I know that you love your dog just like I love my dog. And of course,
we want our dogs to be responsive and we want them to obey us, but we certainly don’t want to
hurt them or harm them in any way. With clicker training and with using bridge words and what
you’re going to learn today in this series, you never ever have to yell at your dog or use any kind
of negative reinforcement. This is all about fun, and it’s all about having a good time.
So let’s get started. The first thing you are probably wondering is what in the world is a clicker?
Well, a clicker itself is just a little toy-like device. It’s a little box and it basically makes a
clicking noise every time you press a button. Fortunately, clickers cost about a dollar at pet
stores. They’re really easy to find, and if you don’t have one or if you don’t feel like getting one,
you can also use what’s called a bridge word. And that’s simply a word that you say every time
you’re about to initiate a command or reward your dog.
A bridge word should be short, and you should say it in a high pitch. The word “yes” can be used
as an excellent bridge word, like this--“Yes! Yes!” Or, you could say the word “good.” And
remember, you want to have a slightly higher pitch and you want to say it fast so it’s recognizable
every time. To use the word “good” as a bridge word, you might use it like this. “Good! Good!”
Just like that.
So when you use positive reinforcement like clickers and bridge words combined with rewards
and you do this over time, there is no more forcing a dog to learn anything. Instead, your dog is
going to become very eager to work with you and very eager to please you and to obey. As a
matter of fact, your dog is pretty much hard-wired to want to please you and to obey you anyway
as long as you set some basic ground rules for the dog.
So let’s talk about rewards for a second. You should always use very tasty treats for your dog’s
initial rewards, because of course they’re easy to use and your dogs enjoy them. Now you could
also use other rewards like playing your dog’s favorite game or letting him play with his favorite
toy, but it’s easiest at first to use tasty food.
Part 3: Your First Step
Now let’s go ahead and get started. This first exercise, we’re just going to do a very, very basic
introduction to this, so it will give you an idea of how clicker or bridge word training works. And
it will get your dog familiar with what’s going to happen. Some people like to call this
“targeting.” This is really fun and it’s really easy, and basically what we’re going to do we are
going to teach your dog how to touch something with his nose on cue, or on command. The
reason we’re going to start out with this very basic exercise, I know, is because it’s the best way
to teach both you and your dog exactly how clicker training works. It’s also going to be utilizing
your dog’s natural instinct to seek out something that smells good to him. So, here’s what you do
to get started.
First of all, you want to stand in front of your dog, or if your dog is very small you might want to
sit down or kneel in front of him, and you want to have some treats available. Now before you let
your dog know that you have these treats, you want to rub some of the treats on the palm of your
left hand. Don’t leave any treats in your left hand palm, just rub some on there, so that your hand
smells good to your dog, anyway. And what you want to do is you want to have the actual treats
that you are going to give him in your right hand. So, step one is while sitting in front of your
dog, your left hand smells like dog treats and you have dog treats in your right hand. Pretty
simple, right?
Okay. What you want to do next is you want to take your left hand and you want to bring it
towards your dog’s nose, almost right up to his nose, hand out. Now, the first time he’s probably
going to go right for it. He is probably going to stick his nose or his mouth right in your hand,
and that is great. That is exactly what you want him to do, because you want your dog to touch
your hand with his nose. So the second that he touches your hand with his nose, I want you to
click your clicker and give him a treat. The exact second, you do it. So, he touches your left
hand. As soon as he touches your left hand, you click, or you use your bridge word, and you hand
him a treat from your right hand.
Congratulations. You have just completed one exercise and I know that this sounds basic, but
what you’re doing is you’re leading into getting your dog acclimated to clicker training, and
leading him into exactly how this process is going to work. Plus, you’re kind of getting the hang
of it as well.
Your dog is pretty much hard-wired to want to please you and obey you anyway, as long as you
set some basic ground rules for the dog. So, let’s talk about rewards for a second. You should
always use very tasty treats for your dog’s initial rewards, because, of course, they are easy to use
and your dogs enjoy them. Now, you could also use other rewards like playing your dog’s
favorite game or letting him play with his favorite toy, but it is easiest at first to use tasty food.
Now, what you want to do is you want to repeat this exercise again and again until your dog
becomes familiar with what’s going on, and then you want to gradually start moving your hand
back a little bit. Further and further back, so now when it is time for your dog to touch your left
hand with his nose, he is reaching out to you to touch it, or he’s walking to touch it. Remember,
at first, when we first started this, you were kneeling or standing right in front of him and your
hand was already right there so it was pretty obvious what to do. So you want to gradually move
your hand farther and farther back, and every time your dog reaches out to touch your hand, you
want to click and reward immediately. And it has to be perfectly right there in time. So as soon
as he touches, he hears that click sound and gets a reward. What’s happening is that your dog is
starting to associate that clicker with the reward, and he is also starting to associate him doing
what you want him to do with the click and the reward.
So now let’s talk about adding a command to this entire process. Our end goal for this is for you
to be able to use a command like “touch,” and point to an object and your dog will go and touch it
with his nose. So, you can start building up to this pretty quickly. As soon as your dog is
consistently touching your hand every time you offer it, even if it is few inches or few feet away,
you begin to say the word “touch” as you put your hand out. And you don’t have to use the word
“touch.” You can say whatever you want to, but obviously “touch” is sort of a given here.
So what you want to do is, now you are holding your hand out about a foot away from your dog.
You say the word “touch,” he reaches out, touches your hand--and again, this is your left hand, it
smells like treats--touches your left hand with his nose. You click and you reward him with a
treat. That’s all there is to it. Basically, this, as basic as it seems, is the foundation for what a lot
of high-paid obedience trainers use. They use these to teach dogs what are called “finishes.”
So, if you are walking your dog and you want him to turn around to the left or something, for
example, you’d be walking with him, and then you’d sweep your hand to the left and say “touch,”
and your dog would circle around to the left and it would go to touch your hand, at which point,
of course, you would click and reward.
So, I hope you have enjoyed this very basic beginning exercise. Do this for a day or two with
your dog. You’ll have a good time, and let’s build up to these next exercises where we will get
into more advanced training, more and more building on the foundation of what we are creating
Part 4: Getting Your Dog’s Undivided Attention
Okay, now that you’ve gotten your dog fairly familiar with using the clicker or using a bridge
word, if you don’t have a clicker, and of course, fairly familiar with receiving treats for doing
what you tell him to do, it’s time to start building your foundation a little bit more.
We’ve already introduced your dog to the touch command, and I hope you had a good experience
with that and found it to be easy. So, by now your dog should be fairly familiar with the touch
command process. You should be able to hold out your hand, and have your dog come and touch
his nose to your hand whenever you say “touch.” And of course you taught him this by using the
training methods we just outlined.
Now our next step is to teach your dog to give you his undivided attention whenever you say his
name. Now this might seem very basic, but again, we’re building a foundation that we are going
to use to layer more advanced training techniques on. And without these basics, then the
techniques we’re going to go into in later parts of this course are not going to be as easy for you.
So, if this seems a little basic for you, just bear with me. It’s going to be very, very easy and it’s
going to help you do the more advanced techniques down the line.
Okay. So, when it is time to perform this exercise with your dog, what you want to do is you
want to have your clicker ready, or if you are not going to use a clicker, of course you want to be
prepared to use a bridge word. You’re going to need some of your dog’s favorite treats, and
you’re going to need to take your dog into a room where he is not that easily distracted. Now, to
begin you simply enter the room with your dog, hang out for a little while and let him get
comfortable. Then say your dog’s name once, in an upbeat voice and a happy voice like you
would be calling him if you wanted him to look at you. And as soon as he looks at you, click and
reward him, or if you don’t have a clicker, say your bridge word and reward him.
So, I will try to paint a picture for you. My dog Buddy and I are standing in the living room. I
say, “Buddy!” Buddy looks at me. As soon as he looks at me, I either click and reward him, or I
say, “Good!” and reward him. Just like that. That is the whole exercise.
Then, you want to repeat the process by letting your dog get a little bit distracted, maybe sniffing
around the room, or whatever. And then call his name again, and as soon as he looks at you, click
and reward. And for the sake of the rest of this course, if I say click, of course you can either use
your clicker or your bridge word. But to keep it simple, I will just say click. Fair enough?
So, you want to repeat this process over and over again. Now, not every five seconds. You want
to call his name, let him look at you, click and reward as soon as he looks at you, and then give
him a little while to get back into his routine of being distracted. Keep on repeating the process.
Do this for about five or ten minutes. What you are looking for is you want to be able to say the
dog’s name and have him immediately turn and look at you. And it is okay, like, for example if he
doesn’t look right into your eyes or whatever, if he just looks at your hand because he is probably
associating your hand with a treat at this point, that’s okay. And it is also okay if your dog starts
to come closer to you. This is all right, too. He doesn’t have to stay where he is and just look. At
this beginning stage, he can look at you and start walking towards you. That’s fine as well. Of
course it is not required, though.
Now, if you first say your dog’s name when you are beginning this exercise and he doesn’t look
at you, he still remains distracted, that’s okay. Say his name once, then either touch him on the
side or pat him on the back or whatever so that you get his attention, and as soon as he turns
around and looks at you, click and reward. Repeat the process, click and reward. He’ll soon
begin to associate, “Hey, this person wants me to look at him. And as soon as I look at him when
he says my name, I’ll get a treat. And I will hear the click. And I’ll do it.” So you are not going
to have to touch your dog every time.
Now, at first your dog is going to be looking in your direction, but most likely he’s going to be
looking for those treats. He’s going to quickly know that the treats are in your hand, even if you
have them behind your back or whatever. So, if we just stop there in this exercise, we would
basically be teaching the dog to look for treats. So to progress to the next step, after you have
your dog looking at you every time you say his name--and of course you always want to click and
reward; as soon as he looks at you, click and reward--but once we have this down, it is time to get
him to look at you, and know that he needs to be looking at you and not just looking for treats.
So, what you need to do at this stage is you need to take the treats and put them on the kitchen
counter or put them somewhere where it is not, they are not on your body, physically. And then
repeat this process. Call your dog’s name, and get him to look at you. Now he might--his focus
might initially start going toward wherever you have put the treats, but if he looks at the treats and
not at you, you don’t do anything. You don’t praise him, you don’t click, you don’t reward. Just
give him a minute, call his name again, and then as soon as he looks at you and not the treats
sitting on the counter, then you click and reward.
And you keep repeating this process. And it is very important to be patient with this. Eventually,
your dog is going to look directly at you. He’ll get it. Dogs are very, very intelligent. All of
them are, no matter what the breed, especially in a basic exercise like this. So, to repeat, simply
place your treats somewhere where they are not on you, physically, where you are not holding
them, call your dog’s name while he is distracted doing something. As soon as he looks at you,
click and reward. Or of course, say your bridge word and reward.
Now, your next step is to have him look you in the eyes and really make a connection and a bond
with you, to acknowledge that you two are communicating. So once you have your dog looking
at you and not just for the treats, it is time to start doing what they call “shaping the behavior,”
and make him give you eye contact. The way you want to do this is by calling his name, as soon
as he looks at you, that’s great, but you don’t want to give any type of response at all--no click
and reward--until he looks at you in the eyes.
And this is almost going to be an intuitive process for your dog. He is going to instinctively want
to look at you because you are communicating with him and your dog knows you. You guys are
like family. So, call him; repeat the process. We are building on the processes we have already
established and only when he looks you in the eyes is when you click and reward. So, you say,
“Buddy!” He looks in the eyes--click; reward. It is that simple.
Now, sometimes he will be looking at your hands, or he’ll, you know, look at your feet or look in
your general direction. And of course this is going to be natural because this is what’s worked up
until this point, right? So it is very important that you have patience with this and that you don’t
click and you don’t reward until he looks in your eyes. And from now on, along with this
exercise, anytime you perform this exercise, once you getting him looking at you in your eyes,
you only want to click and reward when he looks you in the eyes. That’s all.
Now if you have a little bit of trouble with this, you might want to have your dog sit, call his
name, and then when he is looking in your general direction, hold the treat up in front of your
eyes so that your dog actually follows the treat and then looks at you in the eyes. And as soon as
he looks you in the eyes, and naturally he is really looking at the treat, as soon as he looks
upwards at your eyes and you make eye contact with him, that’s when you click and reward. And
that can help you bridge and shape that behavior to where he looks you in the eyes. As soon as he
does, of course, you instantly want to click and reward and give him the treat.
Now at this stage, it’s time to start building up on the foundation that we have created here. You
should by now be able to grab your dog’s attention simply by saying his name and having him
look you in the eyes every time you say it. And of course you are reinforcing this behavior with
click and reward. You call your dog’s name, as soon as he looks at you in the eyes, you click and
reward. And this is actually a pretty easy exercise. I am sure you can tell that just by listening to
it. You might be saying, “Well, gosh, this isn’t rocket science.” Well, listen. This is the
foundation that all good training is built on. And now it is time to sort of turn up the heat a little
bit. Of course it is pretty easy to have your dog look at you when you say his name, when it is just the
two of you in a room. But when it becomes really challenging--and I’m sure you’ve noticed this--
is when there are other distractions around. I’m sure you’ve maybe been walking your dog or had
friends over to your house, and your dog finally sees something that is really, really interesting to
him. And no matter how many times you call his name, he pays you absolutely no attention.
Well, it is time to stop that behavior right now. And it’s an easy way to do it.
Basically what we’re going to do is we are going to do the same exercise, but we are just going to
have some distractions around him. And this is no problem. What you want to do first of all is
have your dog in front of you, say his name, and then as soon as he looks at you, click and reward
as soon as he responds. Now, while your dog is still looking at you, have a friend walk into the
room or approach the dog from the side. Now your dog is most likely going to turn and look at
your friend. As soon as your dog looks at your friend, your friend needs to immediately turn
away from your dog and not show any interest in the dog at all. As soon as that happens, you say
your dog’s name, and click and reward as soon as your dog looks at you and away from your
Now, if your dog doesn’t immediately look at you, this is okay, because we have just introduced a
major new thing into the equation here and that is the other person; this is your friend. So please
don’t get frustrated if this doesn’t immediately work for you. Simply give your dog a minute or
so, and he will eventually lose interest in your friend. At this time, simply say your dog’s name,
and as soon as he looks at you, click and reward. And you might even want to be really heavy
with the praise as soon as your dog does this, right? So, click and reward and really praise the
dog so he gets it, that he has just overcome a major obstacle.
Once this happens, once you get this first positive response, give it a few minutes and then repeat
the entire exercise. Let your friend approach, let your dog check out your friend, call his name
and as soon as your dog looks at you and stops paying attention to your friend, click and reward.
You’re going to be really, really surprised how fast your dog picks up on this. And the reason
why he picks up on this so fast is because you’ve built up with the basic attention exercise we just
Now you can continue to make this exercise more and more difficult to the dog by having more
people enter the room, or by gradually moving this outdoors and into environments that are more
and more distracting. Your ultimate goal by building on this exercise is to be able to have your
dog immediately drop everything and give you his full undivided attention as soon as you say his
If you follow the exercises I just gave you and gradually build on them over time--and of course
when I say over time, you don’t need hours as day; maybe ten minutes at a time for a few days at
this--you are going to have a much better behaved dog, and the rest of the training that you’re
going to learn is much, much easier to handle. Because remember, if you don’t have your dog’s
attention to begin with, and we don’t teach your dog the importance of making you his focus
when you want him to be his focus, well, then all of our other training exercises are really going
to be pretty useless.
So have fun with this exercise, have fun being the center of attention for your dog, and I will see
you in the next exercise.
Part 5: How to Make Your Dog Sit Every Time
Now it’s time to teach your dog to sit. Now sitting is one of the easiest commands you can teach
your dog to do. And unfortunately, this is one of the commands that most people totally mess up
and they do it all wrong. For example, a lot of people will force their dog to sit by wrestling them
to the ground in some sitting position and then praising the dog when they finally wrestle them in
the sitting position.
All this really does is confuse your dog or at best teach you dog that he’s going to get praised as
soon as you wrestle him into some kind of weird sitting position. So that doesn’t work. And
another mistake a lot of people make is telling your dog to sit, using that verbal command before
he actually knows what sitting even is or before he actually learns that the behavior of sitting is
So, we’re going to take it straight from the basic level and I’ll just show you have to get your dog
to sit really quickly and really easily. Now before you teach your dog to sit, you’re going to need
to have a bunch of soft treats or little food snacks ready for your dog. And make sure these are
small, little, you know, bite-size pieces because you might need a lot of them.
Now to get started, what you want to do is you want your dog to be standing in a relaxed and
normal position. And you either want to stand in front of him, assuming that your dog is tall or if
it’s a small dog, you might want to sit or kneel in front of him. Now, once he’s standing in front
of you, you take a treat so your dog can see it and you slowly move it over your dog’s head,
parallel to its body. So you begin with a treat, maybe a foot over your dog’s head in front of his
nose and you slowly move that treat back parallel to your dog in the direction of his tail.
Now what’s going to happen here is your dog would naturally rather sit down so they can keep
easy reach of that treat rather than they would turn around or jump or get all contorted. So what
usually happens is your dog is going to sit down naturally as that treats goes backwards towards
his tail. And as soon as he does sit down, you need to reward him. Either click your clicker and
reward him or if you’re not using clickers use a bridge work like “good” and reward him. As
soon as his rear end touches the ground, you click and reward, or you say your bridge word and
Now, remember, this is very important. You have to click and reward or say your bridge word
and reward as soon as your dog’s rear end hits the ground. You have to do this in order for your
dog to learn that that is the action that gets the treat. And you want to give him the treat right
away. It’s okay if he gets up as soon as you click and reward. It’s okay if he gets up and runs
around and goes crazy and starts playing. That’s fine. What we want to do right now, just for this
very beginning thing, is teach him to sit down and teach him to know that the act of sitting is
what’s going to get him a reward in this case.
Now you might be thinking, well, what am I going to do if he doesn’t sit at all? And some dogs
actually might jump up to get the treat instead of sitting. And some might try to bite the treat
immediately or some dogs might just keep moving backwards. You might have the situation
where you’re kind of chasing you dog around the room trying to give him this treat. If this is
what’s happening, this is okay. No problem; be really patient. All you do is simply turn around
and ignore him for a few seconds. Act like nothing happened at all. Of course, you don’t want to
give him the treat.
Wait a little while, like a minute or so, and then start all over. Eventually, your dog’s going to get
this. And as soon as you move that treat from his head area towards his tail, and of course you
want to be slightly over his head and you’re moving parallel to his body, as soon as do that, he’s
going to know that, hey, it’s time for me to sit. And of course as soon as rear end hits the ground,
you click and reward. Praise the dog for reward.
Now you’ll notice I never told you to use the sit command. That’s a totally different issue. At
this stage in the game, all we’re doing is just teaching your dog that it’s good to sit. In fact, you
could probably after working with this for 20 minutes or so, depending on your dog, you could
just hold your hand over your dog and move it from the top of his head back towards his tail and
he’ll sit, at which time you could click and reward as well. So you could actually be teaching
your dog a hand signal to sit. But we haven’t even used the verbal command of “sit.” The reason
why we haven’t done this is because it’s best to wait, any time you’re training your dog, it’s best
to wait until he can reliably repeat the behavior until you start using verbal commands.
So, you want him to be sitting down every time you move that treat back. You want to be sitting
down every time before you start introducing verbal commands. Otherwise, you can overload
your dog and it might start to become confusing and no fun for him. So practice that exercise for
about 20 minutes--or not even that long; maybe about 10 minutes with your dog. If he starts
getting bored or wants to chew his feet or, you know, starts walking around, don’t sweat it. It’s
okay. Just let him have his space for a minute and come back to the exercise later. You always
want to keep this fun for the dog.
Now let’s work on introducing the sitting command. Because everyone knows how nice it is to
be able to say “sit” and your dog sits for you. So few dogs do this, but yours will. Here’s how.
Now once you have your dog sitting and you have your dog able to sit just with you using the
hand signal, which is simply passing your hand slowly from his nose back towards his tail parallel
to his body while he’s standing, as soon as he’s responding positively to that and sitting every
time, now it’s time for you to introduce the sit command. But only then, only then do you
introduce it. Don’t try to introduce the sit command while he’s still learning the hand signal or
while he’s having trouble sitting at all, or else you’ll just confuse him and you’ll delay your
So here’s what you do. Do the same system we’ve been doing, in terms of teaching your dog to
sit. Start with him standing. At this point, you should be able to simply move your hand from his
nose or from, we’ll say an area about 12 inches in front of and above his nose, parallel to his body
back towards his tail. And as he sees your hand moving back, he should sit down. Now as soon
as your dog sits, say the word “sit” and click and reward. So you move your hand, your dog’s
rear end touches the ground. You say, “sit” and you give him a click and a reward. Repeat this
process several more times. Of course you don’t want to do it to the point that it grates on your
dogs nerves. You don’t want to overwhelm him. So, do it for a few more minutes, saying “sit”
and give him a click and a reward every time his rear hits the ground.
Now, your next step is once this is happening consistently, you want to stop with the hand signal.
You want your dog to be standing and you should be able to say, “sit” and he should sit. Now if
he doesn’t sit or if he looks up at you, don’t do anything. Don’t click and don’t reward until your
dog is sitting. As soon as your dog sits after using the “sit” command, lavish him--of course you
want to click first or use your bridge word--then lavish him with praise and with rewards and
treats. You might even want to give him multiple treats just so he’ll realize that, hey, I just
figured out something big. Once that’s over, repeat the process. Soon, you’ll have used positive
reinforcement so well that you’ll be able to say, “sit” and your dog will immediately sit down.
Well, of course every time your dog sits, it is good to click and reward.
Now you might be thinking I’m I always going to have to carry around this clicker? Or am I
always going to have to use a bridge word like “good” and give a reward to the dog? Well, the
answer is no. After a while, you should be able to wean your dog off having to hear the clicker or
the bridge word and wean your dog off having the reward every time. Soon this type of behavior
will be second nature to your dog. Your dog will know that whatever it is that you want him to
do--in this case it’s sit--he’ll know that he’s suppose to sit. So you won’t have to use the clicker
or the rewards forever, but when you’re starting out, it’s good to use them all the time. It simply
reinforces what he’s learning and reinforces this behavior.
Part 6: How to Make Your Dog Get Into the Down Position
Now it’s time to teach your dog the “down” command. Now, fortunately, the down command is
really similar to the “sit” command. As a matter of fact, it’s built on the sit command. All you
need to do to get started is simply have a little patience with your dog, so make sure you are in a
good frame of mind, and have plenty of treats ready. All right; let’s begin.
What you want to do first of all is you want to get your dog to sit in front of you. If you are not
able to get your dog to sit on command or at least sit using hand signals, then you want to review
that exercise first and get him to that point, because the down command is built on the sit
command. So, get your dog to sit down and when he is in the sitting position, either sit in front of
him or kneel down in front of him. Or if he is a very large dog, you could stand in front of him.
But it is preferable to either to be sitting or kneeling in front of your dog while he is sitting.
Now what you want to do is you want to use a treat in order to lure your dog into the down
position, and this is really simple. All you do is you hold up a treat in front of your dog so that he
can see it. Make sure he can see it, and of course that is going to be easy, right? It seems like
they can spot treats from 20 miles away. Then what you do is you slowly, while your dog is
watching, bring that treat down towards the ground in front of him. You want to pull it in front of
the dog just a little bit, but not so far that he has to walk or get up in order to get it.
Now, some dogs are going to get in the down position immediately, and go straight for it. Others
are just going to stand up and then try to go down and get the treat. If that happens, just leave the
treat on the floor, but don’t give it to your dog. Hold it in your hand so he can’t get it.
Eventually, what is going to happen is your dog is going to lower himself down to try to get that
treat out of your hand, and he’s going to naturally drop down in the down position. As soon as he
does, you want to click and reward and give him the treat. So as soon as he is in the down
position, click, or use a bridge word, and give him the treat and praise him.
Fortunately, it’s easier to train a dog to get in the down position. It is easier to do that than it is to
teach them to sit, so that’s really nice. If you are having a hard time, if your dog for some reason
won’t get into the down position, that’s okay. Just keep trying it and be patient. If he stands up or
just sits there and stares at you, just turn around, ignore him and then repeat the process. And
remember, don’t give him the treat or praise in any way until he gets in the down position. It’s
really, really simple when you think about it. As soon as he’s down, click and reward. It’s that
easy. Now, you want to build on this naturally, so you can not be dependent on bribing him with this
treat every time, because you are not always going to be having treats. Let’s say you’re at the
coffee shop and your dog sitting next to you and you want him to lie down. Well, you’re not
going to be carrying much dog treats in your pocket, right? So, as soon as he is at the stage where
you can have him sitting, hold a treat in front of his nose and slowly bring it towards the ground
and have him go down to get that treat. Once you reached that and he is doing that consistently,
now it is time to do it just with your hand, and this is teaching him the hand signal. So, you’re
clicking and rewarding every time he’s going down. This is great.
The next thing you want to do is you want to have your dog in the sitting position, then hold your
hand in front of his nose, and then slowly bring your hand down to the ground in front of him.
And you might even want to tap the ground in front of him. He should naturally and instinctively
go down, hoping that your hand contains a treat already, right? So as soon as he goes down, click
and reward, or use your bridge word and reward.
Repeat this process until he is consistently getting into the down position every time you bring
your hand down to the ground. Once you have him doing this consistently, and he has learned
this technique and learned this hand signal, now it is time to move on to the command, which
would be “down” in this case. And it is really simple. It is basically the same thing we have been
doing, but we are adding a command.
So, you start out and your dog is in a sitting position. You’re kneeling, sitting or standing in front
of him, depending on how big your dog is, right? You move your hand down until he gets down
into the down position and as soon as he’s getting into the down position, you say “down.” Then
you click and you reward. As soon as he goes down, you say “down,” click, reward. Repeat the
process over and over again.
Now, what do you think the next step is? The next step is to be able to do it without the hand
signal. And this is a lot of times kind of a big leap for the dog to make, because he is so
accustomed to associating your hand with that treat and following your hand movement with his
eyes, right? I mean this is almost natural. It is almost like your hand has this invisible line
attached to it, and it is pulling your dog’s head and body into the down position. So you want to
wean your dog off of having to follow your hand. So, once you have gotten to the stage where
you give him the hand signal, you’re saying “down” as soon as he goes down, you’re giving that
command, and you click and reward, now it is time to use just the command.
What you do is you start out your dog is sitting in front of you. You’re kneeling, standing or
sitting in front of your dog, depending on his size. And you simply say the “down” command.
Now your dog may or may not do anything at all at this time. If he doesn’t do anything, then you
don’t click and you don’t reward. You simply turn around and ignore him for a minute and start
over. Eventually, your dog is going to go into the down position from just hearing that command.
The first time he ever does this, you need to really heap on the praise. As soon as he goes into the
down position, you click and reward, and you might even want to give him five or six extra treats
just as kind of a mega-reward. This way your dog is going to associate this in his brain as, “Hey,
I just made a major breakthrough in training today. Now I know the down command.” 
So, the process is really simple. First, you start out with a food bribe. You hold that bribe in front
of your dog’s nose and slowly pull it in front of him into the ground so that he’s going to naturally
just follow that treat straight to the ground. As soon as he goes down, you click and reward.
Then you take away that piece of food so that he’s just following your hand. As soon as he goes
down, you click and reward. You repeat the process, of course, every time. Now it is time to start
implementing your command, so you bring your hand down. As soon as he goes down, you say
“down,” you click and reward. You repeat this process. You see how we are just building and
building? And then it is time for the grand finale, where you simply take away the hand signal
and you use only the command.
The most important ingredient in this whole equation is going to be your patience and the love
that you have for your dog. So, if he gets frustrated, or rather if you get frustrated and your dog
becomes hyper and he wants to play, simply stop the training for a little while, turn your back,
ignore your dog and do something else, and then resume again. Dogs are not like us, where they
can take classes and train constantly. Their minds tend to wander. So you only want to do this
for five or ten minutes at a time. That is really all it takes.
So I hope you enjoyed this training exercise. Your dog will be responding to the down command
in absolutely no time, and people will absolutely marvel at how well-behaved he is. This is one of
the greatest commands you can know for your dog because it is so convenient. Once your dog is
able to respond consistently to the down command, you can take him anywhere with you,
especially if he will stay in the down command--and we will get to that in later sessions--
especially when he gets to the point where he can stay in the down command when there are lots
of distractions around. Once you have this, you almost have the ideal dog. You can take him
anywhere--coffee shop, busy streets, to a party--put him in that down position and have him stay,
and it’s great. It’s just like a person hanging on and relaxing, waiting for your next command.
So, I hope you have enjoyed learning the “down” command, and I hope you understand and see
how this builds on very small, basic, easy commands, and basic, easy training exercises that we
are doing. And I look forward to seeing you in our next exercises where we get more and more
advanced and build on the foundations that we’re creating in these Parts.
Part 7: How to Make Your Dog Walk on a Loose Leash
Now it’s time to teach your dog how to walk on a loose leash. Now before we begin with this
exercise, let me give you a little bit of basics in dog psychology. Well, any type of psychology
for that matter. If you’re listening to this, you probably have walked your dog in the past. If you
haven’t, then you’re off to a good start. But the typical situation where someone walks their dog
is the dog is always pulling them. You might pull back a little bit or tell him not to do that, but
the dog eventually keeps pulling you and you end up going wherever it is you’re going. 
Here’s what this is teaching the dog. Pulling gets me where I want to go, period. See, dogs are
not particularly complex animals with this vast intellect. They’re pretty smart, sure, but they
don’t really have the brains to sit down and analyze the situation. So, in your dog’s mind,
walking around on the end of the leash basically means I’m just going to pull until I get there.
That’s always worked. That’s the way it’s done. That’s the way I’m going to do it forever and
ever, amen. And this is, of course, a habit that you’re going to have to break.
Now here’s another little thing you might not know about dogs. Dogs instinctively pull against
resistance. It is in their nature. So if you have a dog on a leash and he pulls away from you, it’s
his natural instinct to do that. He instinctively wants to pull you somewhere. That’s why tug-ofwar
is so popular with any breed of dog. You get a treat or a rope bone or something and the dog
grabs it and you pull it and he pulls against that resistance, away from you. It’s hard wired into
their brain to do that.
So, it’s going to take a little bit of work to get them not to do it. But I just wanted to give you
that psychological ground work so you know that: (A) It’s totally normal for your dog to want to
pull on the leash. (B) If you’ve been walking him for any amount of time and he’s been pulling,
then it’s ingrained in his mind that pulling is what works and he should always do that. And (C)
listen, you’re not alone. All dogs pull so it’s not that big of a deal.
Now let’s talk about to make your dog stop pulling. Fortunately, this is a very simple exercise to
do. Unfortunately, it does take a lot of repetition until your dog finally gets it right. But it’s no
big deal. It’s pretty fun and you still get to walk your dog. Now before I get into the specifics of
this exercise, let’s go over what you need to do to begin. First of all, you want your dog to be
attached to a regular collar. I don’t know if you use a choke collar or some type of prong collar
or anything like. You don’t want to be using that for this. You want just a normal old collar. A
lot of people refer to them as buckle collars, whatever. Just, you know, your average dog collar.
Second thing is it would ideal if your dog wasn’t in his typical “oh, boy, we’re going for a walk”
frame of mind. If he’s really, really, hyper and jumping all over the place, that’s going to make
this kind of hard. So you might want to play fetch with him for a little while before you begin
this training session. Kind of tire him out and get some of that excess energy out of his system.
And the third thing you’re going to want to do is make sure that, at least to begin with, you’re not
in a area where there’s going to tons of distractions for the dog. A park where there are lots of
other dogs playing in his immediate vicinity might not be the best place to start this. So try to
take him somewhere quiet. Okay, let’s begin.
To begin, go ahead and put your dog on his leash. Now, before you start walking, it’s time to
make sure you have your dog’s attention. So, practice running through the attention exercises
that we built on as foundations for this course. The attention exercises are where you simply call
your dog’s name and as soon as he looks you in the eyes, you click and reward with a treat.
That’s all you want to do. So just kind of warm up with that. It just lets your dog know that,
hey, it’s time for my brain to be active. I’m on the clock here, so to speak. And it also gets him
accustomed to giving you his attention. Now once you’ve done this a few times and your dog is kind of in the mode for training, now you
just want to start walking. Just hold the leash and start walking. Now naturally your dog is
probably going to want to start pulling you. Especially if you’ve been walking him for a while in
the past and he has the habit of doing that. Now here is the number one critical step in this
exercise. Are you ready? All you do is stop. You simply stop and you stand there. You don’t
move. You don’t do anything. You don’t pull him back. You don’t snap the leash. You don’t
say “no” or anything like that. You just stop and stand there. That’s all.
Now he might pull against the leash. He might get upset or begin to become concerned or
whatever. That’s fine. Just stand there and don’t do anything. After a while, and hopefully not
after too long, he’s going to wonder, hey, what the heck is going on? And he’ll quit pulling and
he’s going to turn around and he’s going to look at you to see why you’re stopped and what
you’re doing. Now as soon as he turns around and looks at you and stops pulling, then you start
walking again. That’s all. Now you want him to turn on his own. Okay, you don’t him to pull or
anything. You don’t pull the leash and make him look at you. This has to become natural. So as
soon as he stops pulling, he turns around and looks at you to see what’s going on, then you start
walking in the same direction you were doing.
Now, of course, as soon as you start walking again, what’s he going to want to do? Because we
just started, right? Well, he’s going to want to start pulling on his leash again. As soon as he does
this, you stop. You simply stop walking. You stand there dead still. You don’t say anything.
You don’t make any funny faces. You don’t pull the leash. You just stop. Now, he’s going to,
after a while, turn around and look at you again. As soon as he turns around and looks at you and
stops pulling, that’s when you start walking again in the same direction.
Now at this time we haven’t done any click and reward work. We’re not praising him for turning
around and looking at you because you haven’t given any command. You haven’t told him to
turn around and look at you. All we’re teaching him right now is that pulling against the leash
does not work. So that’s what we’re trying to get ingrained into his head.
The way you can tell that this method is starting to work is eventually, and hopefully this
shouldn’t take too long -maybe a day or two. But eventually after walking with your dog, he’ll hit
the end of his leash when he starts to pull and you won’t have to stop. Just as soon as he hits the
end of that leash, he’ll turn around and look at you. That’s when you know you’re starting to
make progress.
Now believe it or not, that is the entire trick to making your dog walk on a loose leash. The key
to being successful with this is simply repetition. Now if you have a dog that is a really bad puller
and just, you know, pulls the leash like crazy, well, his walk for the day might end up only being,
you know, 15 yards because you have to stop every two seconds on the walk. But if that’s what it
takes, that’s what it takes. After a few walks, he’ll get it and he’ll know that pulling does not
work. Because simply that’s all you’re really teaching in this exercise, is that pulling the leash
makes the walk end and makes everything stop. And that’s really easy for the dog to understand.
Another key to this is consistency. You’re either teaching him that pulling doesn’t work or you’re
teaching him that pulling works. But dogs are naturally going to want to pull on the leash. So,
once you begin training your dog like this, this is the way you have to walk him even during
training. So, if you only get 10 yards in your dog’s 30-minute walk on the first couple of
sessions, well, that’s the way it’s going to have to be. That’s the key to making it work. But if
you stick with this, then your dog will learn to walk on a loose leash. That’s all there is to it.
And of course, the real test is to start adding in distractions. So bring your dog where there are
other dogs nearby and where there are other things where he might want to pull you and go check
something out. Then, of course, as soon as he does, you stop. You’re like a tree, as a matter of
fact. Some people call this the tree technique. You’re like a tree and he won’t make any progress
until he stops, turns around and looks at you.
Part 8: Stay!
Now it’s time to teach your dog to stay. This is a wonderful command to learn and it’s certainly a
great behavior when you can instill it in your dog. Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to do. Here’s
how we start out.
First of all, have plenty of good treats ready, treats that your dog will enjoy eating, and make sure
they are cut up in very small pieces so when you click and reward, it won’t take forever for your
dog to consume the treat. Start out by having your dog on a leash and get him into the down
position. Now, hopefully, you have already trained and worked up to where getting your dog into
the down position is relatively easy and he can do it consistently. If you are not at this point yet,
you might want to master that command first before learning the stay command. So, assuming
you’ve already built on that foundation and you have the down command ready, let’s proceed.
Get your dog into the down position, and when you would normally click and reward him, wait
for a few seconds before clicking and rewarding. Wait about two seconds, then click and reward.
Repeat this exercise. Lure your dog into the down command, or rather just simply give the down
command if he’s that advanced, wait two more seconds for a total of four seconds, then click and
reward. Do this several more times and work your way up to about a five-second delay between
getting your dog into the down command and click and reward. Once you are up to the fivesecond
delay, add the cue word, “stay,” when you click and reward.
So, we say, “Buddy, down.” Buddy goes down. Wait five seconds and say “stay,” then click and
reward. Just like that. Repeat this process and, by the way, you do not want to make this
particular training session any more than two or three minutes at a time. Your dog will get bored.
So, work your way from the five-second delay with the “stay” cue and then your next segment of
this is to get the dog into the down position, have a five-second delay, then gently set your leash
down, and take two steps away from the dog. Wait a second, and then return to your dog, click
and reward and say “stay.” Give that audible cue. So basically what we are teaching the dog here
is that staying is good, right? Now, if your dog gets up, this is okay. You don’t want to scold him or anything. Simply do not
click and reward and start over again. That’s the way to troubleshoot this behavior. Simply start
over again, lure him back down to the ground into the down position, and when he stays, click
and reward. The object of this exercise is for you to be able to gradually take more steps away
from your dog every time and slowly build up the distance that you can walk away from him
while he is staying down, every time returning, saying “stay” and click and reward. And of
course you want to be clicking and rewarding while he’s staying, so he learns that staying is
what’s generating the click and reward.
Remember, you want to keep these training sessions fairly short, especially for this exercise. One
popular way to do this is to increase the duration of your stay exercise by 30 seconds each training
exercise. And of course the farther you can get away from your dog and the longer he starts to
stay, the better. When you feel that he is consistently staying and you’re not having to tip-toe
around him and it is a fairly casual and easy stay and he is intuitively getting it, now it is time to
start adding distractions.
One thing to do to distract the dog is while you are a few feet away from him or a few steps away
from him, drop your keys to create a distracting noise. If he continues to stay, click and reward
and really praise him. He has just made a major breakthrough because he’s retaining that
behavior that you’ve taught during distraction. So you might want to give him several treats to
really reward him and let him know that he has done well.
Once he can consistently stay after than type of a mild distraction, while he is in the down and
stay position, you might want to introduce another person into the room, all the while keeping
your dog in the stay position. If he gets up and if he becomes distracted, that’s okay. Just ignore
him. Whatever you do, don’t click and reward at this period, and start the exercise over. Repeat
this process until he understands that the only way to get that click and reward is to remain in that
stay, down position.
Several sessions of this at about two to three minutes per session should have your dog
consistently remaining in the down stay position. The key to it is short training sessions and
gradually building up by 30 seconds each time and gradually building up the length of the stay,
and the farther away that you can get from your dog. Always end on a high note during these
training sessions, and if you find yourself becoming frustrated with your dog, simply end the
session. That’s okay. You want this to be built on fun and love that you have for your dog.
That’s the way that it always works the best and that is the way you achieve the fastest results.
Part 9: An Additional Method for Teaching the “Stay!” Command
Now let’s try a different approach to the “stay” command. This is an alternate training method for
teaching stay. Before we get started with this, I want you to understand that when using this
particular exercise, it’s very important to be gentle with your dog and it’s very important that you
don’t use this particular method if you have a small and frail dog or if you have an overly excited
dog or if you have a dog that easily frightened. This method is not the one to use. You want to
use the other stay command that we’ve gone over before in this course.
Now if you have a large and particularly hyper dog, this method might be a little bit more helpful.
To start, you need plenty of treats. You need to have a regular buckle collar on your dog, and you
need him to be on a leash. Now it’s very important that you don’t use a chocker collar during this
exercise. You don’t use a tight collar and you certainly don’t want to use a prong collar.
So let’s get started. While your dog is on the leash, you want to place him in the down position,
either with a command or you can use a hand signal or you can lure him into the down position.
Remember, everything is built on the foundations we’ve already made. So if you can’t get your
dog into a down position at this point, then there's no point in teaching the stay command. You
need to master that down position first.
So, while your dog is in the down position, place the leash on the ground and stand on it. Now
give your dog plenty of room so you’re not choking him or your foot is not right at the edge of his
collar so you’ve cemented his head to the ground of anything. That’s not what I mean by stand on
the leash. Give it a couple of feet so if he tried to stand up he could get up a little bit but he
couldn’t stand up all the way and he would realize, hey, something is preventing me from
standing up. Okay?
So while your dogs in the down command, your foot is on the leash --and remember you have a
little bit of slack there, you’re not hurting you dog in any way--while you’re in this position, give
the “stay” command. Your dog is not going to know what this means, but he is going to realize
that he’s down and he’s not moving. So, click and treat for every few seconds that your dog
remains down and is not struggling to get away. Now while you’re delivering your rewards to
your dog, be sure you don’t unintentionally trick him and like try to lure him out of that down
position. So don’t place your reward in front of him so he has to move to get it. Hand him and
click and reward.
You ideally would reward your dog by giving him the treats by putting them right between his
front paws or leaning down and quickly placing them on the ground right underneath his nose.
You don’t want to dangle it in front of him. You don’t want to have to make him strain to get it.
Now if your dog tries to get up during this process, keep your foot firmly planted on his leash and
then put your dog back into the down position. You don’t want to just stand there idly while your
dog struggles and strains against your leash. That’s just going to freak him out and frighten him.
So that’s not going to work. As soon as he struggles and tries to get away, you don’t want to be
clicking and rewarding at this point. You want to lure him back into the down position, let him
stay in that down. As soon as he stops struggling and just hangs out there, say “stay,” click and
reward immediately. So you’re clicking and rewarding while he’s in the process of staying in that
down position.
After you’ve done this for a minute or so and he’s starting to get the hang of it, it’s time to stop
the exercise. You might want to take your foot off the leash and say, okay, and let your dog up.
Now don’t make too much of a big deal after he gets up because you’re not praising him for
getting up and ending the exercise. You’re only delivering the click and reward while he’s in the
down position and staying.
When you resume the exercise, maybe after an hour or so of doing something else--it’s important
not to do this too long; your dog gets distracted--but when you resume the exercise and go to do it
again, start increasing the length of time your dog is in the stay position. It’s good to add about
30 seconds every session. It’s good to do this every day and after about a week of doing this
every day, we’ll say two-minute sessions per day, every day, your dog should be able to stay and
he should be getting it at this point. You should be able to lure him into the down position, give
the “stay” command, and he should be able to just hang out and not do anything until you tell him
When you’re at this point, it’s time to start introducing distractions. Because, let’s face it, getting
a dog to stay there is pretty simple if it’s just you and the dog. There’s not really a whole lot else
that he can do, right? So, the key to this is to have him remain in the stay position while you’re
distracting him. A good first distraction is while you have him in the down position and he’s
staying, drop your keys a few feet away from you. If he remains in the stay position while he’s
down, click and reward and say “stay.” He’s just made a major breakthrough.
Another good distraction would be to throw a book on the ground or maybe drop a ball nearby.
Remember, you’re giving that “stay” command and you’re rewarding him for staying. So if he
doesn’t go after the ball, click and reward. Give him that treat and make a really big deal out of it.
He’s made a major breakthrough. If he does try to go after the keys or go after the ball, simply
lure him back into the down position. Of course he’s not going to be able to go get it, right? You
have your foot on the leash. So lure him back into the down position and start all over. You
certainly don’t want to praise him, you don’t want to click and reward while he tries to go get it.
So, after you’ve lured him back into the down position and he has stopped trying to go get it,
that’s when you click and reward and give the stay command.
Over time, you should start adding more and more distractions to this exercise. Some really hard
distractions for a dog to resist might be another dog, a friend dropping a treat nearby or someone
even calling your dog. Remember, everything is built on what we’ve done in the past. So if your
dog gets up to go after the other dog, simply leave your foot on the leash so he can’t get away
from you. Of course again, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you don’t let your dog
get harmed in any way. So if you have a dog that just runs and lunges after another dog, well, you
need to go back to the basics before you try this exercise. If you’re in jeopardy of having your
dog become injured while doing this or if you have a weak dog or small or sick dog, then this
particular method of teaching the “stay” command is not for you. This is only for healthy, large
dogs. I can’t stress that enough. I’m sure you get it, but I can’t stress it enough.
But anyway, if your dog goes after the other dog or tries to go get the treat, simply lure him or
command him back into the down position. Wait for him to stop going after the distraction, then
click and reward as soon as he has been in place for a few seconds. So he’ll understand staying
here is what works. Really, that’s what you’re teaching. You’re not teaching the dog not to go
after distractions. You’re simply teaching him that staying is what gets the reward. And
responding to the “stay” command is what gets the click and reward.
If you do this consistently and you keep your training sessions upbeat, fun and short, you’ll have a
dog staying in the midst of all kinds of distractions in no time flat. It’s a fun exercise. Patience is
the key to success with this one. And of course, always be kind to your dog. Always click and
reward, and always be sure to end on a positive note.
Part 10: Getting Your Dog to Sit and Stay Put
Now it’s time for a Part that I like to call “stop and sit.” Have you ever noticed some people
when they are walking their dogs, as soon as they stop--the dog’s on the leash--as soon as they
stops walking, the dog just obediently and automatically sits down by that person’s side and
expectantly looks at them, like “Hey, okay, I’m just here waiting for your next command, being a
perfectly well-behaved dog?” Well, that’s an ideal dog to a lot of people and fortunately, it’s a
possible dog for you to have. It’s really not that hard.
The way you want to do it is to simply walk your dog on a loose leash like you normally would.
Now of course if you don’t know how to walk your dog on a loose leash, then you need to go
ahead and review that exercise and learn that technique before starting with this one. And also
you need to be grounded in teaching your dog to sit. Your dog needs to already know how to sit,
both using hand signals and the command. And it is easy to learn that and to do it, just simply
review the sitting exercises if you haven’t mastered that already.
So, what you want to do is you want to start out and take your dog 10 steps or so walking on a
loose leash. Now, before we go any further, I should say that you need to have what I will call an
official stance when you are stopped. So--and this might look a little bit rigid and dorky at first--
but you want to teach your dog that when you’re in this particular position that means, hey, we’re
stopped, and it is time for me to sit down. So, when I tell you, when I say stop during this
exercise, what I really mean is stop walking and stand straight up with your hands at your sides.
Not lean up against a tree or sit down or hang out and talk to friends. You need to be “officially”
stopped, okay?
So, let’s resume. You need to walk 10 steps or so with your dog by your side walking loosely on
his leash, just like you’ve taught him to do. Right before you are ready to stop, slow down a little
bit and let your steps become smaller and more narrow, kind of like baby steps. Now, as you are
taking these smaller steps--and this is just a few steps--I want you to take a treat in your hand and
lure him while you are taking these small, slow steps into a sitting position as you stop.
So, you’re walking along, dog’s on a loose leash beside you, you decide you are ready to stop. As
you are slowing down, reach your hand over and lure your dog into the sitting position. You
remember how you lure your dog into sitting position? You have the treat centered at his nose
position, basically, and you move it slowly from his head, over his head back towards the tail, and
that causes him to naturally sit. Now he is used to this movement, so he’s going to know to sit.
You do this as you are coming to a stop while you are walking. As soon as he sits down, you click and reward. That’s it. You don’t need to use the verbal “sit”
command or anything like that. As soon as he sits down, you click and reward and you praise
him and you make a really big deal about it. Now, if he doesn’t sit as you officially stop--and
remember, you are in your official “I am stopping” stance--then just stand there for a minute and
he will figure it out on his own. He’ll want to sit down.
So, as soon as he sits down, click and reward. And if you are standing there for like two minutes
or something and he never does sit down and he just stands there looking at you, then lure him
into a sitting position and click and reward. After you do click and reward, especially if it’s taken
him a long time, give him a really big dose of treats, like really shower him with affection,
because he has just made a breakthrough. He’s learned a new thing.
Now, if this doesn’t work, and he is not sitting down when you stop, simply take a few more
sessions of this exercise. Take about 10 more steps and try it again. And continue to lure him
using the treat, using the treat and the combined movement that we do in the sit command.
Continue luring him a few more times to help him know what it is you want him to do, because
our dogs aren’t psychic. And if he doesn’t sit beautifully or it’s, you know, if he’s kind of not
facing in the right direction, if he sits down and he is facing sideways or whatever, that’s okay.
Don’t worry about that for now. It will come together and you can shape his behavior into a more
precise sit if you really want to get him rigid in his obedience. You can shape his sit to face
forward or do whatever you want to later, with more click and rewards.
Now, as you are getting this process down, and he’s starting to sit because you’re luring him well
with the treat, you want to do the exact same method we do with all of our other tactics, which is
to eventually stop using the treat and just go to hand signals. So, if you’re consistently getting
your dog to sit every time you stop--and remember to stay in your official stop position and take
little baby steps before you stop--if he is consistently sitting down for you every time you stop,
and you’re clicking and you’re rewarding him, but you are making him sit down by luring him
into the sit position with a treat, start using it without the treat. So where you would normally use
your hand and move that treat from his head back towards his tail area to cause him to sit down,
do the exact same motion but don’t have the treat in your hand.
As soon as he sits with this no-treat segment of this exercise, again, click and reward, but as you
lavish praise on him, to signal to your dog that he has just made a major breakthrough in his
behavior. This is going to help him realize that, hey, it’s the stopping that makes me need to sit
down, not just the using of this treat, not just a bribe. Because if we get too dependent on using
the treat as a bribe or as a lure to making him sit, well, then he is never going to sit down while we
are walking him without giving a bribe. So, you certainly don’t want to have to take treats with
you everywhere you go when you are walking your dog.
If you do this consistently, and this should be a really fast one for your dog to learn at this stage,
you, too, will have one of those perfect dogs on your walks, where as soon as you stop, your dog
sits, and it’s great. He’s like you’ve hit the pause button or something. But of course he’s
interactive with you. So, enjoy this exercise. Have fun with your dog doing it. 
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This page was last updated: June 7, 2014