Sit is  a nice impulse control exercise. It’s a behavior that you can capture or you can jump start it with a lure.

  • To capture: Wait for the dog to sit, then mark and toss the treat to reset
  • To lure: Hold a treat in front of the dog’s nose and slowly move it up and back over his head. The moment the dog’s read end touches the ground, mark and loss the treat. Fade the lure treat out after 2 or 3 getting the dog’s hind end on the floor.


Teaching your dog to lie down on cue is a foundation for teaching relaxation. You can capture the behavior or jump start it with a lure. You can also teach down both from a sitting position and from a standing position, and we’ll work on both techniques.

Down – From a Sit


  • To capture: Wait for the dog to lie down, then mark and toss the treat.
  • To lure: Hold a treat in front of the dog’s nose, move it slowly down, from his nose to between his paws and then very slightly forward along the ground.
  • When the dog lies down (when elbows touch the ground), mark and toss the treat away.

Down – From a Stand


  • To capture: Wait for the dog to lie down, then mark and treat.
  • To lure: There are two options for luring the dog to “fold back into a down.”
  • Option 1: Lure between the dog’s front legs
    O Move the treat back between the dog’s front legs. The dog will likely lower his head and attempt to nibble the treat and fold back into the down position.
    o If the dog doesn’t lie down, try luring using a slightly different angle. If the dog still will not lie down, try Option 2.
  • Option 2: The “leg bridge” method
    o Sit on the ground and bend one leg (with your foot flat on the floor).
    O Hold the treat at the dog’s nose and lure him under your leg. When he lowers his body to “crawl” under the leg bridge, mark and treat.
    o After a few successful trials, fade out the “leg bridge” and try Option 1.

Release cue –

Instead of tossing a treat to get your dog moving away from the mat or out of a sit it’s time to add a release cue. This can be any cue, any word. Just be consistent.

How it’s done

Say your release cue and toss the treat away. As your dog learns the meaning of the release cue you can move away from tossing the treat and let the release be the reward.


Adding the “sit” and “down” cue is only done when your dog can do the behavior

The process:

Say your cue, “sit” or “down” as your dog is doing the behavior

Click and reward your dog in place

Then, release your dog from the sit or down

  1. Work on these behaviors one at a time to begin, after a few sessions and your dog knows what to do, then you can switch between them.

cue your dog as they are doing the behaviors and reward them