teach your dog to sit

How to Teach Your ❤️ Shih Tzu Sit, Down, Stay and Calm Down in MINUTES!

How to Teach a Dog to Sit, Stay & Down: Easy Dog Training Tips

Okay, this can be frustrating for many pet owners but actually is very easy to train a dog new tricks, LOL. My twin brother recently rescued a beautiful from the Humane Society that had a very teach your dog to lay down  tough life the first 12 months of his life. He is getting frustrated because “Wally” is acting like a new puppy. WELL, Wally technically is a new puppy because no one ever taught him differently and most of all he was abuse and beaten for everything he did.

Rescue’s depending on what they have been through can be more challenging because they have had emotional trauma. So like Wally, he needs to gain trust in his no family and master. Whereas a new puppy does not have that emotional trauma.

How to Get Started Training Your Dog

To start off on the right foot (and paw!) with your pup, he’ll need to know what you expect from him. This will make him feel secure in his ability to meet the goals laid out for him going forward.

Dog training should be based on positive reinforcement and repetitiveness. Typically it only takes about 3 repetitions for your new pup to understand how he gets rewarded. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a paycheck for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values.  Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him.  It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.

Reinforcement can be anything your dog likes. Most people use small pieces of a “high value” food for training treats — something special — such as dried liver or even just their kibble. Lavish praise or the chance to play with a favorite toy can also be used as a reward. Dogs must be taught to like praise. If you give the dog a treat while saying “Good dog!” in a happy voice, he will learn that praise is a good thing and can be a reward. Some dogs also enjoy petting. Food is often the most convenient way to reinforce the behavior.

Puppies can begin very simple training starting as soon as they come home, usually around 8 weeks old. Always keep training sessions brief — just 5 to 10 minutes —and always end on a positive note. If your puppy is having trouble learning a new behavior, end the session by reviewing something he already knows and give him plenty of praise and a big reward for his success. If your puppy gets bored or frustrated, it will ultimately be counterproductive to learning.

How to Teach Your Dog to Sit

Why teach your dog to sit? 

One of the most common and most trained dog commands is teaching a dog to sit.  He will learn that in order to get good-stuff-for-dogs he had better put his butt on the ground and this is good default behavior. It is very simple to teach, it helps establish your bond and is a great substitute for jumping up and lots of other problems.

How to teach your dog to Sit:

  1. Find a quiet place to practice and get your clicker, treats, and dog. If you don’t have a clicker you can simply say the word “good” or “yes” instead of clicking. Bring the treat (lure) over the dog’s head so that he looks up and back and automatically sits down to see the treat. When his bum hits the floor click and treat.
  2. After about 10 repetitions if your dog is sitting reliably, lure him into the sit and say “sit” just as he is about to do so.
  3. Instead of bringing the treat over the dog’s head, use the same motion with your hand empty and say “sit”. If he does, Jackpot! (feed 3 treats) and take a break.
  4. Continue practicing using the empty-hand motion. This is now a “hand signal”! If you would like you can also fade this so that the dog responds to the verbal cue alone. Use smaller and smaller hand movements while cueing “sit” until you no longer need to move your hand for him to understand what to do.

Becoming an Expert at Sittingteach your dog to stay

  • Stop rewarding your dog for sitting when you didn’t ask for it.
  • Practice for 5 minutes, twice per day by asking your dog to sit in increasingly distracting situations.
  • Practice “Go Crazy and Sit”: Run around with your dog while squeaking a toy and then ask him to sit. C/T success.
  • “Say Please”: Ask your dog to sit whenever you give him something he likes such as access to outside, his food bowl, or petting.

Example distractions to practice for training your dog to Sit:


  • Someone else in the family is in the room
  • You have a toy in your hand


  • An alarm, doorbell, or phone going off during request
  • Asking while you are in a different position (sitting or lying down, back is turned)
  • Asking in a different area
  • Food in your hand


  • People or dogs or other animals nearby
  • Food on a table nearby
  • You are in a place like Petco or the Vet’s office
  • You have guests visiting

How to Teach Your Dog to Stay

A puppy who knows the “stay” cue will remain sitting until you ask him to get up by giving another cue, called the “release word.” Staying in place is a duration behavior. The goal is to teach your dog to remain sitting until the release cue is given, then begin adding distance.

First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as “OK” or “free.” Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat AFTER he begins to move. This teaches the dog that the release cue means to move your feet.

When your dog knows the release cue and how to sit on cue, put him in a sit, turn and face him, and give him a treat. Pause, and give him another treat for staying in a sit, then release him. Gradually increase the time you wait between treats (it can help to sing the ABC’s in your head and work your way up the alphabet). If your dog gets up before the release cue, that’s ok! It just means he isn’t ready to sit for that long so you can make it easier by going back to a shorter time.

Once your dog can stay in a sit for several seconds, you can begin adding distance. Place him in a sit and say “stay,” take one step back, then step back to the pup, give a treat, and your release word. Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful. Practice both facing him and walking away with your back turned (which is more realistic).

Once your dog can stay, you can gradually increase the distance. This is also true for the “sit.” The more solidly he learns it, the longer he can remain sitting. The key is to not expect too much, too soon. Training goals are achieved in increments, so you may need to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. To make sure the training “sticks,” sessions should be short and successful.

How to Teach Your Dog to Lay Down

“Down” can be taught very similarly to “sit.” You can wait for your dog to lie down (beginning in a boring, small room such as a bathroom can help) and capture the behavior by reinforcing your dog with a treat when he lies down, giving him his release cue to stand back up (and encouragement with a lure if needed) and then waiting for him to lie down again. When he is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying “down” right before he does so.

You can also lure a down from a sit or stand by holding a treat in your hand to the dog’s nose and slowly bringing it to the floor. Give the treat when the dog’s elbows touch the floor to start. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and giving the treat AFTER he lies down. When he can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.

Just like with sitting, never use force to put your dog into a down.

How to Teach Your Dog to Calm Down in Minutes!

The best way to calm down a puppy? Positive reinforcement and a calming attitude. Yelling at your pup or negatively reinforcing their behavior won’t make them calm down any faster, and it will do more harm than good in the long run. Instead of negatively reacting to your puppy’s unwanted behavior (i.e. being hyper), focus on providing positive reinforcement when they are calm. Using the techniques posted on this page will teach your puppy (or fully grown dog) to be more calm, less hyper, and easier to deal with.

Do you know what your dog’s personality type is? You should! Dogs, unlike humans, only have two defined personality types: active and passive.

Knowing what category your dog belongs to is critical because the two types react differently to new situations and new people, as well as commands, cues, and greetings.

For example, if your dog is passive, you will want to be very expressive, energetic, and use a lot of emotion when teaching a new command. However, if your dog has an active personality, you will want to be quiet, firm, and relaxed when you are teaching a new command.

How do you know if your dog is an active or passive personality? Although there are several factors to consider when determining your dog’s personality type, such as age and the time of day, the following example will help you to recognize some key characteristics of each personality.

When you return home from work or running errands, how does your dog react? Do they greet you by jumping all over you, spinning around and running all over the house, or any combination of high energy reactions? Or do they mosey over, wagging their tail low, dropping their head, and brushing up against you, showing that they are happy but not overjoyed to see you?

If your dog reacts more like the first scenario, they probably have a more active personality. The second scenario is how a passive personality would react.

The Calm Down Comand

“Settle,” tells your dog to relax, calm down, and focus. Anytime your dog is acting too excited, playing too rough, or is not cooperating with you use this command.

The Best Time to Use The Calm Down Command

The best time to teach this command is during situations when you need your dog to be still. For instance, use “Settle” during grooming sessions when your dog will not settle, when your puppy is playing too rough, or when their behavior is just simply not appropriate.

When such a situation occurs, repeat the command “Settle” in a soothing, no-nonsense tone. It’s important to say the command without begging, and not to touch, praise, or engage with your dog until they have regained their composure.

Once your dog has calmed down, praise them softly and pet them slowly. Remember, if you are excited your dog will feed off this energy and think the excited behavior is what you are expecting and rewarding.

If your dog’s reaction to your soft praise and petting causes them to get excited again, stop what you are doing and repeat the command “Settle” again in a soothing, no-nonsense tone. This time, when your dog begins to relax, repeat, “That’s it…settle…that’s it” in a soft and soothing tone while you pet them slowly.

Once your dog has remained calm for 5 seconds, I recommend taking your pet outside to let them burn off some energy. This is a rewarding activity and will reinforce the idea of when it is appropriate for your dog to be calm compared to when they are free to run and play.


Keep training sessions short and fun. End each session on a positive note. If you feel your dog is having a difficult time learning or being “stubborn,” evaluate the speed of your training and the value of your rewards. Do you need to slow down and make the steps easier, or does your dog need a bigger paycheck for a harder exercise?

These commands will give your puppy a strong foundation for any future training and most of all make your furry friend more enjoyable.

And just think, if you and your puppy continue to work hard—and have fun—at training, someday you may become obedience champs!

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