Week 3

Recall and Sit Stay

Heeling Goals: Continue working on heeling in a straight line with automatic sits. Continue, always, to make the appropriate corrective turns to refine the heeling. You may continue to give the command 'Sit' as you slow down to a stop. Assuming you've done your work prior and you KNOW your dog knows 'sit', give a sit correction if the dog does not comply within two seconds, praise afterwards regardless of having to give a correction or not (verbal then physical). Practice in new locations taking into consideration the 3 D's: Distance Duration Distraction. If you and your dog are not able to complete the exercises with 80% success, either you're too close (distance), pushing the exercise too long (duration), or the distraction is just too, well, distracting, for your dog at this time. Fix it...move back, shorten duration, change distraction, etc. One of those options will help you set your dog up for success. 

Recall Goals: Your dog can move towards you in a straight line into a sit, facing you, from a distance of 6' away on the leash; moderate distraction.

Sit Stay Goals: Your dog can hold a sit stay for 30 seconds, on leash, in low to moderate distraction areas. 

Recalls - Straight Sit In Front (SSIF)

Heel to a moderate distraction area and send your dog to Kennel from 4'-6' away; Kennel Here Sit. make sure they are lined up straight with you (as opposed to you with them...they need to meet you), and if not, correct it (use the leash close up to the clasp to put them into position, and/or take a half stop in the OPPOSITE way the dog is facing while giving the Here Sit command.) Begin by stepping out 2' or so in front of your dog, still facing them.  Then call them HERE, while reeling in the leash to get them to SIT in front of you. Move to their side and do an exercise finish (Heel Sit). Alternate these exercises so that your dog is never sure if you will make them complete the Kennel or will recall them from it. Increase distance throughout the week. Your goal for the end of the week is to have a solid 6' SSIF recall from Kennel. Only do approximately 5-10 of these a day, never more than 5 in a session in order to keep it from becoming boring to the dog. 

You may use food to reward them, but do not bribe! After the dog recalls to front and looks at you, mark that with your reward marker ('Good', 'Yes', clicker, etc) and THEN reach for the food. 

Sit Stay

We'll use a non-verbal signal for the sit stay, and make it clear that the sit stay has a very clearly definition: stay means do not move, no matter what, until I get back to your side and either give you another command, or an OK.

  1. From an auto sit after heeling, adjust your dog's collar so that it is just a little tight and the leash is coming up from the top of their head. Hold the leash with your right hand.
  2. Step off with your RIGHT FOOT, and pivot out in front to face your dog.
  3. Stand still 1 foot in front of your dog and maintain pressure on the leash to keep them in place for 10 seconds.
    1. On days 1 and 2, this is 1 foot for 10 seconds, 10 per day
    2. On days 3 and 4 this is 2 feet for 20 seconds, 10 per day
    3. On days 5 and 6, this is 3 feet for 30 seconds, 10 per day
  4. Return to the dog's side in heel position. Relax the leash.
  5. Heel off with your LEFT FOOT one step forward into another auto sit. ('Exercise Finish')
  6. Praise. Verbal, then physical, then food (if you want).

VIDEO: Teaching the Sit Stay

***NOTE: The videos show 4 feet through 6 feet, 40 seconds through 60 seconds, respectively. This week we are just working up to 3 feet/30 seconds.


Now that our pups have had 1 full week of luring into the down, then another week with using pressure into the position and adding the name to the behavior, we will initiate the 2 second rule with downs as well. When your dog is to your left side in the heel position, say 'Down' as you begin to slide your left hand down towards the clasp, motioning to the ground. Do not apply pressure, but be prepared to if your dog does not Down in 2 seconds (one one thousand, two one thousand). If your dog:

  • A) moves into Down, stand up straight while also stepping on the leash with your left foot to prevent them from popping right up. Many dogs do that when the handler begins to stand up straight. The dog will correct itself this way. Once settled do an exercise finish (Heel Sit), and praise.
  • B) fails to Down w/in two seconds, use the left hand that is already on the leash close to the clasp to apply steady pressure toward the ground. Do so at a slight angle toward you rather than directly below the dogs chin. Step on the leash once the dog is in the down with your left foot to prevent them from popping up, while standing up straight. Once settled do an exercise finish (Heel Sit), and praise.

Fit in about 20 downs daily throughout the day. You may use food as a reward, after you verbally and physically praise.