By now your pup understands that sit means to put its butt down on the floor and is starting to get the idea that down means to lay down on the floor. So what’s next do we need to do this for the rest of your life?
Now begins collar work. First we are going to teach the pup that lifting on the collar is the signal to sit and then that pressure on the bottom of the collar is down.
Begin by kneeling on the floor with your knees on the pups leash. Again this is just in case the pup runs off. There is no pressure from the leash at this point. I can’t stress this enough, the leash is not used to apply pressure it is just there to prevent escape. Mold the pup into a sit. The pup should be sitting at your left side ( Heel Position) Get a treat and put it in your Right Hand. Take 2 fingers of your Left Hand and put them into the collar under the pups chin. With the treat in your Right Hand, push down and back ( an L shaped move) on the collar as you lower the treat in front of the dog’s nose. Drop the treat on the floor between the dog’s legs near its chest and say the word Down. The pup should Drop into the down position. If its back end pops up as it is going down, withhold the treat until the pup is actually down all the way. If it cheats and doesn’t put its elbows down, withhold the treat until the elbows are on the ground.
Get another treat and rotate your Left Hand around the collar until it is on the top of its head behind its ears. With the treat in front of the pups nose, lift on the collar as you raise the treat. The pup should pop up into a sitting position. Make sure the pup gets the treat at the end of the move. Do not withhold the treats. They need to get paid at this point. It makes the behavior solid and creates a positive learning atmosphere.
Repeat until the behaviors seem to be solid. Repeat this lesson later in the day and repeat these lessons for a week. By the end of the week gentle pressure on the collar should cause the pup to sit or down. Mark the behavior each time it is complete with the command.