How to Teach Your Golden Retriever The Sit and Down Commands

Teaching your Golden retriever the basic commands of sit and down is the first step into making your relationship with your dog everything you wanted it to be. But before you get started on that you need to get the dog’s attention. Surprisingly he can’t learn anything if he’s not paying attention to you.

In order to convey to the dog that you’re going to begin training ask him a question. Ask a short question that you’re not going to repeat in a normal conversation. For example, you can use something like “Training?” or “Homework?” or “School?” and so on. Maybe homework is not so good if you have children but anyway.

The instant you say this walk towards your Golden retriever and give him a treat while telling him what a good dog he is. Now wait a couple of minutes and try again; this time stop a little short of him, encouraging him to walk to you so you can receive the treat. Eventually you want him to come to you as soon as you say the word.

Teaching your golden retriever the “sit” command

The trick is easy. Before it starts it’s advisable leash him and have the lead in your left hand and your treat in your right hand. Get your food hand in front of his nose and let him lick the treat, but not take it. Now raise your hand above his head and say “Sit”.

The trick is that as he raises his head to follow the treat he has to bend his knees to maintain his balance. In the meantime it will be more comfortable for him to assume a sit position. As he does that release the treat and praise him enthusiastically.

This is one of the easiest commands. The Golden retriever’s natural body type forces him to assume a sit position when you raise the treat over his head. Make sure to praise him verbally so he feels proud about what he did.

Also don’t use food forever, at some point you want him to do the command without you having to give him a treat every time. Food is used to teach new commands, and gradually you will give him fewer treats per session.

Teaching your golden retriever the “down” command

Golden Retriever Basic CommandsThis command is a really hard one for most people. It’s because they don’t understand how the Golden retriever perceives the down position. This position is submissive, and trying to force him into it will make him fearful of it and he will most likely try to run away.

But it’s easy to do if you know the right method. Have your dog sit to your left, facing the direction you are facing. As always, hold the lead in your left hand and the treat in your right hand (or food hand). This is the starting position.

Now rest your left hand on his shoulders, taking care not to push down on him. Next position your food hand at his nose slowly lower the treat to his front feet, all the while softly and soothingly saying “Down”. When your hand reaches the floor start moving it away from the dog.

Keep talking softly to him, using positive reinforcement such as “you can do this, good dog” and “you want to the treat?”. The idea is that your tone of voice will calm the dog as he tries to follow the food. When he rests on his elbows give him the food and praise him softly. Try to hold the position for a few seconds before letting him sit up once again.

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