SIT – The Magical Dog Training Command

The SIT  – It’s Magical

In today’s video, I’m going to talk about how you can get the sit command to help you fix dog behavior problems much, much easier, get a well -mannered dog, and change your life with your dog forever, with just a little practice.

Now, first let me explain the Magic of The  SIT by setting it up this way for you.

Your dog, like most all other dogs, has a lot of time on their hands, well paws,  and they use instinct, trial and error, and training, to figure out what they want, in any given moment. Some of the things that they do, to get things that they want, are very subtle. And some are not so subtle.

Some of the subtle things that your dog might do are:

  • Your dog nudges, and you freely pet. That’s very subtle. It’s a kind of demanding thing. You hardly notice it at all, because you love your dog.
  • He  barks, you feed him.
  • Barks more, you let him outside to go potty in the backyard.
  • He drops a ball in your lap, and you throw it over, and over again, because that’s what he wants, right there in the moment.

The not so subtle things, would be things like:

  • jumping on a house guest,
  • counter surfing in the kitchen,
  • digging in the trash bin, stuff like that.

Those are your hot button behaviors, right? And it’s usually those hot button behaviors, that really don’t match up to what your expectations are, for your dog to do. So it’s just a matter of training.

So lets break it down,  see how working your dog on SIT can  change your life.

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  1. The very first thing, that I would do, is I would begin to take all those little subtle demands, that he was doing in the past, like I just talked about, and require him to sit for each one of them. No free stuff, okay, for your dog. No free stuff. He’s gotta give you something, like a sit. That’s how you work that sit, okay?
  2. And I would add to the list I would make him sit for his food. And if you’re already doing that, require your dog to sit, and down for his food, and maybe sit up again for his food. So, expand on it just a little bit, because remember, he’s been getting everything for free, all this time, and you’ve got some issues that you wanna fix with him. So begin to require him to give you something, for every single thing that he wants.
  3. If he wants up on the couch with you, make him sit before he gets up on the couch with you. You have to do this every single day, okay? And if he wants to go outside, to go potty, make him sit. Same thing coming back in, and going out the front door for a walk. Sitting at the door is just part of life now, okay? And Keeper loves to fetch, so that’s such a high ticket item for him, that I make him do a lot more extra things, than just to sit, to get to fetch the ball.
  4. I’ll send him out, make him do a sit, and a down, and bring him back to me, and then I’ll throw the ball. And he goes and fetches it, and has a great time, and even loves doing that work, because that kind of structure keeps his stress low, okay? Sitting for everything in my house, as a matter of fact, is a de stressor for your dog, because now he knows exactly what to do, when to do it, not like before.

Change Begins To Happen

Now as you begin to require your dog to sit for everything around the house, you begin to change his mindset about things that he’s got to do. He begins to think before he does, and look to you for decisions.

So when it comes to fixing things, those behavioral hot buttons of yours, like jumping on a house guest, teaching him better manners, at the front door, and when your guest is there, in the house with you, begins to become much, much easier. He begins to look to you for direction, just like he had on earning every single thing.

So now, instead of demanding things from you, he has to earn things from you By Giving You A Sit!

Do this for you, get that for him. It’s that simple. Life becomes well balanced, and you have a well trained dog. Now if you like this, use it in your home with your dog, like it, share it. I’d appreciate that, Keeper would too. And you know that Keeper and I can always be found at You guys take care, and we will see you on the next video. Bye for now.

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Kids and Dogs – What’s OK Behavior

So many opinions on Kids and Dogs.  Do you trust the kids? Do you trust the dog? What’s the answer?

Well, the answer is, you don’t trust the kid or trust the dog. So trust neither one of them.

Kids and Dogs: they both have to be trained and supervised.  And just like dogs, even when you’re not teaching your child, your child is learning something.

Kids and Dogs Learn by Watching

So, a good example of this watching and learning is this: If a dog owner gets angry at his child, or starts punishing the child frequently enough in front of the family dog, the dog is going to get really edgy when that child comes around.

By the same token, if that same dog owner punishes the dog frequently enough in front of the child, then the child could take on the role of punisher of the dog. Then that child will get into trouble when the dog tries to defend himself.

Kids an Dogs: What’s the compromise? What’s the fix?


The best way to get started and avoid any issues between your child and your family dog , is to supervise both when they’re together.

If you have an age appropriate child that you can supervise, then teach that child to do obedience training with the dog: simple sits and downs. They become a team: Dogs and Kids

Your dog will develop a higher degree of respect for your child, and that’s a huge bonus.

Then the other thing to do is to teach your child and your dog to respect each other’s personal space.

So, I gotta ask you, what did you learn from this video, and how can you put this to use in your home with your dog and your child?

What’s your way to get good behavior from dogs and kids?

Easily Get a Well Trained Dog


Now, eventually, you can get a well-trained dog meaning you have a well-mannered dog!  You keep his stress and yours to an absolute minimum if you can only remember to do one single thing. That is to require your dog to sit for every single thing that he might want in life. Just like kids, you teach your dog to say, “Please” for things that he might want. What could that possibly include? Let’s take a look at your dog’s want list. It’s short and it’s easy.

What’s On The Want List

That Gets You A Well Trained Dog?

For starters, you can categorize things your dog may want into four groups: Food, space, toys, love and affection. Feed your dog twice a day. Make him sit for his food each time.

Second thing, space. That includes beds, couches and chairs. Make your dog sit before you invite him up on the future. That’s important. We’re not taking anything away. Just want him to sit. You start to balance things. He wants this, you want to sit. Space also can include doors to go in and out to the back yard to go potty. Sit to go outside and sit to come back in through that same door. Begin to work that with your dog so that there is an expectation that he has to give before he receives. Really, really important. That will change your life.

Alright, toys. Make him sit for his toys. Pick them up every night before you go to bed. The next day, when you start your day, you make your dog sit for his toys. If he want’s a squeaky squirrel, got to sit. There it is. We don’t care if he plays with it right away or anytime during the day, but you dole out four or five toys, he’s got to sit for each one. That becomes habit and routine with you and your dog. There’s got to be some give before he receives. Consistency, repetition on a daily basis makes it all work for you eventually. Alright?

Last thing is love and affection. Make sure that you, if you’ve given away free love and affection to your dog then he’s got to sit to earn it now. We’re not taking that away either. We’re just trying to balance things in your dog’s life. If he wants affection from you, wants to get snuggles on the couch or petting when he comes up and nudges you like that, just make him sit first. Sometimes it’s better with a real pushy dog to send to him away and then call him back on your terms, make him sit and then pet him. That can work equally as well or even better, but earning love and affection is a big thing.

I will say this, every single thing that I have mentioned is not rocket science stuff. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s beyond simple. Your biggest challenge is remembering to get in the groove in asking for a sit every single day in every way.  Once you have your well trained dog, watch the stress go down and the compliments go up!

Now, you will see amazing changes in your dog after you incorporate this. Sit for everything for at least four to six weeks in your dog. If you continue this training beyond that, suddenly one of these days, one of your neighbors or friends is going to say, “Wow, what a change in your dog. What a well-mannered dog you’ve got.” That’s where you want to be, right?  Get MY  EXACT Step By Step Sytem I use with all my clients- grab it now 


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Good Down Command Prevents Bad Dog Behavior


A good  down command is a great stationary or control command to prevent unwanted behaviors or to redirect to just in case you forgot to put your dog in the down to begin with. Here’s a very easy way to teach your dog to do a down in about four to five easy steps, and your dog will be an expert in no time at all.

In this video I use food treats because most dogs, like Keeper, will work for food. It makes it just that much easier to teach your dog a well accomplished down.

Step # 1 – Lure Your Dog Down to the Ground

Now with food treat in hand, lure your dog all the way to the ground, right between his front feet. When his elbows hit the ground, you praise him and then toss the treat so he gets up and you can repeat this. Do it over and over until he’s doing it quickly.

Step #2 – You Do Less – He Does More

Again –  food treat in hand it’s time to go to the next step. Now you want to do less and expect your dog to do more, so take your food treat hand right in front of his nose and lure him only halfway down, expecting him to go the rest of the way on his own, just like Keeper. Now when his elbows hit the ground, you praise him and then toss the treat so that he gets up.

Step # 3 – Dog Does The Down With No Luring

Your next step is to just put your food treat hand right in front of his nose as you say the word down and expect that he drops all the way without any luring from you. Once he’s down, elbows on the ground, praise him and drop the food treat. Repeat this as many times as necessary to get him to do it quickly. Then you’re ready for the next step.

Step # 4 – Tease Your Dog Into Doing A Down – Say The Word

If your dog is ready for the next step, here’s what you do. This is called the tease. You just let him briefly smell the treat, take your hand quickly away and say the word down, and see if he’ll drop all the way to the ground. If he does elbows on the ground, praise him then drop the treat so he gets up. You can rinse and repeat until he’s doing that quickly.

Step # 5 – Add The Hand Signal to the Tease for the Down Command

Next pair the hand signal with the tease. Once your dog is in a sit, tease him with your food treat hand and then give him a down hand signal and say the word down. Once he’s down you praise him, then treat him. Rinse and repeat until he’s doing this quickly.

Step # 6 – The Completed Down Command With No Tease

Here’s the cool part. Now you eliminate the tease and just put him on a hand signal. Put him in a sit, give him a hand signal to down. Once he drops you praise him and drop the treat. Repeat that until he does it quickly, and you’ve reached your goal. Your next step is to simply work on longer downs and release him once you’re ready to let him up.

Always remember to build time first in a down before you add distance from your dog. Then you add distractions after that. The formula is time, distance, and distractions. That’s how you easily teach your dog the down.

There you have it, folks, a very easy way to teach your dog the down command. Wean him off of food treats and put this to use for you and your dog. I’m Jim Burwell. Keeper and I can still be found at

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Is Your Dog Interested in You?

Signs your dog is not interested in you:

My dog will not come to me when I call him! In fact he completely ignores me. How do I fix that

Easy – become interesting to your dog!. Be the person he looks forward to seeing. Be the person that makes fun things happen.

Be the person who gets your dog to use that brilliant brain he has inside that head.

To make your dog interested in you—you have to become interesting to your dog. I’ll show and exlain how in the video below

Tug with Your Dog – Good or Bad?

Playing Tug With Your Dog. Good or bad for your dog?

A lot of people have read that it’s not a good game to play  tug with your dog. But it can be a great energy burning exercise for your dog.  But there are a few rules to understand about the game.


First, let’s talk about the type of toy for Tug of War

When  teaching your dog to play tug, I prefer that you use a cylindrical toy, kind of like this.  Or if your dog likes stuffies, here’s a well used stuffy.

The reason that I use a cylindrical toy, is I can grip both ends.  When I grip both ends, I control 2/3 of the toy, Keeper’s 1/3 is in the middle, in between my hands.

So, type of toy is critical. Never share 50% of the toy with the dog, initially, because then he has more control. 2/3, 1/3, that’s your rule on toys.

The next thing is how you play the game of Tug.

You have to have rules and the rules are this:

1. Always sit to earn the right to play. It’s real simple.
2. The second most important rule, is no being mouthy
3. Being mouthy equals game over.

He can’t go for your hand and put his teeth on your hand. Dogs are very precise about their bite grip.  They can drill right down on their 1/3 without hitting your hand, if they want to.  They’ll test you a little bit by trying to nip or bite your finger sometimes, so if that happens, game over.

Don’t lose your patience. Just say, “Oops, game over.” Put the toy away, play again later.

Tug  Let’s You Also Teach “Drop It”

The tug game is a great way to teach your dog to drop it.  How many times during the day has your dog picked up something of yours, taken it and not wanting it to give it back? If only he knew the command, “Drop it.”

So here’s a good way to teach your dog to drop it, playing tug.

Now you’ll notice a couple of things.
1. I’ll make Keeper sit and then I’ll say, “Take it,” that’s his command word to play the game
2. Then when I’m ready to drop it, you’ll see me pull the tug toy tight, side to side. I never want to pull it towards me when I want to end the game, I’ll pull it side to side.

Keeper may want to continue the game by trying to back up and pull on it himself.

But if you always practice on a leash, at least initially, what you can do is you can step on the leash to prevent him from backing up.

I’ve played the Tug Game With Keeper A Lot!

So that means you’ll notice a lot of this is sped up.  He tends to drop it when I say, “Drop it.”  I usually don’t have to step on the leash, but for purposes of demonstration for you, he’s on a leash here plus he’s outside.

So I’m just going to drop the leash like this. “Come here Keeper.”

Look here, “Drop. Good. Sit.” Always make him sit to play the game.

So I pulled it tight like that and kill the toy action basically.

If I need to or if you need to, step on the leash with your foot to prevent him from backing up.
Then you say, “Drop,” pull the toy tight and wait him out.

Don’t repeat the word, “Drop it,”

Just be patient. “Take it. Good boy. Drop.”

• This is a good way to burn energy
• It creates calm in your dog,
• It works really great on your relationship because he looks forward to the toy.

Remember: Always make him sit before you play the game. Teach him drop it, just like I showed you, and then when the games over, you put this toy away so that it only comes out when you play the game with your dog.

stop dog barking, Jim Burwell

Why is my dog barking at the front door? Fri 9/11

E;pisode # 2 Can’t understand why your dog is continuously barking at your front door? Or maybe, at times, he is barking for no reason at all? Join us for this special episode where we not only show you how to end the barking but also answer your questions – live.  Time Stamp of Questions asked:

How do I work on multiple dogs who charge the door.  I need help with my dog barking!   My dog barking goes on inside at the neighbor’s dogs barking outside and when the leave the house.   When my older dog barks, that sets the puppies to also bark.  How to stop my 13 yr old dog barking at the door and rushing out to get petted by the visitor.  How to stop my dog barking a people outside and walking by

dog behavior Houston, Jim Burwell

Stop Your Jumping Dog – The Tools

3 Easy Tools to Stop Your Jumping Dog

If you’re tired of your jumping dog knocking you down and keep house guests away, this first video in a 3 part series

starts your off with explaining 3 easy, non-harsh tools to use.  

You’ll find yourself asking:  “Why didn’t I think of this before!”

The old “knee-on-the-chest” or pinching of the paws methods are harsh and they simply do not work.  


Your Jumping Dog Continues Because You Are Reacting to the Behavior  – Not Teaching Something Else

The jumping has already occurred and you are not teaching your dog what you want him or her to do instead.  

If you don’t want a jumping dog – what do you want your dog to do?  

These 3 tools will help you set your dog up to not jump in the first place.  The tools are not harsh, they are easy to use and you more than likely already have them

there in your house and use them.  You just haven’t thought of how to stop your jumping dog using these 3 things.

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Dog Invades Their Space

 90# Dog Invades Their Space, A Huge Problem!

dog behavior Houston, Jim Burwell's Petiquette

John and Mary were concerned that their 18 month old male German Shepherd dog invades their space all the time.
He also pushed his way into their children’s space and also visitors. It was no laughing matter.

Blaze, the German Shepherd was a whopping 90 pound problem!

John said, “My dog still invades our space even after we shipped him off to 6 weeks of board and train. Blaze knows how to push my buttons!”

Isn’t Respecting Personal Space Taught in Dog Training?

Blaze learned to listen to the trainer and respect his personal space. That did not mean it transferred to John and Mary’s home environment with the kids.

John and Mary picked Blaze up from boarding school. The trainer was proud as he demonstrated how Blaze would heel by his side and do a great sit/stay.

The trainer could even drop the leash, walk around Blaze, bounce a tennis ball and roll it by Blaze. Blaze never broke his sit/stay command.

Upon arriving home, John and Mary were thinking, “How do we apply the training at our home?”

No “How To’s” Were Given On How to Keep Their Dog Out of Their Face

In Blaze’s mind, life returned to normal once he got back home.

All his initial jumping got hugs, because they missed Blaze.

But, all their greetings and hugs just fueled Blaze’s thinking that jumping to greet is okay.

Then it hit them: Their dog’s lack of respect for their personal space had returned. Truth is, it had never left.

There were no instructions of how to manage Blaze’s bad manners on a day-to-day basis in the home.

Mary was concerned because once John left for work, she was the one responsible for managing Blaze’s bad dog behavior all day.

Mary’s list of concerns with Blaze:

  • Her dog invades her space and jumps on her
  • Her dog invades the space of her kids eating in their in high chairs
  • Knocking them over when they are on the floor
  • Counter surfing in the kitchen

Step One: Lesson on Intruding on Personal Space

We made a temporary 4’ square on the floor with painter’s tape.

Jim Burwell's Petiquette, Dog Behavior Houston

This was a visual space boundary for Blaze that defined Mary’s personal space boundary for Blaze.

Next we did training exercises with Blaze by having Mary stand in the square with very high value food treats.

As Blaze began to encroach into her defined personal space box, Mary lunged forward before he could cross the line.

I told Mary not to say anything, just use lower body language.

After 10 minutes of trying all around the square, Blaze finally gave up.

I asked Mary to put the treats on the floor between her feet to increase the temptation for Blaze.

Finally, after many futile attempts all around the square, Blaze gave up again.

Step Two: Stay Out of My Space Everywhere

We took the exercise out of the square and repeated it many, many times in different rooms.

What made this work out of the square?

Here’s the key.

Mary’s work in the square gave Blaze, a visual approximation 0f Mary’s personal space boundary.

For Blaze and Mary, this was easier to transfer and remember anywhere in the house. It worked well with repetitive practice.

For the next 15 minutes Mary practiced with Blaze all around the house.

She continued this every day for a couple of weeks testing Blaze.

If Blaze got sloppy with his boundary work, Mary just briefly went back to her square for “reminder practice.”

Other Space Boundaries to Enforce

We even put blue painter’s tape around the high chair her toddler uses when he eats. Now Blaze stays a safe distance away from the high chair.

Mary thought that was such a great idea, she decided to tape off the kitchen to prevent counter surfing.

Surprise! The foundation work with the tape used for her and her toddler’s high chair made quick success with the kitchen boundaries!
After two weeks of daily work, not only has all the tape gone but so has Mary’s stress.

Important, Critial Personal Space Tip to Remember

Teaching your dog not to invade your space or anyone else’s for that matter is great.

But, you must give your dog something else to do INSTEAD, that works for both you and your dog.

In Mary’s case a down stay worked for her. We taught Blaze a down and stay on leash. He is happy at a safe distance while Mary works in the kitchen.

Mary keeps the leash on Blaze during his supervised time in the house. Mary can then quickly circumvent any issues and redirects to a down/stay.

Blaze now greets friends on leash at the door and remains in a down by John’s feet until he gets used to the visitors. Once the initial excitement is over, Blaze is allowed to roam and relax, which he does quiet well.

Mary’s Take-Away from This Personal Space Lesson was Simple.

  • All Blaze needed to know was what to do and when to do it.
  • Mary learned about consistency. Giving Blaze a daily training routine on personal space requirements meant much less stress.
  • Blaze was also happy to turn over his leadership role to her.
  • When Mary found out dogs learn by instinct, trial and error OR training, she was glad she finally chose the latter for her and Blaze.

What will your choice be?

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.

I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back no matter where you live. We’ll do private lesson in your home OR we can do private video lessons where geography is no longer a roadblock.

Jim Burwell, dog behavior Houston

Dog Behavior Problems 3 Top Posts

3 Irritating Dog Problems and Their Solutions

Jim Burwell, dog behavior Houston

easy solutions to 3 top dog problems

In a nutshell, these are your “Top Pick 3” for last year. Enjoy!
This is what you told me you helps you with your dog behavior problems.

Training for Good Dog Door Manners #1

First of all what does that mean? And, just how do you do that?

You must first decide what do I want my dog to do instead of jump on people? Then you go about working on the bad dog behavior at the door.

The perfect greeting for your dog is of course a well-disciplined sit.

There is a simple, quick fix solution to work on at the door with your dog.

Practice the new dog behavior until you have that perfect greeting just the way you like it! Want to know how?

Here’s how to get good dog door manners

3 Tips for Training Your Fraidy-Cat Dog #2

Is this your fraidy-cat dog? He doesn’t want to leave the safety of his home.

You want to take him for a walk but he won’t let you collar him up, let alone get him to go outside!

This problem is frustrating not only for you and your dog. He’s a prisoner in his home.

Then on top of that what do you do if you have more than one dog?

Here are 3 dog training tips to help your fearful dog

How Do I Stop My Dogs Fighting? #3

Can you tell me how to stop my dogs fighting?

Wrong question!

The question should not be “how do I stop my dogs fighting.” It should be: how do I prevent my dogs from fighting in the first place.

You have at least two dogs who are confused about their pecking order in the home.

The result of that confusion is trouble on the horizon, more potential dog fights down the road.

Here’s my take on that.

My belief is that your dogs have no problems working out the pecking order.

It’s your influencing interactions that can complicate matters and cause fighting between your dogs.

You might need to read that again.

Stop your dogs from fighting today!

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.

I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back no matter where you live. We’ll do private lesson in your home OR we can do private video lessons where geography is no longer a roadblock.