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It’s a common occurrence that we receive pups who have some form of training under their belt before they walk through my doors.

Owners will proudly say their dog knows sit or down or maybe the occasional recall.

Depending if I’m feeling ornery or not, I’ll ask the owners to demonstrate for me. The same is asked of me when I’m learning from other trainers.

The owner will get their dog’s attention and ask an obedience command. Nine times out of ten the dog just stares at them. The owner will then repeat the command and will either point or will pretend to have a treat in their hand and lure their dog into the desired position.

It always reminds me of the time I asked my personal puppy to down in front of a crowd and she just sat there, happily waiting for me to ask her to do something she knows.

After a million reps, owners and myself included that day, will swear up and down the dog knows the command.

But the proof is in the pudding….the dog doesn’t know the command unless you show them.

So what does the title and the stories all mean?


We are luring or showing our dog what do before we say the verbal command.

When it should be the opposite, verbal command and then lure or show your dog the position you want. Reward and repeat.

So training your dog a new command should look something like this —-> “Sit” -> lure treat over dog’s nose -> dog sits -> mark and reward

And I know some of y’all are going to argue and say you do train that way and that’s fine. I typically do as well, but sometimes rushing gets us in trouble.

So go ahead. Ask your dog to sit with he or she behind you. Did he or she sit?

If so, bravo!

If not, read this blurb again.