Equipment needed: Metal Training Collar (for puppies a flat collar will due but be sure they can't slip their head out if it's too loose), 6' leather lead, chair for handler to sit on that they aren't too worried about (IE an antique chair would not be a good idea, especially for a dog that might try to chew something other than their toy while you aren't watching, but a good metal folding chair will do), silence which means no verbal commands, praise, or corrections. Also no conversations of any sort with your dog.
STEP 1: (if using the metal training collar, otherwise go to STEP 2) Put the training collar on correctly when you let your dog out. Hold the collar by the top and bottom ring. Drop the chain through the bottom ring. Place the collar over your left hand. If you have done this correctly, when you tug on the ring that is not holding the chain (live ring), pulling the live ring will allow it to release. Otherwise, it will just tighten on your arm, and that is not what you want. Once the collar is in the correct conformation, position your dog at your left hand side, facing in the same direction that you are. Put your left hand on top of his/her head, then slip the collar off of your wrist and over his/her head instead.
STEP 2: Handler places the flat part of leather leash on the chair seat and under their butt, so that the snap attached to the dog and collar is on their left. The handle of the leash will must come out on the right hand side. The handler holds the other end with handle in his/her right hand to be sure the puppy or dog does not loosen up the distance at all. Remember that the correct handle grip is thumb through handle, and fingers close around and enclose the handle of the leash.
STEP 3: Handler must have something else to do during this exercise so that they do not concentrate on their dog. You may only correct mouthing at the leash or jumping up on you, but nothing else. Let your dog whine, cry, tug at the leash ET to figure out what is required of him. Corrections for leash mouthing or jumping up are simply either pushing them gently but firmly off of you, or removing the leash from their mouth. You DO NOT want to talk to them or make any kind of significant eye contact. Look quickly away and don't acknowledge them if you accidentally meet their eyes.
STEP 4: The timer for the exercise starts when the dog first goes into a down. After that the dog can go up and down, and again the handler can't say anything to correct him. This exercise must be done for the next thirty minutes minimum (in one stretch).
Once the dog has the idea of this, it's time to increase the distraction level. If it's a good time of year, I find a park with other dogs in it on leash. I may have a family member walk through bouncing a ball. A family member could also help by opening and closing doors to the outside. If understanding company comes over, this is an excellent time to do this exercise. Be very creative and especially target those areas that your dog will find challenging to calm down in.
Homework: 1/2 hour at one time every day, minimum. It must be for one half hour at a stretch minimum.
***Common owner mistakes are to pay attention to the dog, not to have the leash short enough, and not to be doing something else to keep them occupied.
This exercise is an excellent beginning to an obedience program, and to teach the dog to chill upon the owner/handler sitting down. Of course, owners/handlers are expected to give proper care which includes, food, attention, and exercise during the day.
Margot Woods developed this beginning to her Bedrock Basics training method.