In the beginning, I suggest you teach the SIT - STAY command with your dog on leash . Use a treat to lure your dog to sit in the heel position at your left side. Both of you should be facing the same direction. Reward you labrador puppy immediately they ‘sit’.
Wait 3 seconds then ‘MARK’ by saying ‘YES!’ Then reward again immediately with a treat.
Wait 4 seconds and repeat the process. Add duration in 1 second increments until you dog can achieve 20 seconds sitting in the heel position at your left side. After every 4 seconds say ‘good’.
‘GOOD’ is your ‘duration marker’. ‘YES’ is your ‘reward marker’. When your dog has achieved a short duration, mark with ‘yes!’ and reward with a treat. But this time “JACKPOT” by presenting 4 treats. Mark and reward by saying ‘YES!’ then treat, ‘YES!’ then treat, ‘YES!’ then treat, ‘YES!’ then treat.
When you are satisfied that your puppy can sit for a ‘duration’, add the “STAY’ command to ‘SIT’. The next level sees you saying ‘SIT - STAY’ then taking a step to the side and back.
When your puppy can remain in the seated position for 3 seconds, step directly in front of your dog and turn to face them.
Set your dog up for success and don’t be too ambitious.
Step slowly but directly in front of your dog, turning to face them. If you dog remains seated for this short duration, count to 3, say ‘YES!’ and reward. Then step back to the dog’s right side. Steadily increase the duration up to 20 sec. As the duration successfully increase, say ‘GOOD’ as your ‘duration marker’ very 4 seconds.
Having achieved a 20 second SIT - STAY immediately in front and facing your dog, you can now take 1 step away, still facing your dog. You can slowly progress by take several steps backwards and away from your dog.
When your dog has successfully achieved the SIT STAY at the full length of your leash, you can progress to a ‘short line ie 3m’ or work off leash.
At the end of all ‘duration’, work don’t forget to Mark and Reward with a generous JACKPOT. Then enthusiastically praise your labrador for the great self control they have displayed.
Gradually increase your distance away from but still in front of the dog. Increase the duration before you increase the distance.
IF YOUR DOG FAILS the distance or the duration, Say ‘NO’ without communicating frustration or anger. Simply go back 1 or 2 steps and continue.
Strengthen and reinforce the Sit-Stay command by employing it every time you meet your labrador.
The command to "sit stay" is a cue, meaning a ‘longer duration sit’.
As you progress, you can use the hand signal when you say SIT, ,...’raise your flat hand, palm up, 1 second after the verbal command.
When you say "stay", your can use a hand signal.
When you are standing BESIDE of your dog, use your flat hand, fingers horizontally. Swing your forearm until your palm is facing your dog, about 300mm from your their face.
If you are standing IN FRONT of your dog, use your flat hand, fingers up, palm facing your dog, about 300mm from your dog's face.