CFAES Give Today
Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension



CGC Test Item #6. Sit and Down on Command/Staying in Place

This test demonstrates that the dog has training and will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down. The test also shows that the dog will stay in place on command. This test has three parts: Sit on Command, Down on Command, and Stay on Command. For the Stay, the handler may leave the dog in either a sit or down position.

Prior to the test, the dog’s leash is replaced by a 20-foot long line. This line is used for safety, especially if the test is being done outside or in an unsecured place indoor. The dog may drag his own leash or work off leash if the test sight is secure and the owner prefers; however, always keep the safety of the dog in mind.

The evaluator asks the handler to command the dog to sit and then to down. The handler may give the command more than once, and take a reasonable amount of time to get the dog to respond. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance, however may not use excessive force to put the dog into either position. 

After the dog performs the sit and down commands, the handler prepares the dog for the Stay by having the dog either sit or down. Upon the evaluator’s instruction, the handler tells or signals the dog to stay, turns and walks to the end of the 20-foot line and then immediately returns to the dog at a normal pace. The dog must remain in place until the evaluator tells the handler to release the dog. The dog may change position during this test, but not move from the place it was left.

All dogs must perform the sit command. There are no breed specific exceptions for sitting. Handlers may not pull the dog’s front legs out from underneath him to get him to down.

The evaluator can either lay the attached 20-foot line stretched out on the floor or ground or have the handler hold the end of the line and walk to the end of the 20-foot line and then immediately back. The handler should be careful not to pull the dog out of the stay position.

The dog does not pass the test if it leaves the place it was told to stay. Dogs that do not sit or down in a reasonable amount of time will not pass the test.

In this video clip the handler commands the Old English Sheepdog to stay, then walks to the end of the 20-foot line and returns to the dog. The Old English Sheepdog remains in the down/stay position while the handler returns.