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Step 1: Practice using the verbal commands.
Step 2: Say the command, lure the dog into position, and reward him or her.
Step 3: Lure the dog into several sits/downs before giving the treat.
Step 4: Show the dog your empty hand (to show no food lure). Say the command, use your hand signal if needed (hand should look the same as when you do have a treat) and reward when the dog does the sit or down without being shown the treat.
Step 5: Reward sits and downs with little rewards every day.
Get more training tips and access to training classes at the SF SPCA here.