Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dog Training – Sit

Teaching the sit is one of the more simple procedures, but can be vitally important. The method you will use is the lure-reward method. Basically, you will lure the dog into the desired position and reward him when he adopts the position. For this method to work the best, you should not say the word “sit” until your dog consistently responds to your lure, which will initially be the cue for him to sit.

Step 1.) Take your dog to a quiet place

Step 2.) Place a small treat in your hand, between your thumb and your index and middle fingers.

Step 3.) Say your dog’s name (if you have been practicing the Name Game, then your dog will respond by looking at you).

Step 4.) Show your dog that you have the treat in your hand by placing it near his nose, but do not let him grab it.

Step 5.) WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING, move the treat over your dog’s head, toward his rump, as if you are going to place it right between his ears.

If you do this correctly, your dog should respond by adopting a sitting position. If he does, immediately, say, “Good!” and give your dog the treat.

There is a rule that you will introduce at this point: once you give your dog a command, he should not do anything else at all until you tell him to. After sitting, there are two things that can happen next: 1. You can give another command such as “down” or “stay”, or 2. you can release him. Since at this point, he does not know any other commands to perform, the best thing to do is release him. So, if he sits and you reward him, then:

Step 6.) Say, “Okay!” happily and allow your dog to get up!

Note: If you see that your dog is about to get and you have not said, “Okay”, then simply say, “okay” before he actually gets up, as if it were your idea in the first place.

Troubleshooting: If your dog did not sit:

If when you completed step 5 above, your dog jumped up to grab at the treat, then you were most likely holding the treat too high. Try again and this time keep the treat very close to your dog’s head.

If when you completed step 5 above, your dog backed up instead of sitting, then try the exercise again with your dogs rear-end in a corner (so that he can’t back up).

Practice this with your dog for several days, until he responds very well, almost without fail to your cue of moving the treat over his head, then move on to Phase Two!

Phase Two of The Sit

Now that your dog has mastered the technique and has learned to respond to your non-verbal cue, it is time to introduce the verbal command, “sit”.

Step 1.) Take your dog to a quiet place

Step 2.) Place the treat in your hand, as before

Step 3.) Say your dog’s name, followed by the word, “sit!” (e.g. “Fido, sit!”) You should say, “sit” as though you were commanding your dog to do so. Try to avoid using a tone of voice that suggests that you are “asking” your dog to sit.

Step 4.) Immediately give the non-verbal cue for your dog to sit, by moving the treat over his head, as in the last lesson.

Practice in this manner until your dog starts to respond (sit) as soon as you give the verbal command. Then, slowly fade out the use of the non-verbal command (moving the treat over his head). Remember to always release your dog from the sit position by saying, “Okay!” in an excited tone of voice.



©2009 dog training tips | by TNB