Saturday, August 27, 2011

Teaching Sit and Down

Many times SIT and DOWN are usually the first two commands that you want to teach your dog. They can be very useful in many applications and paired with other behaviors. Such as walking down the street and stopping to look before you cross the street. It's great if your dog can sit and wait while you look instead of pulling into traffic.

There are two ways to teach SIT. You can get your clicker out and click/treat when they sit on their own. The other way is to use a piece of food as a lure and hold the food above the dogs head. The food should not be so high that they have to jump for the treat but high enough that they will have to point their head up causing the back end to sit, so they can see your hand. When the dog is seated on the ground you can click and treat.

DOWN can be taught using three different methods. You can wait for a dog to lay down on his own and click/treat like you did with sit.

The second way to teach a down is to take a piece of food in front of the dogs nose and bring the treat to the floor. Often just following the food to the floor will cause them to drop their whole body to the floor at which point you click and treat.

The third way is a great way to teach the smallest of dogs to lay down. You will have to sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you with your knees slightly bent. Taking a piece of food you will lure the dog under your knees. Your knees should be low enough that the dog has to drop to their belly. When they are in the down position you can click and treat. Repeat the process a few times, then add the command. If you think your dog has got it try asking them to DOWN without going under your legs.

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