When deciding to teach your dog some basic commands usually it starts with the sit command. It is probably the most popular command and most commonly used by dog guardians. This is a command that is very useful in everyday life with a pooch. It allows you to master the dog’s behavior in an unusual situation when, for example, a dog reacts too violently to a stimulus or an event. The sit command works when there’s a lot going on around the poodle, and you do not want the dog to feel confused, not knowing how to behave.
When should we start the process of teaching our dog commands? The best time is when the dog is still a puppy. This is the moment when he will learn new skills most quickly and effectively. Of course, this does not mean that older dogs will not be able to learn new commands. However, they will need more time and a lot of patience on our part.
When starting teaching a new command, we should remember about preparing a special treat for our dog as a reward. Get your dog’s favorite treat, which will function as a dog’s pay for the correctly done task. In addition, the idea of receiving your favorite delicacy will also motivate your pet to continue exercising.
What is the best place to perform a new training? First of all, we should choose a relatively quiet place, devoid of distractions that could distract pooch’s attention. If you are doing exercises in the park, choose a part of it that is slightly off the beaten track. Training spot should not be located just next to the main alley, which is visited by walkers and other dogs. However, the sit command is an uncomplicated command that you can train even at home without too much trouble. Just remember to hide all your dogs’ favorite toys from his sight. This will help your pet to focus attention on what you want him to convey.
You can practice new skill training with a puppy every day. Of course, if it is not too absorbing and exhausting for him. Exercise commands when the dog is fed and relaxed. Otherwise, if your dog is hungry or tired, its effectiveness will be low. Your pet will be best absorbed by new knowledge when his head is not bothered by any needs.
The most effective way to assimilate the new command by your pooch will be to divide the whole process into several stages. This will make it easier for the pupil to understand the scheme of action and respond appropriately to the command given. Do not be discouraged if at the beginning your dog shows some resistance to this exercise. If you have never done command exercising before, then your dog may need some time to understand what this new activity is all about.
Command teaching process starts from getting your dog’s favorite treat and slowly approaching the pooch. Then we move upwards our hand with treat, just above the pet’s head. The natural instinct of the dog will be to take a sitting position and pull the muzzle up to be able to see better and squeeze out what is hidden in your hand. Then we say the command “sit” and reward our doggy with his favorite treat.
We need to repeat this exercise several times so that the dog combine the spoken command with the desired behavior. At this stage, it is important not to raise your hand too high because it can cause the dog instead of sitting down to stand on two paws wanting to be closer to the treat.
After making a few series of exercising, we go to the next stage in which we stop rewarding the dog with a treat every time. Standing in front of the pooch we stretch our hand over his head, as in the previous stage. When the dog does our command several times, then at the end we can reward him with a treat.
At this stage, treat becomes a reward for completing the whole task and not simply a motivation to take a sitting position.
During this stage, we will try to gradually abandon the gesture of a raised hand (with treat) and stop only at the verbal command. Of course, as in the case of previous exercises, after each correct execution of the command, your dog should receive a prize in the form of a treat.
At this stage, our goal is to make the pupil to sit after saying only the verbal command „sit”.
It’s the last stage of our teaching process. After its completion, the sit command should be understood and correctly performed by your dog. Since then, during the trainings, we give up the treat prize completely. We are withdrawing the snack gradually. You can reward the pup with treat only every few well-executed commands. Soon pooch should perform our verbal command “sit” without waiting for the treat received.
Remember that even if we can achieve the expected result, we should not stop exercising. The sit command can become forgotten over time if we stop using it. Therefore, wanting that the dog does not forget the acquired skills, you should once a while say the command and control your four-legged friend’s skill.
The above-mentioned four-stage action plan should help you teach your dog to perform the sit command. However, if the dog is not able to cope with the learning of a new skill despite the exercises, do not give up. Some dogs need a bit more time to master this kind of ability.
If, however, despite many training hours devoted to perform this command, the dog is still not able to do the exercises it properly you can ask for help dog behaviorist. One of the tasks of behaviorist is teaching to perform basic dog commands.
What other command would you like to teach your dog?