Dog Sit!
Training your dog to sit Level 3

Have your dog sit reliably after your cue in any situation!

This is the third and last part of Training Your Dog To Sit.

Here you will learn how to make this command reliable in any situation. Following these advice you can get a dog that can sit even when high distractions are around!

This Level starts at Step 10. Go back to Level 1 to start with Steps 1-7 or Level 2 to do Steps 8-9.

Your final goal is:

Stimulus Control: Your pet will sit after a hand signal or verbal command 80% of the time (8 out of 10 times you ask)

Stimulus Discrimination: Your canine friend should now know a few different commands. He should respond to each command correctly, on his first try, 8 out of 10 times you ask.

Difficulty: Your pet will respond to the command in at least 10 locations with medium to high distractions. Your dog will stay in a sit position for at least 1-5 min. Your dog will stay in a sitting position when you are many steps away or even away from the room.

Reward: You will Mark every good response but only give treats 5 out of 10 times your puppy behaves correctly.

Step 10: Dog sit stay!

It's time to teach your furry friend that "Sit means dog sit until I say so!".

Repeat Steps 1-7 but ask your puppy to stay a little longer each time.

Start easy (1-2 seconds) and move on to difficult. Your pet MUST succeed every single difficulty before moving on to the next one.

You might want to introduce your canine friend to the command "Stay" and "Free". Read "Teach a dog to stay" for detailed information.


Step 11: Dog sit at a distance

After all the training your pet has gone through doing dog sit at a distance will be a piece of cake!

You just need to follow the same recipe.

1- Add a little bit of distance (1 step away) while your puppy is sitting. Come right back and if he is still sitting Mark and Reward!

2- Add a little more distance (2-3 steps away) and so on. Do this until you can walk away out of your dog's sight and when you come back he is still sitting.

3- Now reverse the distance concept. Move one step away from your pet and ask him to sit. If he comes back to you and sits in front of you, give your no-reward-mark and ask again. Your goal is to have him sit (where he is) even if you are far away.

4- Remember to give out treats 100% of the time in the beginning and only cut down after your furry friend is able to respond 8 out of 10 times correctly! You need to repeat this pattern for ever single distance difficulty. This ensures your pet will succeed each time making the process of learning easy and fun.

5- Each new concept is a difficult lesson for your pet, even if you think it should be easy. Go slowly and make him succeed at every step! This will keep your hound happy and eager to keep learning.

Step 12: Combine steps 8-11

Have you noticed that I separated every aspect of the behavior sit into steps? This is because dogs learn better if they are taught one aspect at a time.

Now it's time to combine them all!

"Sit means dog sit no matter what!"

For example: add distance while bouncing a ball or ask for a stay while you while you play with another dog!

Repeat Steps 4-7 for each combination. Start with easy ones and move on to harder ones. Your pet MUST succeed every single difficulty before moving on to the next one.

Your puppy might do the behavior a little sloppily when you combine difficulties. Don't worry...Practice practice practice and he will get it perfect again really soon!

Stimulus Discrimination: "Down does NOT mean "Sit"

Now that your pet has learned several other obedience commands, he might get the different commands confused. If this is happening here are some ideas on how to help him respond correctly to each different training command. This is called Stimulus Discrimination.

What do you do when you say "down" but your dog "sits"?

  • Ignore the behavior. Count to 10 in your head, turn around, walk away and then ask again. If the second time he does the correct behavior, Mark and Reward! If he doesn't take another break. Be careful not to frustrate your pet so much that he will give up altogether!
  • Tell your dog he did it wrong then ask again and Mark and Reward! if he does it right. You can use a word (No-reward-mark) to let him know he won't get a reward because there was something wrong. If you choose to use this, be careful and DO NOT use it too often. You want to mark good behaviors more than wrong ones!

Common No-Reward-Mark words are:

  1. Ah Ah!
  2. Too bad!
  3. Try again!
  4. Anything you can think of!

To teach your puppy a no-reward-mark simply say the word whenever he is doing something incorrectly and then DO NOT give him/her a treat (or any other form of reward).

Always remember to keep training sessions short and fun!

Your pet is ready to move onto the next step when he/she is able to respond correctly to each different command 8 out of 10 times on the first try!

Congratulations!

Your dog is ready to graduate Level 3 when:

He responds to your command 8 out of 10 times you ask under the following conditions:

  • Different locations, including new ones!
  • Different distractions, including new ones!
  • Stay in a sitting position for 5 min or longer.
  • Stay in a sitting position while you walk away and out of sight.
  • Respond to your verbal command even if you are far away or in a different room.
  • The challenges are endless for a dog sit command!

Training your dog to sit will lay the foundation to teach your dog many more obedience commands!


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