When professional dog trainers teach a dog a new skill, they make it look so easy. How do they do it? Well, it’s all about those tricks of the trade.
Here’s a sneak peek on how San Diego dog trainer David Greene of Performance K9 Training teaches a dog how to sit by using what’s called the luring technique.
It Starts With A Dog Treat
Find an irresistible dog treat that your pup will love. Calmly let your dog know that you have this treat in your hand using it as the luring technique.
“When your dog is standing in front of you, slowly lift the treat above your dog’s nose and guide it back. The mechanics of this gesture will naturally place your dog’s hind end into a sit position, “ Greene said. “As soon as your dog sits, mark it immediately with a clicker or verbal ‘yes’ and give them their treat.”
Timing is everything in the marking and giving out those treats – stay consistent.
It’s also important to note that when teaching your dog, a new skill like “the sit command,” to do it where there are no distractions, so they have their full attention on you.
Dog Training Practice Makes Perfect
Keep repeating this exercise and remember to stay patient, and above all, positive. Don’t yet name the command – continue to repeat the sit by luring your dog with their tasty treat, marking the sit with a clicker or yes command, and then feeding them.
After each sit, praise your dog for a job well done. Take a few steps back until your dog is standing once again in front of you and repeat.
Over time, your dog will learn that every time they sit in front of you, they will get a treat.
When To Name The Sit Command
It may take a day, a few days or even a week, but when your dog clearly understands that they get a treat every time they sit down, you can then name the command, “sit.”
“Don’t rush naming the command. That will come in time. The end goal in teaching your dog this skill is that they associate the word ‘sit’ with sitting,” Greene said. “Every dog learns at a different pace so remember to stay patient and make learning activity fun and positive.”
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