Why All Dogs Require This Training
Training your dog to sit on command is a quite simple and preliminary lesson as dogs tend to sit naturally. The other form of instructional training includes learning to ‘stay’ or ‘come’ but these two should be introduced only after the dog has practiced the sitting command and start obeying.
The sitting command has proven to have tremendous advantages for both owner and pet. It is not always possible to predict your dog’s behavior and these are the situations where this comes useful. If your dog is doing something dangerous it can put an end to their behavior giving you an opportunity to correct the situation. The dog might continue misbehaving if it is untrained and its actions can also be injurious to itself or to others.
As we know dogs have a very keen sense of smell which provides them cute awareness of what is going on in the environment and will react before a human has even grasped the situation. There are several other situations where it is difficult to predict a dog’s behavior such as you may be out for a walk with your dog and suddenly something in the air causes such excitement that it forgets about your presence and rushes off on its free will. It could result in unexpected actions like drag you off if you have on a leash.
There are times when you cannot supervise your dog or are busy with some work, the dog could be running all through the house, creating a mess on the floor, or escaping while finding the door open. Adding on, the dog may have a tendency of jumping on people or guests when they arrive at your house.
These and many other instances can be easily handled if the dog is well trained in sitting command. This process does not need any professional trainer to train your dog as it can be performed at home.
Preparations for the Training
Understand the Process
It is always essential to understand the ways dogs process situations and receive instructions before going for any type of training. If the dog has done something for the very first time it does not mean that it will become part of his behavior.
The actions that you want your dog to perform are the actions that they learn by repetitive training. Therefore to properly train your dog, you need to instigate it correctly and establish a clear connection between the reward and the behavior and use it continuously to improve development.
Consider the Attention Span
The dog will have an attention span of one or two minutes in between, but in order to maximize this attention span, the area should be free from distractions where the training is to be conducted.
The dog will learn better when the surroundings are free from all distractions. It helps to retain lessons learned and the activities, noises, smell and other movements can disrupt the concentration of the dog.
Assess your pet’s overall condition
Before going under any kind of training, it is advisable to assess the condition of the pet. You need to take into account the energy levels of your dog. Which mood the dog is in? Has it been well-fed?
It is advised to conduct training when the dog is in a relaxed and calm mood. If the dog is in an excitable or aggressive state, then it should be engaged in an activity to moderate its disposition before the training begins.
Mind Your Own Disposition
Prior to starting the training, the trainer should develop the right mindset and be in the right mood as it will complicate the situation both for the owner and pet.
A dog can sense if you are angry or frustrated so you need to be fresh and energetic and this will help to train your dog in the right way. If you feel fatigued, you can postpone your session to a suitable day.
Using a Clicker
A clicker is a small mechanical noisemaker training tool for dogs where it associates the sound with a treat or praise. The technique is based on the science of aminal learning which states that the behaviors that are rewarded are more likely to be repeated in the future. The clicker helps to teach the dog exactly which behavior you are rewarding.
The benefits of using a clicker are that it is a quick way to teach your dig basics and a good way to capture good behavior and teach tricks.
While training your dog for the sitting command, ensure that you only click and provide the treat only after the dog’s rump rest on the ground. You can also use click- and-treat combinations at varying intervals like after two minutes or five minutes.
Using a Hand Gesture
Another great method to which pets respond better is using hand gestures and verbal commands. First, your pet needs to learn the association between these two and determine the form of hand gesture suitable for your sitting command. Pets can lose some degree of their hearing as age, which is why these hand gestures become beneficial.
The most effective way to teach your dog is to keep your hand signal simple and provide the rewards i.e treats or praise. If your dog immediately obeys and sits, hand over the treat. Next, try the command without the treat. Once this has been mastered, you can train without hand gestures and a treat
Using a Lure
Luring is a dog training technique by which you can cajole the dog into a sitting position by raising a lure over its head. Moving the lure enables us to move the dog into different positions and shape them into new behaviors.
You can use a lure to teach your dog different positions like sitting or stand, to walk towards your, or walk around you. Once you have achieved the desired position, you can reinforce that behavior using a marker or reward. While using this method, try to not put too much distance between the hand holding and the dog’s head. This will prevent leaping up to snatch the treat.
Use your favorite food as a lure but it should not be used much if your dog simply tries to grab or snatch it from your hand and we don’t want that. The lure is used when the previously used training methods failed or if the dog takes into a different position. Once the dog has mastered the use of lure, you can replace it with just a hand signal or voice command.
Proofing is the final step in dog training. It is a way of practicing behavior in a variety of situations with different levels of distractions. Once the dog has learned the command to sit, you need to apply the training in different locations and varying circumstances.
You want your dog to sit wherever you want when you give the command, not just in the room where you trained, and this takes practice. Once your dog is able to follow the sitting command with some distraction, try practicing in some different places such as another room, backyard, or the neighbor’s house. Failing to prove behaviors is the reason why your dog may perform behaviors well in your living room, but seem to forget all its training the minute you leave the house.
The final stage is to move to an open area with a high level of distraction such as a public park or dog park. when it is able to obey the sitting command here, you have succeeded in this training.
Essential Points to Consider
Training can be exhausting for your dog if done continuously without any rest periods. You should take a break if the dog is not catching and performing well.
As we know as a beginner everything takes time and it may happen that your dog takes some more time unlike other pets to grasp things, so you should not train your dog over an extended period of time. Having brief sessions and providing breaks in between would help to learn faster and will also not confuse your pet. You should try not to introduce everything all at once to see more progress in the training.
Some owners while training try to force their dogs to sit or compel them in other ways. The trainer should always provide breaks and allow them to exercise on their own.
However while training sessions, the dogs should be set free to learn lessons at their own pace as this would help to own the skill, and later it will become part of the behavior.
Use Affirmative Reinforcement…..
Using treats can not be the only means of rewarding your dog but favorite toys, petting, praise, playtime can be just as effective.
If your dog is not catching and responding to the command, then there could be other reasons for it. Don’t punish your dog if he is not performing well since this will be negative reinforcement. One could be the encouraging appeal of the reward. So test the incentives available and see which are the most effective.
Let your dog learn to distinguish between the effects of the behavior. If your dog does not respond to the sitting command, remove the treat from your hand or hold it behind your back. Instead of giving the treat, retain it in your hand and move away. This way will help to recognize and distinguish between different behaviors.
Refrain From Overfeeding…..
Giving your dog treats is the most commonly used method and many trainers use this. But not all dogs respond to treats the same way.
You need to organize the diet appropriately as these sessions are on a repetitive basis and this could result in overfeeding. You must reduce the daily portions of food that your dog receives if you decide to give treats for training.
Your dog’s movement should be managed properly during training. The training would be done best without using a leash. There are two reasons for this.