Free Puppy Training Classes Sit and Stay – TheDogTrainingLady
I hope all went well last week and you were able to practice, the “Puppy Name Game” and worked on the “Come” command. As I did not receive any emails or questions, I am sure all went well.
In this weeks Free Puppy Training Class, I would like to teach two additional commands. These are two very important commands, “Sit” and “Stay”.
Learning the Sit Command
Learning the sit command will be different depending on the size of your puppy. If you have a very small dog you will want to do this while kneeling down in front of your puppy. When you are dealing with a small dog and you stand over them, they can sometimes get anxious, and feel as if you are over-towering them. That’s why it is best to kneel down.
If you have a larger size puppy you will be able to do this while standing in front of him or her.
Make sure you have your treats available, 50 pea size treats should be enough for your training sessions. If you are looking for success here, you want to use those premium treats, such as pea size pieces of chicken or cheddar cheese. You know best what your puppy thinks is a premium treat. Once again, just a reminder, count these calories as part of the overall daily calorie intake. We don’t want a fat puppy.
Your puppy should be in the standing position when you begin.
Hold the treat between you thumb and forefinger; be sure that your puppy sees the treat. Hold the treat just above his nose, allowing his sense of smell to take over. Don’t hold it so close that he can grab it right out of your fingers, and not so far that it will cause him to jump up to reach for it.
Slowly move the treat above his nose in such a way that his bottom will make a natural movement towards the ground. Once he is in the sit position, say good or yes, (whatever word you have chosen for training is the one you want to use at all times) and reward him with the treat immediately.
Remember, we just want to spend a few minutes working on this; puppies get bored very quickly.
Please note you only want to say the word sit one time. If it doesn’t happen on the first time, give it a minute or two and try again. If you repeatedly say the word sit, all you are teaching your puppy is that after the second, third or fourth time you say sit, is when it’s time to really “sit”. This was a mistake that I made many years ago, and so do many new pet owners. Saying the word more than one time is not going to make it happen.
This is something you can even try when preparing to put down his meal. Ask for a sit, and when he does, say the command word and give him his meal. When doing this for his meal, follow the same rules you would as if you had a treat. Let him or her see the bowl, slowly raise over his nose in such a way that his or her bottom goes to the ground, say the reward word, (good or yes) and place his food bowl down.
Practicing the sit command is something you can practice at different times during the day, here and there, when you see an opportunity arise. So always try to make sure you have treats in your pocket. Word of caution, check your pockets before doing laundry, it makes a mess, this I know personally. Hey we all make mistakes.
At any time you wish to give your puppy a treat for any reason, always ask him to sit first. This goes back to the “No Free Lunch Policy” I explained in the puppy training tips.
Remember this shows leadership and, that all good things come from you, “The Leader Of The Pack”. This will help him learn to trust you, and respect your place in the “pack”.
Learning the Stay Command
The next command or cue is learning the “stay” command. You will find more uses for this command as time goes on. Teaching your dog to stay is extremely important, and something you want to practice always. Stay is one of those commands that can save your dogs life. The more you practice and, the more you can rely on the fact that your pooch will obey this command no matter what, this is extremely important.
As you can already see that having him or her learn to sit precedes the stay cue.
When you first begin doing this, getting him to stay, for even a few seconds, is great, and you will gradually work on having him or her stay for longer periods of time.
Many people use different hand signals for this. I like to use what is called the “Cop Hand” which is a full hand, straight-arm that faces the puppy. The same hand you see when a cop is directing traffic and is telling you to stop. When you do this, say the word “Stay”. Slowly back away from the pup with your hand remaining in that position. Remember to only say the command “stay” one time. Be very aware of the puppy getting ready to move out of position. You want to release him with the a command word such as “okay” and reward him for the stay prior to him or her moving out of position. It is your responsibility to watch for your puppy’s tolerance. You can then move forward.
Now some people use the one finger signal (as you’ll see in the image). This is completely up to you. Again, whichever way you decide to go, stay with it and be sure the rest of the house members follow the same method.
It is always a good idea to have a meeting with everyone that will be working with the puppy, so there is no confusion on the part of the humans or the puppy
Once you get your puppy to stay, the challenge is to see if you can extend the stay for a couple extra seconds. Take it slow, and don’t expect too much, to soon. After you do get them to stay for an extra few seconds, see if you can move a little further away, remembering to keep your hand extended, only using the hand signal and say “stay” only once.
This is the same as the sit cue, saying it more than one time is not going to make it happen. It will just train your puppy something you will later need to retrain. Take you time; you will notice how fast or slow your puppy is picking up on this.
One something goes, well, not quite as planned. Go back to the point at which things were working well for your puppy, and move forward again. This is something we trainers call “Going Back To Kindergarten”. You go back to the point where things worked, and move forward again. For example if your puppy will stay for 4 seconds, and you try for 6 seconds, but he moved at 5 seconds, then go back to 4 seconds, then 5 seconds, and then 6 seconds.
All this training right now, as they are still young, should be done in an environment that is free of distractions. Puppies are very easily distracted. Later on after we get through basic puppy training, we work on the same commands but with distractions added. Right now we are no were close to that point.
I hope that I was able to explain these two commands in enough detail that you are able to work through it. If you have a question, please email me at info@thedogtraininglady or leave a comment, and I will do my best to explain further.
Now you still want to continue practicing your commands from last week. I’m pretty sure the name game is covered, unless for some reason you have decided to change your puppy’s name, this should be a non-issue. Continue on working on the “come” cue, as you did last week.
Something that I have found really helpful in multiple person households; is if one person works on week one’s training, and the main trainer works on this weeks training. This allows your puppy to obey commands from more than one person in the home and it helps with reinforcing the commands.
Remember keep practices short, but do them daily. Contact me if you need help or have questions.
Till next time
Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
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