Sit, Lie Down and Stand On Command!

Training your dog to respond to the basic obedience commands is extremely beneficial for numerous reasons.

Personally, I use the basic obedience behaviors like “Sit” and “Down” to control my dog in highly distracting environments and dangerous situations. For example, I always get my dog to sit before going outside or exiting a vehicle. And if there is another dog nearby, I can get my dog to sit quietly while she watches him walk by.

But if this doesn’t convince you to train the basics, this should: by mastering the basics, you will be laying the foundations for training more advanced behaviors. Because what you really learn while training the basics is the mechanism of behavior conditioning.

In practical terms, training your dog to do a fancy trick such as “Spin” is done using the same techniques as for the basic obedience behaviors.

Are you ready to start training your dog?

There are two ways that you can teach your dog the basic obedience behaviors. You can capture it by waiting for your dog to do it and reward it with a positive reinforcement. Or, you can lure the dog into the position by using a piece of food.

Both of these training techniques will work. The capturing method might take a while to get your dog to offer all three behaviors, but if you are patient then this will work. I personally prefer the luring technique and I focus my training guides on this training method.

The only drawback to luring is that it will only work if your dog is food-motivated. If your dog has no interest in food, then you will have to use the capturing method. Some more advanced training techniques like shaping and targeting could be used, but because of their complexity, I cannot discuss them in length in this eBook.

Your dog’s irresistible treats!

Before you begin the exercises below, it is extremely important that you first find a food or treat that your dog really loves. It must be something that excites your dog to the point where he would do anything to get it. It can be anything he loves—chicken, sausages, beef, liver, etc.

 

 

Obedience Behavior #1: The Sit

Requirements:

  • Highly desirable food or treats.

Description: The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize yourself and your dog with the luring technique by getting your dog in the “Sit” position.

Set-Up: Find a non-distracting environment where your dog can focus entirely on you without getting interrupted or distracted. It can be anywhere—for example, your living room, your basement or your bedroom.

Exercise:

  1. Begin this exercise by holding a treat in front of your dog’s nose. But do not let your dog eat the treat until he is in the “Sit” position.
  2. Next, move your treat upwards and forwards so that your hand moves towards your dog’s eyes and ears.
  3. When you move the treat in this manner, your dog will have no choice but to “Sit” in order to follow the treat. This gives you the opportunity to reinforce the behavior of sitting. So as soon as your dog sits, immediately release the treat and let your dog eat it.
  4. Once your dog has mastered your lure and is easily lured into the sit position, you may want to add a “Sit” command. You can do this by saying it one second before you lure your dog into the position.

    Here’s a summary of each step that you must do:

    Step 1: Say the command, “Sit.”
    Step 2: Lure your dog into the sit position.
    Step 3: Release the treat.

Tip: In order for this training technique to work properly, you must have precise timing. This means that each step must take place within one second of the previous one.

Command Only: It may take your dog a week or two before he can perform the behavior without you having to lure him. This is normal and it’s just a matter of repetitions. So keep practicing! If your dog is really not “getting it,” then come to the www.dogtrickacademy.com discussion forum and we will help you.

 

 

Obedience Behavior #2: The Down

Requirements:

  • Highly desirable food or treats.

Description: The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize yourself and your dog with the luring technique and to teach your dog the “Down” position.

Set-Up: You can train this behavior with your dog starting from either a sitting or standing position. But I personally find it easier to begin from a sitting position

Exercise:

  1. Begin this exercise by holding a treat in front of your dog’s nose. But do not let your dog eat the treat until he is in the “Down” position
  2. Next, move your treat downwards so that your hand moves towards the middle of your dog’s front legs.
  3. When you move the treat in this manner, your dog will have no choice but to “Lie down” in order to follow the treat. This gives you the opportunity to reinforce the behavior of lying down. So as soon as your dog lies down, immediately release the treat and let your dog eat it.

    If your dog has trouble following the lure, try releasing it halfway down and gradually move it lower until you can get your dog into the down position. And if you have a small dog, you may want to practice by the edge of stairs, so that you can move your lure lower than your dog.

  4. Once your dog has mastered your lure and is easily lured into the down position, you may want to add a “Down” command. You can do this by saying it one second before you lure your dog into the position.

    Step 1: Say the command “Down.”
    Step 2: Lure your dog into the down position.
    Step 3: Release the treat.

Tip: Once your dog has mastered both the sit and down behaviors, you can easily alternate between the two—but be sure to give your dog a treat for each behavior!

Command Only: It may take your dog a week or two before he can perform the behavior without you having to lure him. This is normal and it’s just a case of repetition. So keep practicing! If your dog is really not “getting it,” then come to the www.dogtrickacademy.com discussion forum and we will help you.

Obedience Behavior #3: The Stand

Requirements:

  • Highly desirable food or treats

Description: The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize yourself and your dog with the luring technique and to teach your dog the “Stand” position.

Set-Up: You can train this behavior with your dog starting from either a sitting or down position. But I personally find it easier to begin from a sitting position

Exercise:

  1. Begin this exercise by holding a treat in front of your dog’s nose. But do not let your dog eat the treat until he is in the “Stand” position
  2. Next, move your treat backwards towards you so that your hand moves away from your dog.
  3. When you move the treat in this manner, your dog will have no choice but to “Stand” in order to follow the treat. This gives you the opportunity to reinforce the behavior of standing.

    Make sure that you move your lure just enough so that your dog’s hind legs are straightened. Be careful not to lure your dog too far, as you would then be rewarding your dog for walking instead of standing.

  4. Once your dog has mastered your lure, and is easily lured into the stand position, you may want to add a “Stand” command. You can do this by saying it one second before you lure your dog into the position.

    Step 1: Say the command “Stand.”
    Step 2: Lure your dog into the stand position.
    Step 3: Release the treat.

Tip: A really fun game to challenge your dog is to alternate randomly between all three behaviors. So you could do: “Sit, Down, Stand” and then do “Down, Stand, Sit.” There are actually 27 different combinations! Try it—but make sure that you give your dog a treat after each one.

Command Only: It may take your dog a week or two before he can perform the behavior without you having to lure him. This is normal and it’s just a matter of repetitions. So keep practicing! If your dog is really not “getting it,” then come to the www.dogtrickacademy.com discussion forum and we will help you.

 

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