Repeat after me…

There’s more than one way to teach your dog to sit, but saying “Sit sit sit sit sit sit sit sit sit sit SIT SIT SIT…” isn’t one of them, as one owner discovered during a recent training session. The pup did eventually sit, but I suspect that was most likely due to exhaustion from jumping up and down while attempting to grab the tasty treat being waved about.

From what I’ve learned, repeating commands (or cues, if you prefer that term) over and over until the dog complies doesn’t seem to accomplish much, and just might send your dog the message that stalling is acceptable.  If you need help teaching your pup to sit, try this strategy:

Sasha has mastered the sit as well as the trickier sit-stay, both indoors and out.  (That’s handy come feeding time and when we chat with neighbors.) And since the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification is our goal, this is one of our “must know” commands. Here’s a clip for test item #2 (sitting politely for petting):

She’s nailed the come command (CGC test item #7) in the house, too, and  knows to sit right in front of me when called. Still on our list: obeying the come command outside.  She’s mastered it in the backyard and recognizes the recall command when on the long line in the park, but we’re not 100% reliable yet.  She’ll head straight to me when called from a distance of 20-30 feet, but still gets distracted by squirrels, birds, children, passing vehicles, the bull in the field across the lane…well, you get the point.

If you’re working on teaching your dog to come when called (or recall, as it’s sometimes called), here’s a short clip that can help:

And if your dog needs a bit more incentive, here’s an AKC post with suggestions for using fun games to teach or reinforce the recall command.

Have other suggestions or links to teach these commands? Please share!

8 thoughts on “Repeat after me…

  1. One thing I learned with working an animal, you and you furfriend had better be thinking the same thing. Her thevowner is thinking the dog is going to sit, the dog thinking there is that treat again. I’ll get it.

    1. That’s exactly what I saw at last night’s obedience session! Some of those pups were so focused on the treats they didn’t seem to notice anything else. It will be interesting to see how the next week goes, when owners are supposed to be cutting back on treats. Sasha doesn’t get treats every time I ask something of her, and she seems just fine with that.

      1. Most of the people who set up obedience claases work with easy dogs lide Retriever and German Shepard. I learned the hardway working German Shorthairs. I have run into many different ways to teach a dog. Sit should be easy just push on the rear, when you say sit. I taught a GS to dislike the jumps because I didn’t know enough. The reason she did the jumps in class but not at home. She was pointing birds and I was pulling her off point.

  2. Hi Susan, First I apologize for not getting back to you specific to the Gentle Leader. The product we use goes by that name. In terms of come, the best treats typically work well (at least with food driven dogs). One of our isn’t food driven, but she has a favorite squeaky toy. That works well for her in learning new tasks or, if one of our boys, a tennis ball! We were told, is the dog doesn’t do the command/task after 3 tries, STOP, switch to a command that the dogs knows well, praise abundantly, and them try the new command again. That markedly lessons stress on both the dog and the human, Sasha is truly a beauty. I’m so happy she was welcomed into your home. Joanne K

    1. Joanne, thanks for the feedback on the Gentle Leader. I have a friend who was just asking about that!

      Sasha isn’t food driven but definitely enjoys treats when I give them. I’ll definitely be using treats, though, as we both work to master the “return to heel” position. Being a herder, she doesn’t want to let me out of her sight, so when I step behind her, she moves to keep up with me. I suspect she’ll be more comfortable when I teach her to come around me to the heel position because she can keep me in sight the whole time!

Leave a Reply