Dog Training – Sit

Kenya can now sit whenever and wherever. It took longer than I expected because after her surgery, the vet wouldn’t let me do ANYTHING with her. Not even simple training. So we didn’t get to work on “sit” much until her stitches came out. She’s very smart and picked it up quickly.

Here’s what I did. I had to adjust a little from everything I’d read because she’s not really food motivated.

The articles I read online suggested having her stand in front of me and holding a treat over her head until she backed up to the point of sitting. I thought this method would have been good for her because it wouldn’t have required me to touch her. Well, I tried this and it didn’t work at all because she could care less for the treats. So we took a different approach.

I put her on her leash so she couldn’t walk away and had her stand beside me. I then placed my hand right above her tail on her back and applied a little pressure. Once she started lowering her behind I said “sit”. Once she sat, I said “good sit” and praised her like crazy. We did this step for about 10 minutes and then took a break. Later on, I did the same step a couple times and then tried it with only pressing on her back with one finger and saying “sit”. We did that for about 5 minutes and took a break. Then I tried it without using my hand at all, but with her still on lead. She did great. So I took off the leash and started having her sit in different places in the house with different distractions. This helped build her confidence and helped me to know that she will listen to me even when distracted. I now have her sit before she gets petted, before going through a door, and before eating. She has learned to associate “sit” with positive feedback from me, and something good for her. Every now and then I’ll give her a treat when she sits so that she’ll have a little more motivation.

She’s even gotten to the point where she sits when she wants something, whether I ask her to or not. That’s when I’ll say “good sit” so that I can acknowledge and praise her for it even though I didn’t give the command.

The next step will be to get her to sit for Craig. She’ll do it for him when we take her on walks, but other than that she doesn’t get close enough for him to do any sort of obedience training with her. Although she did come up and sniff him the other night and didn’t run when he pet her. We’re making slow progress.

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