There are 2 ways a dog can sit- They rock back moving their front legs to their butt or the maintain their front leg position and tuck under with their back legs. The second way is obviously preferable for heeling exercises because we ask our dogs to keep their front shoulder inline with our leg. A dog that scoots into a sit will keep his position better.
I have 3 dogs that rock back. This is because of how I initially taught the sit with the typical raise the treat over the head until they rock back into a sit. I have 2 that scoot into a sit. One I think naturally does it out of drive and not wanting to be any further away from his reward than absolutely necessary. The other I taught to sit that way. I had to teach him to keep his weight on his front legs and then pull under using luring and usually some kind of fence/wall to keep him straight. I saw it demonstrated at a Debby Zappia seminar and had club members who had taught their dogs that way...and it was sort of awkward for me at first- but now the only way my puppy knows how to sit is by pulling under. I have not had much luck in retraining that sit to my other dogs so I had to make other adjustments.
Dog #1 and #2 that rock back into their sits, forge slightly in the heeling to ensure that they end up in correct position for the sit. The fastness was taught by increasing the motivation (playing, teasing, etc) for the reward as well as issuing a correction at the time the command was given. So, prior to the sit command they had to be excited about their reward, and then as the command was given so was a sharp pop on the prong collar. As soon as the sit happened the reward was given and there was much play and praise. This way they would try to beat the correction and see that the quick reaction eared MUCH fun.
Dog #3 that rocks back into a sit has excellent position in the heeling and consequently when he rocks back tends to end up behind me. So, we did ALOT of position work, always rewarded him slightly farther forward where we wanted him to be, and what he did to compensate was that he sits quickly but he actually takes an extra step after I stop so that he can rock back into position and be correct. He's a smaller dog and quick so it's not really noticeable...but that's what he has to do.
It sounds to me like you need to start by checking your dog's drive level and your reward position. He may need more play/working up before you ask for the command. (Think something like Ivan's Game) Also where are you rewarding? I go back and forth between keeping my reward visible and hidden. If I'm having a problem I will bring the reward back out to pep my dog up. Keep your reward where you want your dog to be. Are you forward when you reward? Maybe that's he looks forward, anticipating a reward to appear in front of his face? Of course it's hard to say without seeing it. Try and video tape yourself and then you might be able to see better what is going on.
Bianka vom Eisernen Loewen IPO3, CGC, TC 1-3-08
Cade vom Eisernen Loewen IPO1, CGC 3-25-09
D'Artagnan (Tag) vom Eisernen Loewen BH 2-2-10
G Aiko von Burkndeiros SchH 3, IPO3, FH, TC, KKL2 9-17-02 (Retired)
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