7 month old won't sit-HELP!(first post)
This is my first post but I've been reading and learning so much from these forums so thank you all for being such a great source of information and knowledge. I'm really hoping for some help, although I'm guessing I will have a lot of people (rightfully) telling me I don't have control of my dog and need major intervention.
Here we go: I have a 7 month old female GSD. She comes from a reputable breeder and we got her at almost 9 weeks. I absolutely adore her. I am her primary caretaker as my husband works crazy hours and our 12 and 9 year old are at school, activities, etc. I do not work. She is our only dog, and our previous dog was a lab and probably one of the biggest differences I've noticed thus far is how different the food motivation is. Our lab would do anything for anything (seriously I felt like she'd do a cartwheel if offered toothpaste or cardboard as a reward). This girl is only motivated by very high value treats. She refuses to work for dried liver and meat roll, etc etc and I use (unseasoned) meatballs or baby food (put some on my finger or let her take a few licks from the jar) if I want her to pay attention during our training sessions/as a reward. I got the baby food idea from our training facility because they too had to pull out the big guns to get her focused. I've tried rewarding her with quick play sessions (she loves tug) but I haven't been able to teach a reliable "leave it" (I can't even get her to sit or respond to her name reliably) so it's hard to make it a quick session of tug as a reward for behavior. Also, I use tug as a way to burn off her energy and at the end of about 5 mins or so I let her have the toy in a (possibly misguided) attempt to prevent resource guarding. Thus I don't want to confuse her by changing tug from a fun game she does with mommy (that works out a lot of her energy which is super helpful to me as she is super active) to something that starts complicating our training sessions. Does that make sense? Okay, now that you have the background here's one (of my many) question/dilemmas: When we are training, if I cue "sit" and she does it, I click and treat. (We are using positive reward based training, no e-collar, etc.) However as soon as I've treated her, unless she gets another command ("down) or get's released ("Okay") she'll just sort of slump lazily to the ground. In other words she doesn't have a "SIT" which = I am sitting and will remain here until released or given another command. Should I be rewarding her for her sit and then IMMEDIATELY telling her to "stay" until I release her, or give her another command?
I release this is probably confusing to read and we do group classes twice a week for one hour but they cover a lot of material and it's tough to get detailed with your own dog. I am in the process of arranging private lessons which I think will be much more useful (and still keep the group lessons so we can work on behavior in a distracted setting) so if anyone has recommendations for the Orange County area, I would so appreciate it! (Or if there is anyone/place you know is NOT good, please let me know.) Feel free to DM me!
Many thanks for any and all suggestions/advice, etc.