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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Matty did extremely well with her first class last night, after getting use to all the other dogs around...

My only question is....The trainer was using her to demo and went to push down on her butt to show others how to train the sit...

She did not like that...She was looking/coming towards me like...Mom..why are you letting that man touch my butt?...I never thought about where other people pet her..should i have others pet her all over her body?

Or is this her natural self preservation?
 

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Uh oh...

You should never need to use physical touching to demonstrate a training. The trainer should have used a treat and naturally got the dog to sit by taking the treat near her face and lifting up and back. The dog will naturally sit and learn quick.

-E
 

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In class we do a "stand for exam", stand your dog and have him/her stay while the trainer goes around to each dog and touches him/her. We've started that exercise with the trainer giving treats that you handed to her. You can do the touching yourself, it is supposed to give the dog the idea that its ok to be touched on different body parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think he did it because no one in the class other than me had treats..and he didnt do it forcefully..we will see how future classes go
 

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I agree with Titonsdad. The best way to teach a sit is to lure with a treat. As you bring the treat over the puppy's head, the head will come up and the butt comes down automatically. There is no need to push a sit. The best trainers also let the dog figure out what you want him to do, rather than force it.
 

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I've been through 4 classes this past year and haven't seen any trainer touch a dog to teach a command. And like TitonsDad said, the instructions were to hold the treat up and lure the head back to get a sit. Same with down, no pushing on the shoulders, just luring down and along the ground. Also, none of the trainers used a student's dog, only their own as a demonstration. They did touch the dog when teaching to stand for examination of course, but not to teach a command
 

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Uh oh...

You should never need to use physical touching to demonstrate a training. The trainer should have used a treat and naturally got the dog to sit by taking the treat near her face and lifting up and back. The dog will naturally sit and learn quick.

-E

I agree 100%, and in fact was told never to physically force a sit
 

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One reason why it's not a great idea to teach sit by pushing down on the butt is the opposition reflex - think of a sled dog pulling into the harness. Some people actually use opposition reflex to strengthen a stand, so pushing like that can actually work against you to get the dog into a sit.

Desensitizing her to be touched all over her body, starting with you and other members of your household that she knows and trusts (using treats to reward as you touch her feet and ears, her belly, her tail, etc.) and then moving to others as she becomes comfortable with it, is a good idea, but I'm more concerned that your trainer is using such outdated and ineffective methods of training. Do you have other options for classes nearby?
 

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In class we do a "stand for exam", stand your dog and have him/her stay while the trainer goes around to each dog and touches him/her. We've started that exercise with the trainer giving treats that you handed to her. You can do the touching yourself, it is supposed to give the dog the idea that its ok to be touched on different body parts.

We're doing that in puppy class too. And Minna was okay with it the first week. And then last week didn't want the trainer anywhere near her. Hopefully this week will be better.
 

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Well let's see. In puppy class our instructor had everyone touch their puppies all over their little furry bodies "to get them used to it". A great idea that we have always done with every puppy that we have ever had. It does pay dividends later when you might need to touch them for something anywhere. A dog should not react to it's owners touching anywhere (unless they have an illness or injury of course).

Regarding the sit - true that some folks will do the "Sit" by luring with a piece of food held up higher than their head and wait for the dog to sit.

However the sit can also be taught gently by touching the dog - not by pushing down on their back (that is dangrous if you push too hard or in the wrong place) BUT it is also effective and safe to run your palm down their back and kind of fold their back legs under them to elicit a fast sit when teaching this command. So touching the dog/puppy in this way is not hard on them and does teach the sit very quickly and efficiently with no harm to the dog.
 

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Well let's see. In puppy class our instructor had everyone touch their puppies all over their little furry bodies "to get them used to it". A great idea that we have always done with every puppy that we have ever had. It does pay dividends later when you might need to touch them for something anywhere.
Yes, and your vet will thank you too!
 

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Same here.

I would rather have the dog take a while to sit then to physically make him sit.
Of course you can train your dog any way that you want to but there is nothing wrong with physically showing your puppy what you want. As long as you don't hurt the dog; it works very well and your dog will still love you and may even respect you more. I also believe that it demonstrates to the dog that you are stronger than he is (and that tends to hold in his mind even when it is no longer true!).

I tried the luring method of teaching my dog to sit when he was a puppy of holding the treat up infront of his face; and instead of sitting, he just jumped to get it. No matter where we put it, he would just try to get it by jumping.

Baron was a great jumper as a little guy! The obedience class and the instructor got a great kick out of it

Probably will also learn the command faster.
 

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If a dog is jumping, the treat or lure is held too high.

I always add some physical placement to the behaviors even if I have trained them with a lure. It seems to sorta "round out" the picture for the dog. It is some pressure without being overly intrusive on them.
 

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If a dog is jumping, the treat or lure is held too high.
^ This. And also an indication that it's time to start teaching self control around food. This is a great game to play with puppies:

 

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If you want a sociable dog then let everyone touch her and you should handle her a lot though, of course, gently. Shepherds are smart and cautious by nature (usually) and, I think, the cautiousness is an indication of smartness. If you want a stand-offish dog then keep others away from her, but still touch her a lot yourself. She's YOUR dog and she should trust you. It ain't rocket science and I'm sure you know what you want and how to get there.
 
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