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i'm one of those owners who lacks creativity when it comes to obedience training and my dogs have now figured out that after "come" is "sit" then "down" then a cookie, then "okay" (release).

the typical scene is my dogs hearing the treat jar and going thru the whole routine w/o me saying a word. i dont reward them however, i wait until their "performance" is done, then make them do it all over again on command.

i'm trying... i'm getting better, i swear...

so anyway - last night i realized my dogs dont know "sit" unless its during a "heel" or from a standing position. Gia will do it if i say her name first (sometimes) but they both look rather confused when they're in a perfect down and i ask them to sit.

today i worked with them again and refusing to give them the "up" command first, i just raised the treats over their head while saying "sit" and it seemed to work.

any other suggestions to make it clearer to them what i want?

thank you thank you!
 

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Mix up the routine a lot. Don't do things in the same order ever..also keep some treats in your pocket, when your on a walk or outside playing do some OB there. Get them used to Listening to you everywhere.
 

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i had the same problem with luc and teagan, and i used the treats over their heads - i made sure to hold the treat in front of them and then ark it up.

i just kept up with that, and it worked. i make sure to try to vary up routines as much as possible so that they don't get used to following commands in order, and go on autopilot.
 

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Start all over again using a treat lure. I found that mine got 'sit' from a stand much easier than from a down. So even though I was getting an immediate butt plant every single time I gave the command while they were standing, I sometimes got a confused look when I gave the command when they were in a down. That just means they haven't generalized the command yet.

Sit should mean sit no matter what position they are in prior to the command, and no matter where they are in relation to you. Some dogs learn sit means to sit in front of you, toe to toe, but don't get that it also means sitting next to you facing the same direction you are, as in heel position.

Start changing the picture! Work on sit while you're in a chair, with your back to them, with you sitting on the floor, laying in bed, while they're in the car, from a distance, (some dogs will run to and sit in front of you rather than plant it right where they are), every possible variation you can think of, and yes, while they're already in a down position.

I like to give the verbal command, wait a beat or two, and then lure with a treat. Mark and release treat. Gradually wait longer and longer to lure, giving them a chance to figure it out on their own. When they do, jackpot! Praise/treat, praise/treat, praise/treat, 5 or 6 times in a row. Repeat exercise.

Any time I change the picture I start all over again with a lure if I need to. Let's say they're in perfect compliance with a command at home, but now we're in class, a much more distracting environment. If necessary, I use a lure until they get that it's the same command with the same expected response even though it's in a new place with a lot more going on.
 

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Puppy pushups work well. When it's dinnertime, stand in front of your dog holding his/her food dish. Say "sit" and when he sits, reward witha kibble. Then "down" and reward, luring as needed. Then "sit" again and reward. Then down. After a few repetitions of this, give the dog the food dish and let him eat. Mix up the number of repititions each time.
 

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We humans tend to think of "sit" as a position. Dogs tend to learn that a certain motion goes with a certain command. When it comes to "sit", they almost always learn that sit means you put your butt to the ground from a stand. The concept of raising the front end into a sit from a down is a completely different motion and so dogs don't understand it at all until they're taught that too. It's not the dogs fault at all - it's the way they're trained.

So luring them up initially to help them understand is a great way to start. As with all luring, you want to use a treat just a few times and then use the hand signal without the treat (giving the treat still, but having it on a table or in a pocket). And then you gradually fade the hand signal to a smaller and smaller motion until you can do away with it altogether.

Teaching dogs a position instead of a motion is a really good idea, not only for sit but for heeling too. Dogs that learn that "heel" means you need to be in a certain position are usually easy to transition to heeling sideways, backwards, etc.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 
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