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Discussion Starter #1
I was hoping to get some tips on recall, particularly getting a clean sit in front. Phoenix is 11 months old now, and has a great recall. I have been working with him since he was a little puppy, and he comes straight to me, but is always super excited - I try and guide him with my arms out front, with command sit, but I always seem to need to get my hands on him to get the sit. Maybe I'm praising him too much, too early, for coming to me and he's tuning out on the sit because he's too excited?

I tried going back a step and practice with the leash, I'll call him to come, and he can sit in front just fine when we do it that way, but when I place him in a sit, leave him and call him, that's when we get a bit sloppy.

My trainer commented that I'm waiting too long to give the command for sit (practically when Phoenix is in front of me), which I will try and work on, but was wondering if anyone might have some tips or other suggestions?
 

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It's kind of hard to correct without seeing exactly what's going on and how you do it. I practiced "sit" together with the hand gesture, like a short movement of right palm facing up (if it makes sense). And I sometimes use that instead of verbal and he gets it too just fine. So if you have a body language alternative for sit, you can guide him into place with that.
Use treats. If he does sit/stay fine, take a treat in your hand, let him smell it but don't give just yet, tell him to stay and walk away. Then as he comes closer to you within a few steps, use the hand with the treat to guide him into sit in front of you. Always praise when he comes, but EXTRA praise + treat when he sits.
If it still doesn't quite work then take much smaller steps - use the leash but don't walk too far away. Make him sit/stay, step right in front of his face. Then take 2 steps back (so that he doesn't have too much room to run and get too excited), recall and use the leash to guide him into sit in front of you.

Another thing that might help is walking backwards with him right in front of you within 1 step kinda thing. So you walk backwards slow, if he follows you - great! Slowly stop and command him to sit. Reward LOTS and say "let's go" and move backwards some more facing him all the time and make him sit again. This will make him used to that when you face him - he better sit.

Hopefully some of this helps you to get it under control:) Good luck!
 

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When I took Shelby to obedience classes, we were taught to take some quick steps backward while teaching come, reeling in the leash, stopping and saying sit. That way, the dog was already right in front of us for the sit. Worked like a charm.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all very much for the suggestions, my obedience training with Phoenix was very similar, and we're really good with the backward steps to a sit, and I'm now practicing to get the proper recall from 20-30 ft away, no leash, for obedience trial-level recall. I have an old 15 ft leash I'm going to practice with, that might help me control his exuberance! He launches off the sit to get to me when he's called from a distance, which is great, except that he's just super excited when he gets to me in front!
 
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