Does Rover sit every time you ask?
When your dog performs a really reliable behaviour on cue such as sit, it can have endless uses. Is it time to go back to the drawing board and strengthen Rovers sit?
I often hear of dogs that jump up, in fact it’s probably one of the most common problems that people contact me about. Of course they jump up on you; they are normally extremely happy to see you and pushing them off or shouting is really rewarding for such socially reliant creatures, don’t be surprised when they do it again tomorrow and next day and so on……rewarded behaviour gets stronger.
To break the chain, ask Rover to sit when you greet him. When he does, give him the same level of interaction, ie pet him and tell him he is a good boy and give him a lovely titbit. If at any time he does try to jump up, ignore him and he should revert to a sit which you can reward. Overtime he will cease jumping and meet you with a lovely sit instead.
Dogs inherently rush past you at doorways, not because they are trying to dominate you or take over the world, but because the other side of the door is normally really exciting. Instead of Rover zipping past, train a sit and wait.
Doorbell and Visitors
Many dogs can’t seem to contain their excitement and go nutty when someone comes to visit; teaching Rover to sit and wait until you open the door and allow him to greet your guests politely is invaluable, especially for those guests that don’t know just how lovely Rover really is.
Most dogs are extremely motivated by food, many to a point where they can’t help themselves from stealing food or getting into their bowl before you have even put it down. Having the self-control to sit and wait until he is allowed to eat, will help Rover to improve his food manners and can also help avoid food stealing. If Rover always has to sit and wait before he gets food then he is more likely to wait for any food that is extremely tempting to him.
Having Rover sit nicely at the side of the road will not only keep him safe from traffic when you are out on your walks, but with consistency it can also teach him that he is never to cross without being allowed to. This could be a life saver if Rover was ever to break free from his lead or escape from his house. For this to work, you should always have Rover sit and wait before using a command such as “let’s go” to cross.
Of course all this training takes a little time, patience and effort, but should be an enjoyable process for both you and your best friend.
Those are just some of the uses for training a reliable sit, however I am sure you can think of many more. Please feel free to comment on your own uses for this simple yet invaluable behaviour.