The most important command that every dog should learn. It’s called Sit/Stay.
Difficulty: 1 (1 is easiest and 5 is hardest)
Things Needed: Treats, of course!
Ok, to start you will need to get your dogs attention. This is really easy to teach. It helps to have two people teaching this command, but if that’s not possible, one will do fine. Show your dog the treat. Once you have his/her attention, then you say the command Sit. Of course your dog may look at you funny, but that’s normal. After you say the command, give your dog a chance to do it, if your dog does not respond, then put him/her in the sit position by placing one hand on his/her chest, and the other on the top of his/her hind quarters and push down and back. Once your dog is in the sit position immediately give him/her the treat and lots of praise. Practice this until your dog masters it.
Once your dog masters sitting on command, then you can begin teaching the stay command. To do this tell your dog to sit and then say stay. Make your dog stay in the sitting position for a full five seconds to start with. If your dog tries to get up before the five seconds is up, then put him/her back in the same spot and tell him/her to sit and then stay again. Repeat this until your dog can stay for five seconds with you standing right there. After the five seconds is up give the release command "OK" and then give your dog the treat and lots of praise.
When your dog can sit and stay for five seconds with no problem, then you are ready to teach him/her to sit/stay from farther away. To do this, you simply tell your dog to sit and stay and then slowly back up about 5 to 10 feet away. After ten seconds give the release command and then the treat and praise. If your dog doesn’t stay for ten seconds, then put him/her back in the same spot and try again until your dog gets the idea.
Ok, so now your dog can sit/stay with you ten feet away. You are now ready to try leaving your dogs sight. Tell your dog to sit and stay, then move away slowly until you are in another room, or hiding behind an interior wall where your dog can’t see you anymore. While hiding, let your dog stay for ten seconds. If your dog comes to find you, then take him/her back to the same spot and start over. If your dog manages to stay in the same spot, then you can come back into your dogs sight and give the release command, then a treat and lots of praise. Once your dog masters this, you can increase the time by five second increments until your dog is a pro.
This may be one of the most important tricks you can teach your dog. This will help your dog stay out of danger, and if you practice enough, it could save your dogs life. Teaching your dog to sit and stay when he/she can’t see you is a huge benifit when you are out in public and your dog is running around. Although, if your dog is a totally different dog outside than he/she is inside you will need to move the training outdoors and gradually introduce distractions. This is not something I can help with over the internet, so if you live in the Muskogee/Tulsa area and need help with it, contact me via email or a comment below for help. My prices aren’t to bad! For those of you else where, you can contact a professional trainer near you, or buy a book and try yourself. Although, I don’t recommend training a runner off a leash until that habit is broken. If you have any questions, you can always ask!
Don’t forget that last weeks trick is always posted on Doggy Times II. Check it out!