Free Sample Lessons
Sit Lesson 1 Written Supplement
Lesson Objective: In this lesson you will be teaching your dog to follow food into the sit position and developing your hand signal.
Reward: Kibble or small soft treats
1) Place food next to your puppy's nose
2) Move the food up and back toward the tail so the puppy goes into the sit position
3) As soon as the puppy sits, say "Good" and release the food from your hand
4) Repeat steps 1-3 multiple times
5) Now you will start developing your hand signal by raising your hand with the food in it higher above the puppy’s head.
6) Now start to practice while you are in a standing position
7) Then begin developing your hand signal by making the motion you want your desired hand signal to be. You can use whatever signal you prefer. I use a swoop up motion with my hand.
8)Next, use your hand signal, but fade the food out of the hand and reward the puppy for sitting from the other hand.
Move on to lesson 2 when your dog or puppy will easily follow the hand signal into the sit position
If you are having difficulty with getting the dog into the sit position because they keep backing up, try practicing with the dog against a wall.
If your puppy tends to keep crawling into your lap, you can practice by sitting in a chair.
Notice that I am using my marker word “Good” as soon as the puppy sits. You can use whatever you like here. You could use a clicker, “Yes”, or anything else you prefer.
Down Lesson 1 Written Supplement
Lesson Objective: In this lesson, you will begin teaching your dog how to go into the down position. You will be using food to shape the dog into the down position.
Equipment Needed: Food Rewards
1) With your dog in the sitting position, place the food reward next to the dog’s nose and move it slowly toward the ground. Release the food into the dog’s mouth when their nose touches the ground.
2) Once your dog will put their nose to the ground, hold off releasing the food for a few seconds to see if the dog will go into the down position. At any point that your dog goes into the down position, you will say “Good” and release the food. Many dogs will go right into the down position and some take a little longer like the dog in the video.
3) Practice many repetitions so that your dog begins to go into the down position in a quick fluid motion as you move the forward toward the ground.
1) If your dog acts like the one in the video, you can have your dog crawl under something such as your leg or a broom handle to help them understand what you are trying to teach them to do.
2) If the dog's rear comes off of the ground when you move the food toward the ground, you will need to get the dog back into the sit position and repeat the downward motion with the food.
3) Change up the food reward to something more attractive such as cheese if your dog does not seem interested in what your are using.
Move on to Lesson 2 when your will easily fold into the down position while following the food toward the ground.
Recall Lesson 3 Written Supplement
Lesson Objective: In this lesson you will be practicing calling your dog using a long line and you will be changing up how you reward the dog with food treats.
Equipment Needed: High Value rewards, Long Line or long rope (I prefer to use a 30 foot cotton leash that is 5/8 inch thick) You can find these on amazon.com if your local pet store does not carry them. A rope can be used temporarily until you can get a proper training lead. Ropes can cause bad rope burns if you are not careful.
1) Place your dog on the long line
2) Move around and wait until your dog begins sniffing and exploring the environment
3) Use your dog's name and "Come". Reward your dog if they come to you. If your dog does not come to you, you will use the line to get your dog to come to you.
4) Praise your dog the instant they start moving toward you
5) Reward the dog once they get to you
Space out food rewards. Sometimes you should only praise the dog for coming to you rather than rewarding the dog with food. However, when you do reward, you will reward heavily at times. See video.
- Practice around your home, at a local park, or any spot you can find that is appropriate for training with the long line. The more locations you train in, the better.
- Let the long line lay on the ground when possible so you can move up and down the line easily. This also aids in preventing the line becoming tangled.
- When your dog does not respond to the command, you will move backwards quickly so that your weight pulls the line and the dog toward you. You should release pressure when the dog begins moving toward you.
- Always be very aware of how much slack you have in the line. You do not want to be holding the end of the line when your dog is standing next to you. The dog may see something and take off and they can gain a lot of speed and force in 30 feet.
- If your dog is not interested in coming to you and you have to pull the line every time, try using only 10 foot of the line so you are closer to the dog and try a different type of reward that your dog is more interested in.
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