The next step now is to teach him to SIT. For this the dog comes to you smartly and sits on his haunches in front of you. His forelegs are straight and parallel to yours. His muzzle is almost touching your legs. As compared to COME, this exercise is slightly difficult because the dog feels his freedom is curtailed as long as he sits in front of you. Puppies being trained for SIT without leash come and sit and run away after taking the reward. However, in my method since the leash remains all the time attached with one end in your hand, his chances of bolting are zero.If he does bolt, a jerk on the leash reminds him not to do so. Please note that any command once given must be obeyed. In case he does not, please do not ignore him by thinking, ‘it’s alright, next time he won’t do’. But he has already disobeyed you. Given a chance he would like to disobey you every time. Therefore, please keep in mind that there is nothing as ‘Next time’. The procedure for SIT is simple:
Word of Command: SIT
- Take the dog back to the room, where you started to train him to COME.
- As usual attach the choke chain and leash and keep the other end of the leash in your hand. Occupy a chair.
- Let the dog sniff around.
- Suddenly stand up and comman him to COME. As soon as he comes, cut short the praise with a pat on his forehead and ‘Good boy’, and issue another command, Bozo…SIT.
- As earlier, there has to be a second’s gap between the name and the command.
- In all probability the dog may sit, without knowing the meaning of your command. They sit by reflex action.
- If so, praise him and repeat the procedure.
- In order to make him understand the command, as soon as he is near you, it is useful to hold the leash vertical with you’re left hand and with your right hand gently push him down.
- The moment he sits, praise him lavishly.
- Mind you only a gentle push is required. After all you are not trying to pull him down.
- Repeat the procedure as per the time schedule in the enclosed chart, in the room and then later in various locales.
- Once the dog learns to sit on his own, make a downward motion of your palm as a hand signal. He will very soon understand and differentiate between the signals for COME and SIT.
- The command has to be a short one. Often people ask the dog to Sit Down in a long drawl. This confuses the dog.
- Mind you the command can be in any language, but should always be brief.
- Initially the dog should not sit in front of you for more than 30 seconds. Therefore, ignore him thereafter and repeat the procedure for COME and SIT after a gap of few minutes.
- As the session gets longer (15 minute) the dog can remain seated for one minute. During those 60 seconds, talk to him in soothing tones and do not excite him.
- Since he is watching your every move, do not waive your hands or jerk you body unnecessarily. Also try to keep a calm expression.
- This is a position in which the dog is able to observe maximum. You should appear to be devoted to him lovingly and firmly.
- Once you reach the stage when he sits for one minute in front of you, at that stage you also sit on your haunches in front of the dog, while making him remain seated. That’s is each time he comes and sits, after praising you also sit in front of him. Then stand up and ignore him. Naturally he will wander off for few moments.
- Again repeat the procedure. Repetition is the crux of the training.
- Always use the same tone, same hand signals and if possible same expression on your face. May be you emerge as a good actor after wards.
- You will notice that now in 15 minutes you are making him learn two commands COME and SIT. Isn’t it time saving and effective way?
As the training sessions continue, you will notice that now after 30 days the response of the dog is much better. He looks forward to the session. It is obvious that by now your dog has learnt the commands of COME and SIT to a level of proficiency with leash.
The next command in this order is to take Down position on command DOWN. This is position which dogs prefer while relaxing. Their all the legs are parallel to the ground and so is the body. All the legs point front wards. In case of dogs with long tails like Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd, the tail should be drawn out in a line with the body, parallel to the ground. Weak or overweight dogs tend to shift the load of their body on one side. This should be discouraged from very beginning. The dog should rather appear alert and ready for action, with not trace of slouching to one side. This position comes really handy if you have a dog that welcomes everyone into the house. In case of a stranger at the door it is very reassuring if there is a huge dog between you and the stranger in Down position as you open the door. The dog may be wagging his tail, but to a person with evil mind he would look like a monster to jeopardize his designs. As usual the training starts from the confines of a room:
Word of Command: Down
- Again take the dog back to the room you started from and call him command COME and make him SIT.
- Now you sit in front of him, hold the leash in your left hand making a vertical line from his neck.
- Pull the leash downwards gently and with right hand press his neck downwards and at the same time give the command Bozo…Down.
- In case the dog assumes the position, praise him a lot and let him be like that for few seconds.
- In case the dog is not budging, do not increase the pressure. Instead just give a gentle outwards slash with the side of your palm on the inner side of his forelegs.
- This would automatically pull out his forelegs frontward.
- Hold the dog in this position from his neck and praise him a lot.
- A repetition or two like this will convey the message to the dog’s brain as to what is required of him.
- As per the enclosed Progress schedule increase the duration of the session and also the duration of his remaining in this position.
- As usual repeat the method in different portions of your house and also out side the house in a Park.
- Ultimately you realize that just by spending 15 minutes a day your dog has learnt three commands.
While the dog learns the above three commands, you find that he responds much better to the touch of hand. It is wiser to use your hand for patting the dog’s chest and scratch his forehead in praise. Of course sweet tone has the magical effect. Recent researches have proved that the touch of hand carries lot of meaning to the dog. Even sick dogs are cured by the master’s gentle caress. Therefore during the training session and even at other times you must touch your dog as much as possible.
The three commands, COME, SIT and DOWN are such that the master remains stationery while the dog moves towards him. The next three commands, STAY, STAND and GOare slightly different. Amongst these in the first two, master is free to move after the dog has learnt the command. It takes about 45 days for the dog to learn the first three commands. Though the method is planned for another 45 days for the remaining three, but I am sure that if the master is serious about training and religiously carries out the routine, the remaining three can be learnt by the dog in a much shorter time. Once the dog has learnt all the commands, it is for the owner to continue the daily practice. The retaining power of dogs is poor; therefore a daily repetition is a must. You will observe that the dog always looks forward to you after the training. His personality improves. As bond between you two becomes stronger and you can innovate many more lessons for him.
Dog Training is an art and science both. I have tried to explain the science of training you have to develop the art by practice. If you maintain a regularity and devotion your dog will show more devotion. If you are irregular then please forgive me and your dog both.