Let’s follow together what scheme all expectations of a dog should have. It is also about commands. I will show you the scheme I use, no matter if it is sit down, down, stand, stay, stay with me, etc. I am convinced that when you learn these secrets, your dog will understand you flawlessly.
Sit, down, stand, stay… I never use them when I start teaching my dog to sit, down, stand or stay still. I replace these words with my body language. I dance in front of the dog with treats and look for the moment when gravity begins to work wonders. The dog suddenly stops jumping after the treat in the hand above his head because I have found the right place where my hand should go. Not too high and not too low – just right! Head tilted up and the gravity causing my pooch’s terribly heavy rump forces him to sit down. Done! Then only hundreds of repetitions. Adding the “sit” command to this is just a formality. Again a hundred reruns and there it is! Sit on command. This system does not show the dog to sit down after two, three or five commands. The dog sits after the first one from the beginning. For details on how to do this with the other obedience positions, see the following articles. Remember – no command!
What am I saying to the dog?
Remember that for your pooch at the beginning it is the timbre of his voice and not the spoken word that will matter. So I’ll use a firm “no” and a soft, joyful “good” or “great”.
Below I will show you my dictionary, which I use from the first moments spent with my dog:
Good, great, extra – when spoken honestly and joyfully. Whenever I am satisfied with the dog’s behavior. When he takes care of his needs outside the house, when he sits down after my treats with a treat, when he looks into my eyes, when he stops chewing on the chair… There is always the word “great” that promises the dog a reward. This reward must come as soon as possible after that promise (treat, touch, play together, etc.).
No – in a firm, dry voice. Whenever I have a chance to show my dissatisfaction when a dog does something wrong. I don’t use “no” after the fact to explain to the dog that he did something wrong two hours ago. Remember that two hours ago and ten seconds ago are almost the same for a dog.
Go, yes – in a firm but joyful voice. Whenever the previous condition is over, but we still do something together. He still has to focus on me. The dog is sitting until the word “come”, because it means that I do not care about his seat anymore, now we will cringe until the word “already”, because then we will do something else. This word automatically teaches the dog to stay in that position until the command releases it “already”. So what if a dog understands that he has to sit down when he doesn’t know how long to sit?… Now he knows! It has to sit until the word “now” or “come on”.
Enough, end – in a firm and slightly official tone. This gives the dog a sign that what we are doing is over and now he has time to himself. I use these words when we finish a planned series of exercises. Also when we play together, drag a toy, boil on the grass … Rarely when a puppy, and sometimes an adult dog, want to end this frolics. Introducing these words from the beginning of dealing with the dog will allow you to fully control the dog’s emotions and keep the enthusiasm, especially of a young dog, in check during play.
Wait – in a soft voice. With this word, I “freeze” the dog, no matter what position it is in now. I use this word when putting on a harness or collar. Brushing, clipping claws, weighing the dog at the vet, etc. A great word that stops the dog’s body and mind for a while. I always have to release the dog after this “now” or “over” depending on what happens next.
Don’t talk to your dog, sit down or down, just show what position you want with your body language. Add the command only when the pooch lowers instantly or always sits down after your gestures. You can find a detailed description of how to teach your dog the basic positions here.
Pay attention to the pattern of communication with the dog. For example: body language causes a sit down, then it rains “great” to promise the dog a reward, which the dog receives immediately. Immediately after that is the word “already” so that the dog knows that he does not have to sit any longer. After the exercises, I say “finished” to make sure the four-legged friend has free time (toilet, smelling tufts of grass, etc.).
Join your ‘no’ communication when that’s not what you expect and ‘wait’ for the dog to stay still.