This exercise provides 15 great Sit-Stay drills that you can download below and work through to teach your dog how to remain in place despite distractions and temptations to engage in other behaviours.
The drills are very complimentary to Exercise 6.4 where we are working on good doorbell manners and you can use them to structure your practice sessions with your dog in his/her bed or mat at the designated place you have chosen.
The drills will really help you teach your dog:
As you move forward, this exercise should be a part of daily life so your dog learns to offer sits in lots of different situations. Once trained, continue to carry some of your dog’s kibble in your pocket and make training Keep Sitting a frequent and random event. This will encourage your dog to always be ready to offer Sitting.
In Exercise 5.3 we started to really teach our dog to remain in place, rewarding him for sitting for different lengths of time with the distraction of your movement around him and until you released him. Once you have that element in place, you are ready for these drills which progressively add more distractions so he learns to remain steady, even when life is happening around him.
The drills are organised in a set of tasks to be completed each day. You can split the tasks up into several sessions per day or with a more experienced dog work through them in longer sessions.
Once completed in your easy training place, repeat all tasks in different locations and with different family members. Also, repeat all tasks with only every second or third task being rewarded with a treat (intermittent treat reinforcement is a powerful tool in dog training which we’ll talk more about later).
Always remember to work at your dog’s pace and don’t hurry this process, take as many days as your dog needs to be 100% successful. This is a core behaviour for teaching your dog he can remain sitting no matter what is going on around him and it will take time but the results are so worth it!
Four great exercises to see how your dog’s impulse control is developing!
1. STAY WITH RELEASE
Demonstrates impulse control and the ability to remain stationary with distractions.
Tip: Remember that your dog must move when given the release cue!
2. STAY UNDER DISTRACTION
Demonstrates impulse control in the presence of a distraction and without eye contact from the handler.
3. STAY THEN RECALL AWAY FROM DISTRACTION
Demonstrates self-control in the presence of and approaching distractions.
4. STAY WHILE HANDLER MOVES EQUIPMENT
Demonstrates stationary control in the presence of moving distractions.