Saturday, 30 April 2011

Pet Basic Skills: Sit

Posted by Blog Administrator at 22:36
Sit is the champion of all skills. A lot of tricks, such as shake,  wave, and high-five, require your pet to know how to sit on cue.  Start off by getting some treats ready. Make sure they are cut into small pieces, and have them in a convenient location. Some good places are in your pocket, a fanny pack, or a special dog treat bag called a bait bag that you can get at a pet supply store. Or you can place treats on a nearby table or other raised surface so that your pet can’t steal them. Hold one treat in your
hand, and stand with your pet toe-to-toe in front of you or on your left side (which is the traditional heel position for dogs).

 
Start by holding the treat right in front of your pet’s nose. Then slowly bring it up and back toward his tail. As he tips his head back to reach the food, he will most likely sit. When he does sit, say “yes” or “good” and give him the treat. This technique is called luring. That means using a treat to lead your pet into
the position you want. Kind of like fishing, the treat is your lure. Only instead of catching a fish, you use it to lead your animal friend into the correct position.
 
After several repetitions, your pet should begin to expect what you’re going to ask him to do and sit without needing to go through the entire exercise. At this point, you can start saying “sit” before moving your hand because your pet has shown that he understands the behavior you want.
 
Repeat several times, and begin to reward him only when he sits after you ask him to. Dogs an cats are pretty smart. Before long your pet will put the pieces together and sit without help when he hears the word “sit” so he can get his treat faster.
 
If your pet backs up instead of sitting when you use the treat, try either starting with his  rear end against a wall or just blocking his rear with your hand so that he can’t back up. As he gets the hang of it, he will no longer need the hand or wall. If he jumps up to get the treat, try holding your hand lower down.
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