Today Roo and I continued working on “sit”. While yesterday I clicked for any and all sits, any distance from me, facing any direction, today we “upped the stakes”. Because we are preparing for obedience competition, “sit” is not just a bum on the floor, it also requires a certain position in relation to the handler. Today we began working towards proper position.
Initially, I clicked and treated for any sit, then slowly became more discriminating. Instead of clicking for a sit five feet from me, I’d place her treat (post click) near my feet. This required her to come in close to retrieve it before I’d ask for another sit. After a few repeats she was sitting nice and close. Then it became a matter of shaping her direction. So not only did she have to come in nice and close to earn a click, she also had to direct her body towards me.
Remember, when working with your own dog, you may or may not be able to move quickly through this. Some dogs pick up on some concepts quickly, while others take time. If it takes four or five sessions to get proper placement, that’s okay. Roo picked up on this quickly, but may not be so quick to grasp other skills.
Here’s a quick photograph of her sitting in excellent position for “sit”.
As you can see, this session I worked in bare feet. Being so tiny Roo is often cautious around feet… so getting in nice and close required a big leap on her part (and I gave her a nice big “jackpot” of treats the first time she did it). Next time I will wear socks, and then sandals, then sneakers, and then I’ll likely try boots as well. Slowly upping the criterion for the click, and building her confidence in the process.
For more information on beginning to click with your dog, or your toy breed dog in particular, visit me at http://www.noselicks.com/