Sit/Down/Stand Sequences

By Dr. Ian Dunbar

Vary the order of the body position commands at random, or by using the following, easy to remember test sequences:

1.     sit-down-sit-stand-down-stand

2.     sit-stand-sit-down-stand-down

          3.     down-sit-down-stand-sit-stand


Varying at least three different body positions increases the speed with which the pup learns verbal commands. If we alternated just two body positions, e.g., sit and down- `doggy push ups`, the pup would quickly become bored with the endless repetition, and it would anticipate each command rather than listen to the owners instructions. For example the pup quickly learns, if it is sitting, the next command must be “Down.” Varying the order of instructions increases your puppy’s attentiveness and concentration.

For the first sequence only, reward your pup following each change of body position. On the second sequence, reward after every other change, then after three changes and so on until the pup performs an entire sequence of six responses for just one reward. After only a few trails, a single food reward is more than sufficient for your pup to perform several complete sequences in a session. Do no more then five repetitions at any one time, and reserve food rewards for those special responses performed with particular pizzazz and panache.

Turn on the television and during each commercial break and whenever you think of it. Similarly, when walking the dog ,perform a single sequence: before putting on Repeat the above sequence at least 50 times a day, until you and the pup are picture perfect. Do NOT do all repetitions at once, or else you will bore your dog silly. Also performing the exercises in a single training session produces a dog which is only reliable at training times, for example in the kitchen before dinner. To create a dog which is reliable at all times in a wide variety of settings. To accomplish this with minimal expenditure of effort and energy, integrate training into your daily routine. Call your dog and perform just one sequences: each time you turn on the stove, open the fridge, make a cup of tea or go to the bathroom, when the clock chimes, when you turn a page of a magazine, book or newspaper, when you  and taking off the dogs leash, each time you go through a door or gate, each time you see a dog or another person, each time you pass a lamppost or fire hydrant, before and after crossing the street and, whenever you think of it. You will find it easy to have several hundred mini-training sessions each day without deviating too much from your daily routine. Moreover, when your puppy collides with adolescence, you will find your daily routine runs smoother with a well trained dog.