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Cagayan de Oro Dog Training and Rehabilitation

Sit exercise


Dog sittingNo, my 'sit exercise' is not about sitting. It is about taking control of your dog. And when a dog who happens to have been the boss in a household finds out what it is about he or she often starts to struggle. As of course it is not nice if your position of being the boss, of being able to do anything you want and being followed all the time is being taken away.

So how to take control of your dog? Or take control of any dog? Well, very simple, just be the leader, be the boss. Is it really that simple? Yes, in general it is really that simple.

And the most important statement in the previous sentences is 'be the leader'; and not 'act like the leader' or 'pretend to be the leader'. Dogs, and also humans, are very sensitive and will feel if you are not really serious about taking the leader position, the pack leader position, the boss position.

So what I am doing in my 'sit exercise' is checking if a dog owner or dog handler has really taken the leadership position and really makes the dog do what he or she wants the dog to do. And in this exercise that is making a dog sit next to you in what I heard Cesar Millan call a submissive state. And you can just see, or feel, if a dog is in a submissive state.

And my main job in this sit exercise is check if the owner has the leadership position and if he isn't guide him to being in that position. And I cannot fully explain how I do that, but normally I will know what to do or say to the owner or handler to get to that position. And basically that is the end of the exercise, as the only thing I am trying to achieve in my obedience training is to let the owner or handler feel how it feels to be in the leader position, to be the pack leader.

And basically that is all you have to know in order to have obedient dogs: just be the leader, be the boss.

The assignment

Dogs sittingSo yes, the initial assignment I give most of my clients of making their dog sit next to them, head my way, tail away from me and a little gap between the dog and the leg of the owner and keep him or her there sounds very simple, especially if the dog knows the command sit already. But in the last case the 'keep him or her there' will do the trick, of course only if needed.

And this assignment may sound very simple, but it is not, unless you are a real pack leader (or dog whisperer ☺), at least not when you are just starting with things like this and/or if your dog doesn't know the command sit yet.

The challenge

The first challenge to deal with is to make your dog sit if he or she doesn't know the command 'sit'. And most people don't know how to do that. And actually the command 'sit' is very easy and easy to teach, but only if you know how to do that and only if you start with teaching. And most people don't start with teaching. They don't realize teaching something to a dog is very simple, as in my experience most dogs can learn how to sit within fifteen or thirty minutes.

This challenge is easy to overcome if you realize the only thing you need to do is to tell the dog, teach the dog, what 'sit' means.

The second challenge is to deal with taking the leadership position if your dog has been the leader, I would rather say boss, until now. And this can be quite a challenge, as dogs don't like to give up their position, even though I consider it very bad if a dog is in the leadership position in a household. And even though I know in the end dogs prefer to be in the follower position, not the leader position, as dogs in general just want to feel safe. And safe means letting someone else be responsible, take charge.

The process

The process of teaching a dog to sit and becoming the pack leader can be quite challenging, but in general I see people do that within fifteen to thirty minutes, or at least during the training session. And in a private session during the training session means doing it within two to three hours and in a group session it means doing it within three to four hours.

Main issue when teaching a dog to sit is that most people don't realize they only need to teach their dog what 'sit' means. And teaching means to communicate to the dog that when you say 'sit' you mean you want the dog to sit. And that is easiest done by just saying 'sit' and guide the dog to the sit position. And repeat that a few times. And when you do that in a calm way you will see that a dog will know the command 'sit' within fifteen to thirty minutes, as dogs are very fast learners and are eager to follow their leader.