In the obedience of the commands „sit”, „down” and „stand” the dog must perform not only quickly and precisely, but also in place (without moving). Therefore, from the beginning you have to work on the correctness of individual items, because any errors will then be difficult to fix. How to make a dog carry out commands in place? We can achieve this by teaching him one of two ways of changing position: without moving the front paws with the croup displacement or moving the front paws while the croup is stationary. Before we start learning how to change the position (e.g. „down” from the „sit” position), the dog must be able to perform the commands „sit”, „down” and „stand” regardless of where the guide is in relation to him (during we give commands to the dog, standing from the side, back or sitting on a chair).
„Sit” is the most-awarded item, and thus best recorded in the dog’s consciousness. We already give the puppy a command to sit down before we give him a bowl of food or put on a leash before going out for a walk. In obedience, however, we require the dog not only to sit down, but also to do it evenly and immediately. We reward the ball for a nice „sitting” (we throw it behind the dog to prevent moving forward). The dog will learn to sit down quickly if we hold the treat above our heads, slightly behind (Photo 1-3A).
„Lay down” is quite a difficult exercise. We must teach the dog to carry out this command from both the „stand” and „sit” positions.
If we want the dog to not move its front paws while it is crouched and only move its croup, let’s start from the „stand” position. We give the dog a treat or a ball between the front paws, very close to the chest (Photo 1-3B). We can help him by lightly pressing his hand on the croup. The idea is for the dog, shifting back, to fold back (folding like a penknife). We always keep the treat low, even when the dog is executing this command correctly. The delicacy he keeps high will be an incentive for him to stand up.
When the dog is able to condition from the „stand” position, we start learning this command from the „sit” position. We proceed as in the previous case. We put the treat between the paws, almost under the belly (photo 1-3C). We can help him by slightly raising his chest with one hand, while pressing the croup with the other and moving it slightly backwards. If we want the dog not to move, we give him a treat between his paws, but in front so that he has to stretch a little towards him. We can help the dog by pressing lightly on the withers.
The „stand” position can be taken by the dog from the „down” or „sit” position. If he’s down, we give him a treat above his head – so that he has to rise (Photo 1-4D). We can help him slightly with the other hand put under the belly. We make sure that the front paws do not change position. However, if the dog is sitting, we offer him a treat between the front paws under the chest so that he stands up, withdraws the hind, not the front paws. Once the dog has mastered all of these positions, we can begin to require him to change them remotely and start teaching him how to stay in place. How to do it – I will describe next month.