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Teaching Sit


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I've finally decided that Eli needs to learn some things. I mean, he knows not to potty inside (more or less) and he's understanding that "Go lay down" means "Please get your pointy nose out of my face and lay down on your bed - I'll feed you when it's dinner time". :lol

 

We started with "Sit" today (because all my attempts at "down" just end with him in a standing position, staring at the treat that I'm holding on the floor under my leg - he just will not go down). For now, we're just getting a hang of the sitting motion and the fact that when his butt is on the ground, he gets treats. I'm using the "hug and fold" method because he refuses to be lured into a sit and he doesn't sit naturally often enough for me to catch it. But I have seen him sit for relatively long periods of time all on his own, so he is capable and he doesn't find it hideously uncomfortable, so I don't feel bad forcing him into it. Once I hug his butt down to the ground (well, folded up comforter) he does sit there until I invite him to get up, so he's not entirely freaked out...

 

So here's where my training question comes in. For those of you who've used the "hug and fold" method, what's the process like? I get the "hug and fold" part, but what happens after that? Should I keep hugging and folding and adding in the word "Sit" as it happens and hope that he connects the two? Or do I keep hugging him into a sit while presenting the treat until just showing him the treat elicits the action - and then add in the word? Eli's not too quick on the uptake - either that, or he's learned that when he pretends not to understand things, he isn't asked to do much. Okay, it's probably the latter. But not for much longer!

 

Also, what kind of super tasty treats do you use for training? For this time, I used the brand new kind of food I just bought him, but that won't work for long. I was using hotdog for a while, but he didn't seem too entranced by it.

 

And one more question, do you have someone stand in front of the pup to hand out the treat while you hug and fold the legs under, or do you do it all yourself?

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Guest Wasserbuffel

When I trained Jayne I used the hug and fold method. I started by treating her right after I got her butt down. Then I added the word along with the treat for a while. Then, I tried using the word alone (I also added a hand signal). Using the advice of PrairieProf I taught her on a slope, facing downhill which made it easier.

 

Braunschweiger. Can be a bit messy, but she'll do anything for it!

 

I did it all myself.

Edited by Jayne
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We did hug and fold with Henry. I found that it worked really well with a clicker. As soon as the butt touches the floor, click and treat. Don't force him to stay in the sit- he won't like that. Practice a few times a day, and he'll be sitting in no time.

 

ETA- I was the only one doing the training, but it probably would be easier with two people.

Edited by a_daerr
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Thank you for the answers! I'll definitely see if I can find some braunschweiger anywhere.

 

I don't force him to stay in a sit once he's there - for some reason he just doesn't get up till I tell him "Okay now, stand up" :lol

 

I'll give the clicker a try... I think I have a few floating around my house from when I tried clicker training some shelter dogs...

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Guest kkaiser104

I taught Teddi this way. I used the treat over his head while folding and told him to "sit". Then I would do the treat over the head and just push on his butt (on his thigh, just to remind him, not to push him into a sit) while saying sit. He learned really fast!

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Guest HoundWorks

We couldn't teach Siri to sit until we tried the hug and fold method. She learned it in a half hour :) We did start out with two people. I would hug and fold and my BF would give the hand signal and "sit" command. Soon we transitioned to I only had to touch her hind quarter and she was sitting. Then what really helped I think was we would ask our whippet to sit and give him a treat, then ask Siri to sit and if she didn't no treat for her. We went back and forth asking them both to sit until she figured out she had to but that butt on the ground to get a treat! Now she knows shake, lie down, stay, come and more! I think having two people made it easier, but the clicker is a fantastic idea as well if you don't have anyone around to help at the moment. Good luck! It's so gratifying when they actual get it.

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I try to set hounds up for positive success naturally. (Caution for new readers: I would not recommend using any physical force with Greyhounds. Some will be so surprised and uncomfortable they may try to bite a human trying to physically "force" them into a position. The hound has no idea what's happening to them. Also, good to allow a little time to build up a trusting relationship with any new dog before focusing on obedience training (positive methods).)

 

Below is my favorite method that can work well for Greyhounds who have trouble learning to rise up to sit (from a down position) when lifting treat above head.

 

Watch for hound to walk over to lie down on dog bed or carpet naturally. (This is easy with Greys.)

Get ready with yummy treat in hand, and quickly move closer to hound.

Once hound's rear end touches the carpet or dog bed, their trusted person moves over to stand directly in front of dog. Person's body is blocking the hound (into a natural sit) while preventing dog from lying all the way down. Immediately say "sit" when hound's rear touches ground and offer treat, then verbally praise, praise, praise.

 

Do this whenever the dog goes to lie down naturally. When hound connects the feeling with the word "sit" begin asking for a "sit" a few times daily (i.e., before presenting meals, treats, etc.). Try to keep practice sessions short to 2 or 3 repeats. They get bored very easily.

 

If desired: A clicker can be used if you want to tell hound to sit, then "click" immediately when the hound's rear end touches the ground (or dog bed), but simply treating with food works fine in most cases. If hound isn't food driven a special squeaky toy can work as a reward.

 

I use the word "release" to release dogs from an obedience exercise. I prefer that word because it's not often used in everyday language. ("Okay" is not preferred because it's too easy to use inadvertently during human conversations.)

 

Greyhounds often love tripe, liver, plain cooked meat (chicken, beef, etc.), cut up bits of lowfat string cheese, even sample packages of a smelly kibble (like salmon or whatever is unlike their usual flavor).

 

BTW, "down" is very easy to teach. Whenever hound goes to lie down naturally, say "down" as they drop into a down position, then immediately offer treat! They love that easy one! :)

 

Good luck! :)

Edited by 3greytjoys
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personally I am not worried about the sit command as it doesn't come naturally so I wont force Bobby to sit, I would however like him to learn to sit by watching my other dog sit when I say sit :hehe

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See, I want Eli to learn things :lol

 

He does sit naturally sometimes - so it's not like I'm forcing him to do something he doesn't want to do. I'm just forcing him to learn that the position he puts his butt in means sit and therefore means a treat. Haha!

 

We're taking a step away from the sit training and working on clicker training. He'll do a sit when I hug him into it, but I really don't think it's connecting in his doggy brain that doing the action means he gets the reward. So first, I think it's going to be helpful to teach him that doing a certain thing when prompted means he'll get the tasty. Then we can move on to the more "challenging" things.

 

That being said, if anyone has videos of "hug and fold" sit training or clicker training, that would be super helpful! I'm a horribly visual learner, so I have to see it being done in order to be able to do it. Just reading a description of the process and trying to figure it out that way makes my brain melt :dunno

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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this isnt necessarily your question, but it might be helpful. i found that the biggest breakthrough to training was to teach him his first trick. that one took FOREVER. but once i got him to do that, he could sit, lay down, offer his paw, and stay every time i asked him within a few weeks. i found that the lay down command was the easiest. tempo had no idea what on earth i was trying to do with the treat under the leg thing, so i made it easier for him. i simply took a kind of low coffee table, positioned it between me and him so he couldnt get by, put a treat under, and on the far side of the coffee table so he would have to either stretch out on his front paws or lay down to reach it, then said, "down!" he went from not knowing the command to mastering it in a day and a half. if you can break that in as the first trick, you might have an easier time sitting.

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this isnt necessarily your question, but it might be helpful. i found that the biggest breakthrough to training was to teach him his first trick. that one took FOREVER. but once i got him to do that, he could sit, lay down, offer his paw, and stay every time i asked him within a few weeks. i found that the lay down command was the easiest. tempo had no idea what on earth i was trying to do with the treat under the leg thing, so i made it easier for him. i simply took a kind of low coffee table, positioned it between me and him so he couldnt get by, put a treat under, and on the far side of the coffee table so he would have to either stretch out on his front paws or lay down to reach it, then said, "down!" he went from not knowing the command to mastering it in a day and a half. if you can break that in as the first trick, you might have an easier time sitting.

 

Oh, that's a good idea! Eli doesn't understand the "under the leg" thing either. Problem is, I have no coffee table. I wonder if there's something else I could use.. or something else simple I could teach. He's a smart boy, I really just think he doesn't understand the concept of action = treat. :lol Poor guy. He'll get there.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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I have been clicker training and right now I have given up on the sit just because it seems very uncomfortable for Teague. If he does it he sits on his butt with his two back legs sticking out straight, totally not comfortable! lol :P Some people have had more success training on a hill. You back them against it, hold a treat up and they only have to lean back a little to touch the ground. I don't have a whole lot of hills around though, so haven't tried it! I may try 3greytjoys suggestions above though, hadn't thought of that. I have been sticking with other things like targeting, come, spin, paw, etc. right now.

 

 

I like this blog for training:

http://neversaynever...d-sits-101.html

Edited by RedHead
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its true, its that first trick that teaches the concept of action=predictable response, and it can take a while. i think the first one i did was paw, and it was pretty much a two week process. right after that was "down," using the table, and everything else fell into place immediately. for sitting, i got lucky. after he learned down, he would get so excited that he would sometimes kind of stop halfway between standing and laying down, hoping to get a treat without the full effort. it wasnt a true sit, but i was pretty close. the first time he did that, i said "SIT!" in a very positive way, and lavished praise on him. that was pretty much all it took. Then I modified that technique. Since he only knew "down," i would say "sit!" until, using trial and error, he would see if laying down would work to get the treat. but i'd reach in and stop him while he was halfway -- basically in a sitting position, and lavish praise on him. this worked very quickly, and he has been doing perfect "sits" ever since.

 

i thought sitting would be impossible because he had never done it on his own, and i couldnt get that whole backing into the corner thing to work, but sitting on the way to laying down -- or stopping him halfway in the laying down process -- did the trick. so i dont know, maybe it might be worth getting a cheap throw-away coffee table at a thrift store or something, and teaching him to lay down first?

Edited by jaym1
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See, I want Eli to learn things :lol

 

He does sit naturally sometimes - so it's not like I'm forcing him to do something he doesn't want to do. I'm just forcing him to learn that the position he puts his butt in means sit and therefore means a treat. Haha!

 

We're taking a step away from the sit training and working on clicker training. He'll do a sit when I hug him into it, but I really don't think it's connecting in his doggy brain that doing the action means he gets the reward. So first, I think it's going to be helpful to teach him that doing a certain thing when prompted means he'll get the tasty. Then we can move on to the more "challenging" things.

 

That being said, if anyone has videos of "hug and fold" sit training or clicker training, that would be super helpful! I'm a horribly visual learner, so I have to see it being done in order to be able to do it. Just reading a description of the process and trying to figure it out that way makes my brain melt :dunno

 

Have you tried "101 things to do with a Box"? That is a clicker game that teaches your dog to learn, and is what finally got Katie to "get" the idea of training. Part of the problem with greyhounds is that they don't understand the entire "if my human asks me to do something, and I do it, good things happen" idea. The basic idea of 101 things is to take a box (or any other unique item you don't mind your dog playing with) and put it on the floor in a room with you, your dog, a clicker, and lots of yummy treats. Now, click and treat the dog for ANYTHING that they do with the box. Sometimes, to start with, that's just "looking in the general direction of the box". I had to cheat with Katie and actually bait the box with treats to start with. You are NOT trying to get the dog to do anything in particular. You are trying to get them to learn "I do something, and I can make my person click and reward me for it". Once they get that idea, it becomes much easier to train, since your dog is actively trying to figure out what it needs to do in order to make you click. It may take several days of the box game before it really sinks in, and you have to be lavish with clicking anything that the dog does. But it is awesome when you see that "ah ha!" moment sink in.

 

Hope this helps!

77f6598d-2.jpg

My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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I followed Jennifer's lessons here (http://neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.ca/2010/11/intro-to-clicker-training.html) on how to teach a greyhound how to learn. It is very similar to 101 things to do with a box. It did take almost a full week before the light bulb came on and he figured out that the clicker meant that he did something right and a treat was coming.

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That's awesome, thanks! I read those lessons thoroughly this morning and then started this afternoon (because Eli is most willing to do things for food when his dinnertime is right around the corner). At first he was afraid of the clicky noise (poor guy!) but then he got the point that "click" = "hotdog" and was less jumpy. By the end (maybe 10-15 minutes) he was almost willingly nosing the empty oatmeal can-thing. This was probably because the top smelled like hotdog, but I'll take what I can get! I'm optimistic that the clicker training (and "here's what learning is" training) will help. Thanks again!

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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You're lucky Eli has a long attention span! With my JJ he wasn't particularly food oriented at first and he would only pay attention if we used hot dog or grilled chicken breast. Even then he would only play along for 5 or 6 treats and then he'd wander off. We had to keep our sessions super short (1-2 minutes) so that we could finish while he was still interested. Now his attention span is up to about 10 minutes, but we still don't usually go for longer than 5 minutes at a time.

 

We eventually graduated from using an empty frozen yogurt bucket, to a plastic pumpkin squeaky toy. He only gets to interact with the pumpkin toy during training sessions so he gets super excited and focused whenever we bring it out.

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Guest jaws4evr

I've heard of success with GH sit training by a combination of treat luring, and having them be in a corner so they can't keep backing up. We tried this with ours unfortunately she felt cornered so got all scared.

 

We have had limited success with the luring and LOT of patience and good timing. We still need treats, and we don't keep the sit more than a second or two since she NEVER sits on her own (she rolls on her hip to lay down, or goes down on her front first and plops on her side)!

 

We've had better success with "down", now she'll actually go sphynx when she thinks its dinner time! It's ultra cute, she'll go down in a sphynx and spring her ears up all big and stare at us. Cutie!

 

Ours is too shy/spooky for the hug and fold...

Edited by jaws4evr
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Many Greyhounds naturally drop to one hip as they lie down. Catching this position for teaching is considered a more comfortable "side sit." That's great! (My previous post explains an easy method for linking the word "sit" to hound's natural position. Also, my post in recent untrainables thread.) Once hound connects a hip "side sit" position with the word "sit," this is how many Greyhounds prefer to "sit". It's adorable and fine if that is more comfortable than a straight sit. Greyhound "sits" are a variety of positions, including some whose hind legs stretch out more than others. Greyhound bodies/long legs are built for running, not for perfectly tucked straight sits like non-racing dog breeds. Many hounds that learn a "side sit" first might occasionally do a "straight sit" on their own unless it's too uncomfortable. The hound's physical comfort is most important, and I do not ask Greyhounds to sit for a prolonged length of time. :)

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Guest mainegrey

I have a pretty funny story of teaching my grey to sit. Well, actually we started with "down" since as a fledgling greyhound owner I thought "sit" is a total rocket science for them and for me. The only way my dog would lie down right away without being pushed is when he jumps up on the couch. Yes, being on the couch is no problem in our house. So, first we started with making him jump on the couch, luring him with a treat. The second he mastered it, I kept him there longer and naturally he would try to lie down.As he was on his way "down", I would give him a treat and voice the verbal key "down". It worked really fast. Then we started moving on to the floor. First, he would do it only on a blanket and nowhere else. At this point he figured out that if his bottom touches the floor the job is done. So involuntary he started sitting on his own. Finally, we worked on differentiating the two words "down" and "sit". Now we have a dog that would sit at the only sight of any food. Couch is just a magic place for everything involving greyhounds!

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Somewhat unrelated comment - if the point of your training is just for the sake of training - which is a REALLY good thing - I personally wouldn't start with Sit. Training for the sake of mental stimulus - bonding, etc. is fabulous.

 

I'm a crappy traininer - but I've taught Stop, Backup, Off, Down, Up, Wipe your feet (which is spin in circles on the floormat by the door), Get it, "Go get Taylor" (which means run into my DD's room - jump on her bed (in her "forbidden bedroom" and annoy her with greyhound joy while she's glued to her laptop - my personal fave) and a bunch of other stuff - most of it useful in daily life, some just for the heck of it. DH has taught "Where's Momma?" which sends greyhounds into a frenzy to find and jump on me wherever I am in the house or yard (a version of "Go get Taylor"). I've never yet found a reason to teach sit. I have nothing against it - I just find it awkward for the dogs, and more trouble than what any of us get out of it.

 

Anyway - my point is - Sit is fine to teach - and LOTS of people do it well. But - there are other fun options.

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Guest reneern120

i agree with everything written here. Two other things my personal pet trainer stressed to me. 1) if there is any way to make the dog do it on their on without "force" they figure it out a lot quicker. Lilly, my third grey was taught to sit by getting her up against a wall then having her look up for her treat. Her butt had to go down. 2) dog have really short attention spans so 2 15 minute sessions a day work best. Good luck!!

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