White terrier mix dog standing in a green field with a red collar on

Distraction in Sit, Movement and Mechanics

The third set will be in a sit. We will still be working with a food distraction, but this time we are going to pay special attention to the position of your body and hands. The position of your hands is important for two reasons:

  1. Hands that are held too close your dog’s nose or that move erratically can be distracting and will become a source of confusion for your dog.
  2. If you watched the video “Markers in Training” it talked about the importance of sequencing our verbal marker and food pairing. Meaning, say “good” first and then deliver the food reward.

They should be two distinct actions spaced out by approximately 1 second. Holding your right hand by your stomach in-between each reward will help to deliver a more clearly executed sequence.

Let’s get started. Guide your dog to the mat. Mark “good” and reinforce him for placing. Take a piece of food in your right hand and hold that piece of food two or three inches above the dog’s nose to lure your dog into a sit. The minute your dog sits you are going to mark “good” and reinforce. Now stand straight and move your hands back to your stomach. The very second that you stand straight with your hands by your belly you are going to mark “good” and then reinforce your dog in a sit.

In this week’s training you will default to this “resting” position – back straight, hands at stomach, before you reinforce your dog for desirable behavior.

Drop a piece of food to your right, return to your “resting” position, mark “good” and reinforce your dog. Bend over to pick up the food. Stand straight, with your hands at your stomach and mark “good” and reinforce. Repeat a second drop to the right.

Now you are going to switch the leash to your right hand and drop a piece of food to your left. Return to your resting position, mark “good” and deliver reinforcement. Pick up the food, return to your “resting” position, mark “good” and reinforce. Repeat the pattern one more time to your left. Now give your dog a release cue, followed by a prompt and a single reward once your dog moves off the mat. Set your timer for your 60 second break.

Frequently Asked Questions: CLICK HERE to download the .PDF

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