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

Sit, Verbal Cue

Now let’s move on to “sit.” As we discussed with hand signals, your dog will most likely default to a sit on the mat, so it will be necessary to practice the sit on some other soft surface, like a carpet or rug. Avoid tile or hardwood floors as most dogs find these surfaces to be more challenging since they are hard, uncomfortable, and offer very little traction. I recommend holding food in your left hand, while keeping your right hand empty. This will help you to reinforce your dog in a timely fashion without accidentally using a lure. Now lead your dog on leash to a carpet or rug and immediately issue a verbal cue “sit.” If your dog does not immediately respond, prompt your dog by holding your hand above their nose as though you are holding an imaginary treat. Reinforce for the duration of the sit, at 1-2 second intervals of time and once you have decided to deliver the final reward – go ahead and issue a release cue “all done” and lead them out of position. Remember that we are always ending each behavior with a release cue, regardless of what surface we are training on. Provide a one minute break in between each set and do 3 or 4 sets total before moving on to the next verbal cue which will be “go to place.”

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