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Sitting Problems

August 7th, 2005, 07:29 PM
So, I trained Max using treats to do the sit and down. I have weaned him off and he now does both fairly reliably without treats when in the house in in the yard. But at areas of high distraction, he doesn't do sits/downs without a treat. I don't like this much, and understand that he needs to relearn it again in a new environment, but I don't want to use treats.

So, I thought I'll put on a choke chain and give him a correction if he doesn't sit. I say sit, and he doesn't budge, so I give a leash correction. Nothing. I give a firmer leash correction and another "sit". Nothing. I end up having to physically manoeuver him (almost six month old, 85 pounds) into a sit. What do I do now? I tried again and again with the leash correction, and it doesn't faze him at all i.e. it's like he doesn't even feel/notice a fly on an elephant. And I'm not about to start yanking with all my might...that doesn't make sense...if a firm leash correction doesn't work, then plan B. Leaning over top him to put "pressure" on his back-side doesn't work either. I'm starting to wonder if this is a bit of a rebellion, so am working more diligently on the Nothing is Free philosophy. He is sitting or downing for everything from door opening to dinner to toys to all attention.

Meanwhile, do I just work at lower levels of distraction and work up again. Maybe too much too fast with the park. Do I keep physically placing him?

August 7th, 2005, 07:32 PM
If you have taught him to learn with treats, I think it will be hard to switch methods and have him understand that you are in teaching mode. What I would do is stay just outside the park and do it with treats. That way you won't get mauled and there will still be some distraction.

August 7th, 2005, 07:50 PM
Hi Prin,

Thank you for your reply. I'm such a literalist, that I've probably mis-interpreted...but do you mean that by not using treats to train now, that Max could get start becoming physically demanding to get the treats, i.e. "mauling". He is still young, so I'm hoping a change in direction in this way is still possible.

Thank you.

August 7th, 2005, 07:53 PM
LOL no no, I meant if you bring treats into a dog park, you could get mauled but the other dogs. Some dogs are VERY forceful when it comes to food, especially with other dogs around. You have to be so careful when you have food near a group of dogs you don't know well.