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Crooked Sit.

Blackdog22
March 11th, 2009, 12:53 PM
How do you fix a crooked sit?
I am working with my female on the BH heeling pattern, she does the routine very well with the exception of sitting. She swings her butt out and sits crooked!

How does one go about fixing this?

lia12
March 11th, 2009, 02:26 PM
You could try carrying a cane and tapping her to make her sit straight, don't forget to say "sit straight" as you tap. Or you could just do a roundabout and repeat sit straight. Some people reach down and push the butt back in but I've noticed some dogs get hand shy with this method. Another surefire way that always works is to practice the heeling near a wall and when you do a halt the dog is too close to the wall to swing the butt out. This is extremely easy to do in a hallway many times a day until it becomes second nature to the dog.

Bailey_
March 11th, 2009, 02:57 PM
I think Lia gave some great suggestions.

Are you able to anticipate that she will sit crookedly before her bum actually touches the ground?

If so, my initial reaction to fix this would be to anticipate the wrong sit and move the dog forward before she can actually finish it. Ask her to repeat the exercise until she sits properly. Because this is a corrective behavior and not a learned situation, I would reccomend positive encouragement, either by praise or playing a quick game of tug - and proceed again.

(I've never actually physically come across this situation, but that's what I would start with. Keep us posted!)

Blackdog22
March 11th, 2009, 03:27 PM
I'll see if later on tonight I can post a video clip of what I mean....
The wall suggestion is great I will have to give that a try, as for tapping her bum, that would likely initiate a game of some kind , which would further mess up our training, lol!

Bailey, sometimes she will sit straight!
I can't really anticipate it though as her heel is flawless....shoulder to knee, nice and close without crowding, then BAM! she's crooked.
It's almost as if she turns into me to face me better. I guess the best thing I can do is show you later on tonight.

Bailey_
March 11th, 2009, 05:54 PM
I'll see if later on tonight I can post a video clip of what I mean....
The wall suggestion is great I will have to give that a try, as for tapping her bum, that would likely initiate a game of some kind , which would further mess up our training, lol!

Bailey, sometimes she will sit straight!
I can't really anticipate it though as her heel is flawless....shoulder to knee, nice and close without crowding, then BAM! she's crooked.
It's almost as if she turns into me to face me better. I guess the best thing I can do is show you later on tonight.

It certainly would be easier to see what you mean - look forward to the video clip!

If she *is* turning to face you better, that's a sign of respect - the dog keeping an eye on you at all times, even while in the sit. Again, the video would help.

Keep us posted!

kandy
March 13th, 2009, 11:39 AM
While this could be nothing more than an issue of the dog wanting to see you better - when Hazel was diagnosed with a blown ACL, the doctors at the vet hospital said that sitting sideways can be a sign of pain or discomfort in the leg. I had never really noticed that Hazel never sat straight.

Just something to be aware of.

happycats
March 13th, 2009, 12:27 PM
While this could be nothing more than an issue of the dog wanting to see you better - when Hazel was diagnosed with a blown ACL, the doctors at the vet hospital said that sitting sideways can be a sign of pain or discomfort in the leg. I had never really noticed that Hazel never sat straight.

Just something to be aware of.


I was going to post the same.
Buddy always sits crooked too, I wondered if his tail or leg may have been injured.
My DH thinks he just doesn't like his "bum" on the ground (too cold, too warm, too dirty, or grassy, or itchy or just uncomfortable) since he said that, I kind of agree, I wouln't want my "bum" on the ground either :o

Here's a pic of Buddy's sit, it's on one side or the other :shrug:

Gail P
March 13th, 2009, 10:31 PM
It's almost as if she turns into me to face me better.

I think you nailed it right there. If her spine is the slightest bit crooked (curved) as she sits it's going to affect her whole position. If her head is turned in it will make the hip swing out, and vice versa (head out, other hip in). I don't do obedience or rally or anything like that with my dogs, but I've shown horses for years and when working them on the line for halter or showmanship, when halting it is imperative to keep the head pointed straight ahead. If the head tilts either in or out they will misplace a hind foot and not square up like they should. With a horse, it's a matter of controlling the head and neck to position them right. When the head turns the spine is no longer in a straight line and that affects where the feet are placed. Not knowing anything about how you train for what you do I don't know how/where you position your hands or if you use any treats or lures while training. Myself, for training purposes I'd be tempted to use a treat to keep the dogs attention completely focused in front and keep the whole body straight as you ask for the sit and see what happens.

Longblades
March 14th, 2009, 08:37 AM
I just observed a class where a trialing prospect dog is doing this and the trainer had two suggestions. One, DON'T look down at her as she is about to sit and TWO DON'T carry treats, if you use them, this person did, in your right hand if your dog is heeling on the left. Both the treats and your gaze can make the dog swing her butt out of line so she can see your face or the treats better. An idea to try?

lia12
March 16th, 2009, 08:46 PM
Keep us posted, I'm anxious to learn what you did to solve this , can always use lots of suggestions, always something new to try.

maui_blue_eyes
March 18th, 2009, 01:05 PM
Hey Blackdog,

Doing the heel excercise along the wall will help. This way she has no choice but to sit straight. The advise about not looking at her and not carrying treats in that hand is important also. It is natural for her to want to look to you. If she understands she is to sit beside you when you stop, but the problem you are having is she is sitting crooked, then what you can do now is start to only reward her (food, play, praise whatever you use) when she sits straight. You could also try shaping a straight sit, this would be a good idea if she rarely does a striaght sit on her own, as it will keep her from getting frustrated. Reward her when she sits a little bit straighter than usual, and slowly build up from there. I think probably the fastest way, is to go along the wall. I had the same problem when teaching the heel sit (still do sometimes, and with fronts) and by using a combo of going along the wall so she had to sit straight, and then only rewarding her for straight sits, she really improved alot.

Of course as other have said you should be sure it is not a physical problem. I think likely she is just doing what comes natural to her and turning towards you.

lUvMyLaB<3
March 18th, 2009, 07:07 PM
I agree sometimes that kind of sit is related to a medical issue, or age. Sometimes you are not penalized for it though.

I agree with others about trying to fix it or something else I might try retraining, leave what she is doing as her sit, then try and train her to sit the way you want her to and call it something else, might work, you will probably just have to take the time and patience to work it out. I want my lab to swing her legs out to the side on her down but I am having a heck of a time getting her to do it...

Blackdog22
March 19th, 2009, 11:11 AM
Hi everyone.
I am SO sorry for abandoning this thread.....
I have not been able to try any of these mthods, nor have I been able to train.
The past couple days has been insane in my house....imagine 'calving' for the first time.....layoffs....surprise vet bills and of course a plethora of communication problems.
Not trying to make excuses, just figured I would give you all a heads up as to what is going on.

Probably will not hear much from me for a couple days until things settle down.