Training your dog to be a great pup part III sit/stay
The question that is most often asked by dog owners is, ” How do I prevent my dog from jumping on me?” The truth of the matter is that when a dog jumps on you it is their way on greeting you. They are saying hello, nice to meet you or I am so glad you are home. As annoying as this behavior maybe be I don’t recommend that you punish your dog for jumping instead teach them to sit and stay. Your dog can’t jump on you while he is sitting.
Even more dangerous than jumping on people is the issue of safety. Many dogs take off running out any open door. They could end up in the middle of the street and get ran over. Teaching them the command of sit and stay at the door and waiting for the command “release” will keep them safe. It will also allow you to have visitors over to your house without having to put your dog away in fear that they might run over the visitor and knock them out of the way to get out the door.
Sit and stay is also useful when getting in and out of the car, going up and down stairs, waiting for their food and greeting others as well as any other activities where you want your dog to wait in one spot for a short period of time.
So how to you teach your dog to sit and stay: You need to teach your dog three commands;
Release is the command that allows your dog to leave the stay command. It is very important that you give the “release” command consistently along with the sit and stay command. If you forget then you will teach your dog that he can decide when to release himself and then he will move at will. This behavior will defeat your whole point of sit and stay.
Start with the sit command. Use your normal voice and say “sit” as a statement not “sit?’. If your dog doesn’t understand what you want him to do show him by saying the command and at the same time pushing his bottom down to the ground. When your dog is in a sit position praise, praise praise. Another way to teach sit is using a treat. Say “sit” hold the treat in front of the dog, slowly move it over your dogs forehead and push your dogs bottom to the ground. When they are in the sitting position give them the treat. If you have a food motivated dog they will pick up on this very quickly. Continue working on the sit command until your dog sits every time you command him to. Randomly give him treats and praise for sits. Then the next time you come home from work and he wants to jump up on you give him the sit command and then pet, praise and love him for not only following your command but not jumping on you.
Teaching your dog to stay: Once your dog has mastered the sit command then begin the stay command. Start with dinner time. Put your dog in a sit and tell him to stay while you place his bowl on the floor. If your dog breaks the stay before you release him, pick up the bowl. Once your dog stays then give the release command so that your dog can come over and eat. Eating is one of the best parts of your dog’s day so use this time to teach stay and release.
You can also practice at the door. Start with using a leash. put your dog in a sit at the door. Say sit, stay and then begin to open the door. If your dog breaks his sit close the door. Having your dog on a leash will prevent your dog from running out the door at the beginning of training. You will find over time your dog will understand they are to sit and stay until the release commands allows them to go outside. You will need to practice at every door in your house for consistency.
If you have stairs teach your dog to stay at the bottom of the stairs until you have climb the stairs then you release them. When they start to follow you up the stairs put them back in the same spot and say stay. Practice until you can walk all the way to the top while your dog waits at the bottom. You can use treats to reinforce their good behavior. Use the same procedure when coming down the stairs.
Sit, stay and release is use whenever you want your dog to remain in one spot for a short time. This training will make your dog a great pup!