How to Train Your Bracco: Sit/Stay

Moving on from last month training article, here we discuss methods of teaching the sit (eventually Stop).

We always start puppy training as soon as possible, if it’s a puppy we bred then training starts at 5 or 6 weeks, if it’s one we have bought then training starts as soon as puppy comes home.

We do not have structured training to start with we play games, you will be amazed how much you can teach this way.  We start with sit and wait;

Sitting on the floor with a titbit (the only time we use treats) you hold a treat in your hand on the puppies nose, if you move your hand up puppies foreface towards the top of his head he will follow your hand as it moves over his head, because of the position he has no option but to sit, as soon as he sits say sit and reward him, do his 3 or 4 times then praise and leave it at that. You can repeat this a little while later, the  puppy will quickly catch on and before you know it he will sit automatically. (without realising it, you are also teaching him the hand signal for sit).  

After a few days, you should just be able to say sit and he will. You can start to build on this by leaving him to wait a bit longer (a few seconds) for the treat and gradually increasing the time he waits for the treat. After a couple of weeks you can start to reduce the reward, treat him every other time and so on until he just sits and waits.

To test whether he knows what sit means you can say sit when he is playing but make sure he is looking at you first, when he sits rewards him

You can now introduce the whistle, take a step back, when you tell puppy to sit, blow the sit whistle as he sit (Usually a quick sharp blast) as he sits give him a treat, you go through the same steps as above.

Once you are happy that puppy understands what the whistle means you can test it in the same was as you did with the sit command.

It is important that when you ask the puppy to sit either verbally or with the whistle that you go to him an praise him DO NOT at this stage call him to you, he needs to be praised where he stopped.

Good luck and happy training.

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