Phase 1, Sit, Fading

At this step you are simply fading off the need to use a lure or any type of prompt other than saying “sit” to communicate the position desired to your dog.Β  Skipping this important step can cause false disobedience and confusion down the line, because your dog may still rely on non-verbal signals from you to clarify which command you desire.

To fade off the body language for sit, gradually lesson how much you lure the dog into position after you command “sit” until the dog seems to understand that the word “sit” is the prompt for the position you desire.Β  This can be difficult at first for dogs because they must learn to NOT follow the treat and instead assume the position they previously were lured into following the treat.Β  This is why it is important to take your time and do this gradually until you are sure the dog understands that you desire the position of sit after a verbal signal only.

When you begin, the exact order should be like this:

  1. Name of dog
  2. command “sit”
  3. Lure the dog with less body language on each repetition (very important to not lure the dog until after you finished saying “sit”).
  4. Mark the moment the dog is in position with praise.
  5. Bring and give the treat to the dog.Β  Keep in mind, the dog’s mouth should be further away from the treat holding hand as you need less body language.

Your goal for this step is to eliminate the need for luring so the order will become this:

  1. Name of dog
  2. command “sit”
  3. Mark the moment the dog is in position with praise (notice no more body language).
  4. Bring and give the treat to the dog.Β  Very important to not move or bring the treat until after you praised the dog!

Once you can do this consistently, its OK to move to the next step of teaching sit with an INTERVAL reward.

At about the 1:11 mark in the video below you will see an example of fading (weening) off the hand signal: