Sit Without Eye Contact
August 10, 2012 in Dog Training
Your dog not only knows how to sit, but every time he sits he stays sitting until you tell him to stop. Hooray! He’s trained, right? You proudly take him to petsmart, tell your dog to sit while you’re checking out…and glance down to find him not sitting at all. In fact, he’s peeing on the corner of the counter. Doh!
How the heck did he know you weren’t paying attention?!
You lost eye contact my friend.
If you want your dog to sit even when you’re not looking at him, you’re going to have to teach this to him. Fortunately, after the last step this one should be super easy.
You will need:
A distraction free work zone
Practice Your Ballet
Before breaking out the mirror, start by putting your dog in sit and twirling around before giving him his treat and release. If your dog pops out of sit, just put him back no treat or praise and try again. Keep at it until your dog will sit with that one second loss of eye contact, then slow your twirl. You should be able to lose eye contact for at least 2-3 seconds before moving to the next step.
At least, your dog will think you have. Use your mirror to check your dogs position while you stand with your back turned to him. Increase the amount of time your dog sits with your back turned a few seconds at a time until he can stay sitting with his back turned the full sixty seconds.
If you accidentally hit the end of his patience and he pops back up, simply place him back in sit and try again. Many dogs will try and come around in front of you to sit instead of staying where you put him/her. That’s okay, just put him in the exact same spot and try again (perhaps going back to how many seconds he was succesfully sitting.)
Do this until he can reach the full sixty seconds with your back turned.
Woohoo! Petsmart here we come! Er…not quite. Your dog needs to learn a couple more things before his sit is distraction proofed. Move on to step 4!