Our sit pretty game is the act of the dog sitting upright, while balancing on its haunches.
4 min 23 sec
In addition to being a neat trick, this game has some excellent benefits in terms of health. By sitting up in this fashion, the dog is developing its sense of balance, as well as using every muscle, big and small, to aid in this balancing act. In a way it is similar to a yoga pose for a dog. As we all know, exercise and use of muscles keep them working and in tune. This is a great way to work all of those important muscles in the torso of the dog which would otherwise be difficult to address from a physiological standpoint.
Sit pretty is more or less a game of baiting or luring.
Have your treats ready and your dog start form a sit position. If you need to create a little drive, go ahead and do so by having the dog playfully chase the food hand back and forth, left to right or vice versa. Be careful not to sacrifice your sit to prep this next game.
If you ask/command a sit, be sure to reward it with a bridge or sustaining command before manipulating the sit pretty. So now that your dog is sitting, take the food hand and bring it up and above the dogs head a couple of inches out of reach. Normally the dog will try to get the food by propping itself up. If this is the case, mark and reward accordingly, and repeat the game.
Idea's 2nd Training Session
(Watch the Lure Manipulation)
3 min 7 sec
Some dogs need a little more strategic luring to make this happen. So if the dog is sitting and reaching but not elevating itself, you might have to bring the treats a little closer and as the dog is going for them, bring them up and behind the dogs head a little more than manipulated before. As with all luring, use your awareness and intuition to fine tune your technique with your food hand. The subtle details when luring can make a world of difference so be sure to pay attention to how the dog is reacting in relation to your lure.
In any case, when the dog again raises itself up in any way, mark and reward. From repetition to repetition the dog should follow the lure easier and more willingly, learning from our marks. As the dog is coming up more willingly, go ahead and couple your chosen word/command with the behavior. After many reps, you can start to try to show the dog the visual signal, which has been your lure so far, from a few inches further away than you've been practicing. If you've done enough reps, you should see the dog start to go up on your signal, recognizing your luring behavior, and generalizing its past repetitions. Repeat this picture for many reps.
As you move on, over time, ask for longer duration of the behavior, and when the dog seems to be understanding the command in relation to the behavior, go ahead and start to lessen your luring picture methodically. So you may have to show the dog the luring picture initially for that session, but once it is in the flow of training, try on the second or third rep to ask for it without the help of your luring hand. Marking and rewarding accordingly every rep, of course.
4 min 37 sec
6 min 48 sec
1 min 31 sec