Sit You Mangy Mutt / M-6

Written By: Jim russell - May• 24•14

Welcome to the Tactical Dog Obedience part of our training. I will be giving you the Military version of training your dog in basic obedience and we will cover only the commands that i feel are essential to you properly utilizing your dog. We will be using the tactical mindset when training and this means we will do things like requiring the dog to ”SIT” and “STAY” for three minuets off-leash with the handler a specific distance from the dog.

We will use the method of successive approximation to shape the desired behavior from the first trial on. This means “STAY” in the ”SIT” position should start with a very short time period. By successive additions of time and distance, the dog will be shaped to respond for the required time period and distance from the handler.

The extinction schedule taught in the last module post is used to eliminate incorrect responses. The reward schedules taught last module must be followed in the correct sequence to maximize learning acquisition. Go back to the last module and be sure you understand these training schedules.

The ability to control the dog’s behavior is a result of gaining stimulus control. The dog has learned that a request of certain command allows it to perform a certain task in order for it to get a reward. Remember that this is called “STIMULUS CONTROL”.

Initial socialization training of the dog and handler is designed to increase the value of vocal and petting praise as high in incentive value for reward training to be effective. The ball, other play objects, or food provide greater reward strength that helps in gaining greater stimulus control.

(1)  Failure to use avoidance training correctly reduces the value of vocal and petting praise.

(2)  Failure to use reward schedules correctly reduces the value of vocal and petting praise.

The variable ratio reward schedule and the variable interval reward schedule provide greater stimulus control than the remaining reward schedules.

Basic Obedience Training for the Handler and the Dog:

I want to make something very clear at this point. This training not only shapes the dog but also the dog’s trainer. You will discover that you will have a more powerful alpha dog mindset and others will begin to feel it when you walk into the room. This is powerful stuff using lots of behavior control techniques that also work on people, just want you to know that now your dealing with power and to use it wisely.

Let me also point out that you can learn this training without having a dog available to you. I teach more about this in my Military Working Bucket post. But for now you can attach your leash to a heavy bucket or log and go through the movements imagining the dog is responding correctly or incorrectly. You may look nuts to the neighbors but i have used this in class and it works. So even if you do not have a dog you can imprint this training into your brain and when you get a dog you will be able to begin instantly with it.

The military training includes military drill instruction. I will leave out this type of information as you do not need it for civilian dog training. The normal training period has about 2o minutes of training and a 10 minuet break. The climatic conditions, and the number and ages of the dogs being trained determine the length of training periods.

All the commands you give are one syllable words. Through repetition, the dog learns to associate the sound of a word with the exercise to perform. All the commands used in this instruction are printed in capital letters, and placed between quotation marks.

Verbal and Manual (Hand Gesture) Commands:

If the dog is to react favorably to verbal and manual commands, you must have your dog’s attention. Before each training period, you should walk your dog, and give the dog an opportunity to urinate and defecate.This allows the dog to focus attention on your commands when training starts.

The verbal commands in initial training are requests. The word is a cue that becomes associated with the required task. You give your dog commands (requests) sharply and clearly. Control the loudness of your voice in initial training so the dog is not startled. Increase the loudness of your voice gradually to give the dog a cue that the task needs to be done faster.

Give manual commands along with the vocal command. After you and your dog become proficient, these may be given independently. For example, you give the dog a command to ‘SIT’, using both voice and hand gestures.

Obedience Commands. The commands taught during basic obedience training are divided into two phases; commands taught at the dog’s side and commands taught from the end of the leather leash.

Commands beside the dog. All basic obedience commands must first be taught with the dog on-leash and beside you. These commands and exercises start and end with the dog in the heel position. This allows you to build a foundation slowly brick by brick. If you try to move ahead in training too fast you may feel like you are advancing, but you will have a weak basic foundation. You must move at the dogs learning pace and not yours.

a.   The initial command is “HEEL”. Their are two heel positions for the dog: one for walking and one for the heel and sit position. The dog will be trained to walk and sit at your left side, with the dog’s right shoulder in line with yours; the dog must not forge ahead or lag behind.

(1)  Give verbal and manual commands when you start moving forward or change direction, and one pace before you come to a stop. Initially, the commands may be repeated as a training aid. Once you believe the dog understands what the commands mean, you will then only be giving them once and if dog does not respond immediately, a correction is applied.

(2)  The hand gesture is given by slapping your left leg with your open left hand. Slapping your leg serves three purposes: commanding the dog to heel while walking, sit by you from the down position, and recall to the heel or sit position.

(3)  With the dog beside you give the command to “HEEL” as you start walking forward. Dogs lagging behind are coaxed into the heel position (not jerked) by patting your left leg, snapping your fingers, calling your dog’s name, or verbally encouraging your dog. We will not be correcting the dog at this point because it does not yet know what it is supposed to do. Once the dog is familiar with the command and then resists, then he will recieve a correction.

(4) On movements to the left, give the command “HEEL” after your right foot begins to pivot. This prevents your dog from blocking the pivot movement.

(5) On movements to the right and rear, give the command “HEEL” as you pivot. The dog can then assume the heel position before the movement is completed.

(6) Give the command “HEEL” one pace before halting.

b. Obedience commands cannot be taught independently of each other. The command “SIT” is taught with “HEEL”. In the heel and sit position, the dog must sit beside your left leg with its body parallel to yours and its right shoulder in line with your left knee.

(1) When you give the command “SIT”, grasp the leash several inches above the choke chain with your right hand. Place your left hand over the hips of the dog with your fingers at the base of the dogs tail, apply upward pressure on the leash and push down on the dog’s hindquarters. As training progresses, physical assistance should be no longer required.

(2) In learning the command “SIT”, the dog may get slightly out of position. Gently return the dog to the correct position. The dog must be praised lavishly each time the dog assumes the correct sitting position.

Learn to give powerful praise. You will be giving strong physical corrections when the dog disobeys, you will in turn give strong physical praise when the dog performs satisfactorily.

We will continue next module with the down command and advance a little more in our foundation creating. See you there.






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