We had the pleasure of having Fredman join us on our morning walk today! Fred doesn’t get to come with us very often because my wife, Lyn, is afraid we might steal him and make him into a bird dog. Hmmmm… maybe!
We parked the truck in one of our usual haunts; we all jumped out and were on our way. It was a bit foggy at first. After a few minutes of walking, I felt the sun warming the back of my neck and I saw a long shadow leaping out in front of me. I knew it was going to be a good day!
We could hear a bunch of trucks and heavy equipment working in the distance. It looks like there’s a some road maintenance going on. Large dump trucks full of crushed rock were rumbling down the road every 15 minutes or so. At one point we were close to the road when I heard the truck approaching. Just to be on the safe side, I blew one sharp blast on the whistle which I constantly carry on a lanyard around my neck. I was glad to see that Fred still remembered his training. His butt hit the ground just a fraction of a second after the labs.
The dogs remained seated while the truck thundered past and I reached for my camera and shot this photo. I think this will be a good visual aid to use when I’m teaching my obedience class. I can show this picture while I’m explaining how the SIT command can keep a dog out of trouble.
The only thing better than a good, reliable SIT response is a good, reliable, remote-SIT response! It’s easy enough to teach, especially with pups and young dogs because you can make it into a game. Just move your SIT command over to a whistle by using both during drills, gradually shifting from “sit-toot” to “toot-sit” and eventually just TOOT. Then you can begin throwing in a few toots while playing to see if the command/cue is sticking to the behavior. If this goes well, you can carefully begin to extend the distance between you and your dog as you give the sharp TOOT for SIT. Like other behaviors, keep your distances short and aim for 95 – 100% success before you extend the distance. Most importantly, have FUN! You have serious reasons for teaching this command, but it’s much easier to teach with a fun-and-games attitude. Teach well and it will be there when you need it!