"Sit Pretty" balance question

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by *blackrose, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I decided to do something other than sit on the couch and watch TV this evening, so I attempted to teach Abrams "sit pretty". (Only I just called it "pretty", since I didn't want him to associate "sit" with the "pretty".)

    I got him to rear up on his haunches with only mild setbacks of him trying to jump straight up into the air, and now after a quick session I think he has the basic idea down. However, he spends the second or two he is actually on his haunches flailing around wildly with his front feet trying to keep his balance while simultaneously nomming at the lure, and then promptly falls over. :rofl1: Poor simple dog can't multitask.

    I've never actually had a dog be able to master this trick before due to balancing issues, so my question is: what can I do to help him balance? Have him "pretty" with his butt up against the couch so he has a bit of support behind him? Let him rest a forepaw on my arm until he gets the hang of it, then gradually fade out my arm? He's obviously a big(ger) dog and he may be too top heavy for the trick, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. It amuses me. :p And his whole hearted attempts to stay balanced on his haunches may be just as amusing as the actual trick would be. LOL
     
  2. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    I did my arm and a chair. On my phone now, but I have the videos up on YouTube. We're under TheTwoRedHeads.
     
  3. TuffStuff

    TuffStuff Twin 1

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    I never recommend letting them hold onto you for support because (in my opinion) it takes too much of the work away from them and makes it hard to phase out later. When I teach it, I sometimes put their back up against the couch so that I can reward for a steadier position and help them get the idea. But mostly I just have them do a lot of quick reps all on their own. It takes time and practice for them to build up their strength and balance. And make sure to give them a break now and then. They will get sore. Even Boone, who does similar things all the time and is in really good shape, needed a break after working on the "hug" trick several days in a row.
     
  4. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    With some careful reward placement and strength training I think the balance will come in time. Wooden spoon + peanut butter is awesome for this trick since the dog has to maintain position to get the goods. I would probably also lend him my arm to get the basic position and start working on his core strength.
     
  5. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I would just do more reps throughout the day. I don't like letting them use you to balance because I think that really makes it harder in the long run and they don't get near as much core work out of it.

    Up against a wall or couch isn't a bad idea but honestly, I just like doing it throughout the day (not a ton of reps, especially when they first are getting the idea and building the muscle), even if he can only hold it a few seconds have him do it.

    As he gets better work on duration, there were some ideas for building duration in the Hug thread from a spoon with peanut butter.

    I do this to work on duration

    [YOUTUBE]3FCkso0Nz6c[/YOUTUBE]

    I tend to use 'Sit Pretty' a lot, I use it before food, whenever I don't know what else to ask them, for any treats etc. so they get good at it. It's easy to give up early before they are good at it but keep it up!
     
  6. Elrohwen

    Elrohwen Active Member

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    I just let him nibble the food lure and pulled my hand away for longer and longer increments. I never worked to get it super solid, but he can balance himself for a few seconds at least. It just took a while to build up his core strength until one day he was holding it himself. I never let him balance on me, except for however much he could balance by gnawing on the food in my hand.
     
  7. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Never even thought about his core strength being an issue. Definitely will keep at it! He actually did surprisingly well with it this evening, so I think with time he'll get the hang of it.

    And I have no idea why I didn't think of peanut butter on a spoon. He lurves peanut butter, so that would do the job wonderfully, I think.
     
  8. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    That really is what makes 'Sit Pretty' so hard! The actual behavior is pretty easy but it's a real core workout and takes time to build the strength for any type of duration.

    Good luck!
     
  9. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    When I taught this to Squash I stood behind him bracing his back with my legs at first, and lured back over his head. Whenever I tried from the front, he would just fling his legs up and down again instead of really sitting UP up, if that makes sense. Then once he got the idea to hold the position and had worked out the balance a little bit, I started sneaking around to the front.
     
  10. Eleonora

    Eleonora Member

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    My friend is also interested to teach this trick to her dog Lotta. According to this:

    In this way the dog sits in front of you so that she is looking away from you. How do you teach the dog to sit in front of you? Should you first teach her to sit so that she is looking at you?
     
  11. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    With Quinn I just slowly kept asking for more and more time. 1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 5, 7, 10, 15 etc.

    I had to practice it quite regularly in the beginning and wait for her to build up core strength and balance. With the odd break day so she wasn't too tired. At first it was pathetic but it's so cute now that she can hold it for so long.
     
  12. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Beware! Once he knows how to do this, you will have to give him ALL THE THINGS because they just look so cute :D

    Fred tends to do this as a default for stuff.... And it works!
     
  13. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Abrams already knows "sit" and also "stay". When I tried to brace him from behind, he just naturally let me walk behind him and place myself without moving because he is used to me walking around him/positioning myself/positioning him for things.

    As for our trick progression: I haven't worked on it has much as I should have, but he has the concept down and is starting to hold the pose for longer and longer! Yesterday I had a small training session (and started him with crawl and roll over) and he was beginning to offer "pretty" by sitting up straight and waving at me. LOL So we're getting there. If I actually worked with him daily I'm sure we'd have it down pat by now, as it is it's been more like...once every two weeks. :eek:
     
  14. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    That's what I did as well. Talon could NOT do this one to save his life at first. he just didn't have the strength, but after doing it over and over for a week he could do it and hold it a few seconds. Keep at it!
     
  15. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    Then, profit. Or cuteness.

    [​IMG]
     

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