Straight sits - having issues

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Toller_08, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Dance won't sit straight for me. She always sits off to the side a bit, and when we're practicing fronts, she's not perfectly straight either and then falls over onto her hip (lazy sits). How do I correct this? I click and treat every time she does it right, but she seems to think that as long as she's sitting, she's good.

    I've never really cared if past dogs did this or not, but since I want to get into OB and Rally with her, lazy sits just won't do. Any help would be very much appreciated!
     
  2. TheGoldenRetriever

    TheGoldenRetriever New Member

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    Hmmmm ... maybe trip to the vet to make sure there's no hip problem? (Disregard if you know for sure that's not it.)

    How about holding a special toy over her head ... one she's really interested in ... hold high enough so she will have to sit up straight to sniff it? Once she is up straight use the command you want her to know for a straight sit ... once conditioned to the command she'll do it without the toy held over her head.
     
  3. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    an easy way to start is to lay a foundation by using a wall or fence, and get up tight so they can't roll out. Most will roll that way caues it brings the head closer to you, rolling in takes their head away and most won't do that naturally.

    If that doesn't work, i would go back to regular sits and make them longer ones. Give your dog a chance to roll, when she does, "no" and I nudge a little with my foot to get them back to correct position. Usually I have that problem with the long down, not the sit, but i'm sure that dog is coming for me someday. anyway, when they correct the position mark and reward.

    You'll probably have to nudge a few times, but rather quickly she'll probably correct herself when you let her know she's in the wrong position. It's important to catch those immediately and mark, and be consistent. Never reward for a lazy sit again, or ever accept a lazy sit for anything.

    It might not hurt to change the command too, because right now, sit has been sit, lazy or not. Changing the command and teaching that being lazy is never correct might be easier. She knows sit, so the action won't have to be "learned", but it will be different. I use "down" for home, they can lay on their side if they want, but "platz" means down and pay attention to me for 15 minutes if need be, but don't lay on your side and chill out. Same action more or less, just different expectations and execution.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Is it just in the fronts she won't sit straight? Or is both. There are different ways to fix each one.

    If she sits on a hip (which shouldn't matter for Rally) walk forward at her and make her get up.
     
  5. noodlerubyallie

    noodlerubyallie Sprayin' the spiders

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    Allie had the same problem. I practiced (and still do) helping her sit straight by making her sit, taking a step forward, telling her to heel, helping her sit, taking a step forward, telling her to heel, helping her sit....for about 10 feet.

    I've also taken to making sure that when she does sit straight the first time I make a HUGE deal out of it.

    If I do manage to miss a crooked sit, I tell her to "fix it" and give her a slight pop with the leash to get her attention. She fixes it right away and gets food!

    (Before she picked up to fix it with just a pop, I physically made her fix her butt. When I was making her shift, I told her to "fix it" and she's picked up that that is what I want her to do.)

    For fronts, really pay attention to where your shoulders are at, along with your overall body language. If you are even leaning slightly to one direction, they'll line up with that. I practiced in front of a mirror to get the "muscle memory" and then tried it with Allie. It's really helped get her in nice and close and STRAIGHT!

    Good luck!
     
  6. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    yes, there are ways to fix different sits. I just assumed it was sits in heeling, not fronts, sorry.
     
  7. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Thanks you guys. :)

    Dekka, it's both. Lazy/crooked sits may not matter for Rally, but I don't like the way it looks. I walk toward her when she rolls onto her hip and she stands up and we repeat the sit, but it's always a bit crooked.

    My biggest training problem with her is that I can't lure her into any position. If I use a lure, her head moves, but her body goes no where.
     
  8. I use fences and walls also to keep the dog from kicking out the rear. I use pieces of the broad jump for chutes for fronts. I have also used pieces of PVC to help guide the dog, one in each hand.

    Most of the time we just play the front for a cookie game. I teach the dog to focus one my belt buckle, or the snap on my pants when they are coming in, and then to look up at my face as they sit front.

    I will use my slightly bended knee to nudge the dog just before they sit if they are not right when I am working fronts. (Note, I do not correct fronts when working recalls, or anything involving the dog coming briskly in to sit front)

    I also use a pat of my thigh with my hand to indicate to the dog which way they need to move. If a dog need to move to my right, I nudge with my left knee and pat my right thigh with my hand, and vice versa.

    We play a lot of find heel/find front games. They just don't get a food reward unless they get it right.

    :D
     
  9. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

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    For a dog to sit straight with any degree of reliability, they need to have a large portion of their weight on their front feet. Sloppy sitters lean back onto their butt allowing the rear to go all over the place. Sitting straight requires strong muscles, good structure and a straight spine. I think it really helps to think of driving a car- you drive it with the front wheels and the rest will follow. Try to steer a car from behind and see if you can make it go straight!

    I like the suggestion to do one step halts- this gets dogs in the mindset of moving quickly out of the sit. Thinking of moving gets the weight where you want it and practicing lots in a row lets you get in lots of reps.

    I would try to avoid any correction or manipulation of the rear. By the time a dog sits crooked, it's done. It should have been fixed from the head as the dog started the motion to sit. Once they are there it's all elmer's glue and rubber bands :)

    Here's some great advice:

    First, teaching the dog to look up at a target gets the head and neck in the right position to sit with a nice straight spine. And the draw towards the target (or lure) keeps the weight shifted forward.

    Second, "correcting" before the dog commits to the sloppy sit is the correct timing. Prevent the mistake with a gentle physical cue so that the dog does it right every time. This works so much better than letting them get it wrong and then trying to "fix" it. There are no "do overs" in AKC obedience :)

    From my own experience, you can do some great stuff with gentle leash/collar guidance if you are really good with the pressure on the collar. If you know how to ride a horse that is "light on the bit" you might have a chance. This is how I train my fronts and after stumbling through the technique forever, I can now totally show a dog how to move into the sit correctly. Unfortunately I have no idea where you could learn this. I was taught by a great AKC obedience trainer, Lyssa Noble, who trained a lot with Anne Marie Silverton, so maybe it is her technique? Or maybe Lyssa invented it herself- she was a horse person.
     
  10. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    I practiced a little bit yesterday and quite a bit today, and things are coming along better thanks to all of your advice! Still not perfect, but much better than they were. She's not rolling onto her hip anymore, and is just a tiny bit crooked now.
     
  11. Progress!!

    Hurray! :D
     
  12. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    I think I got pretty lucky with Bamm in the sense that I've never had any troubles with him rolling his hips when he sits. He always sits straight.

    Now for laying down... he occasionally rocks his hip to the side...

    He now knows two different commands when laying down. The word "lay" means for him to lay down straight... the word "settle" means for him to lay with his hip rocked to the side...
     

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