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Sitting With Attention

Sitting with Attention (instead of jumping up)

By teaching and emphasizing sitting, you are also preventing and replacing JUMPING UP. Your aim is to teach dogs to sit attentively and look fondly toward a prospective adopter. These skills create a dog who looks adoringly at its prospective owner, is polite, and behaves and looks ‘smart and attentive’ for a long-lasting adoptive placement.

The sit-and-be-attentive also becomes a default behavior whenever the dog wants something, which is a behavior most everyone desires in their dog.

Phase 1:

What you will need:

Loads of yummy, high value treats (soft and small, or easily broken off)

Goal: The dog will offer a sit-with-attention behavior to whomever is holding the leash. Also teaches the dog how to learn.

  1. Fill your hand with as much food as it will hold.
  2. Bring this hand to the dog’s nose.
  3. While the dog is sniffing and licking, raise your hand slowly (not losing contact with the dog’s nose) over his head, sort of between his ears and a little higher.
  4. This should bring his butt to the floor. When he is sitting, let him eat a piece of food.
  5. Without breaking his connection with your hand, lure him straight forward enough so that he is standing once again. Don’t feed him for standing.
  6. Repeat—luring him back up into a sit, and feed. Lure forward into another stand, and don’t feed, etc. Repeat for 7 or 8 times or more until it becomes smooth and easy, (technical term, “like buttah”) and then:


To Test the dog, follow these steps:

  1. Stand upright, with a hand still filled with treats, but keep your hands at your belt buckle. Wait.
  2. If and when the dog sits on his own, reward him with the entire handful (a jackpot portion).
  3. Take a break! Either take the dog for a walk outside, or stand around and do nothing for a few minutes, or put dog back in his kennel

From here—do not LURE (food in the hand and hand at the dog’s nose) to get him to sit. Simply resume the next session by showing the dog the wonderful treats awaiting him in your hand, and stand and wait. Let the dog figure it out. It exercises his mind. Besides, the more you LURE, the more the dog can become dependent on it—which is not what you want.


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