Saturday, January 9, 2010

Training Winston to Sit

Here's some old pictures of Winston about 5-6 months ago! He was only 4 months old here.

We trained Winston to sit by offering him a treat and pushing his butt down. He looked at us as if we were crazy and would walk around in circles. Then, he discovered his tail and would start to chew on it. Funny dog. After a few days of offering him treats and encouraging him to put his butt to the floor before we gave it to him, he finally made the connection.... we think.

Sometimes he just sits knowing we like it, but only to get back up again really quickly and start jumping towards the treat. And sometimes he sits when we tell him to sit with no treat in hand. Whether he really understands the command to sit is still up for debate. He sits on our command, but doesn't always understand other people when they tell him to sit.

But he has linked sitting to being a good dog. Look at him now. He sits even before we tell him to. This is how he begs for treats and affection, with his sad little puppy dog face.

Here he is outside sitting, hoping for a treat. First he's up, then he's down.

1 comment:

  1. Christine,

    I too have an adorable pug. In fact, my Derry and your Winston could be siblings since they look so much alike! Derry is so trainable and I find her so much fun to work with. I've never trained a dog before, but Derry and I both learned a lot in the process. She has learned to sit, stay, come, move over, get up on an object, get down from and object, lay down, heel, wait to eat a treat placed in front of her on the ground, crawl on her belly like a soldier, come to a dog whistle, and bang your dead. I got her at 14 weeks and she learned the first five tricks in the 1st two weeks I had her. Also, if you howl like a wolf, Derry imitates. You should try this with Winston because despite all her tricks this is almost always the hit of the party!

    I'm writing not only to share my love of pugs, but to offer a traing suggestion that made a world of difference for me and Derry. All these tricks have a distinctive 1-word command AND a unique hand signal. Because pugs are so attentive and attuned to their master's body language, I find Derry performs tasks much more reliably when I use hand signals. It doesn't matter what hand signal you use as long as you are consistent and pair it with saying the voice command and give a treat as soon as she exhibits the desired behavior, even accidentally. Sit was the hardest, but she got that one in like 15 minutes. Also, raise the treat above her head to cause her butt to go down. Then praise and reward as soon as his butt touches the floor. If he reaches for it, pull it up and scold with an "uh-uh". When he sits back down give it to him. After a few reaches and denials, Derry got it.

    You can e-mail me if you want pics or further advice. We live in Orange county NY. Good luck and enjoy Winston, he's a handsome pug.




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