What is it?
Your dog moves into and remains in a position (stays) with a light touch of your hand.
- Downward pressure on the rump cues your dog to sit (stay) until released: “Free!
- Downward shoulder pressure indicates lie down until released.
Why do it?
- Easier handling at home or during veterinary procedures
- Decreases puppy “biting” as puppies learn to respond to touch by doing obedience rather than getting “mouthy”
- Foundation for verbal commands
- Can be resorted to when verbal commands fail
- Keep pressure steady until your dog responds: avoid “on and off” pressure
- Remain silent as you teach
- Treats can be given to improve your dog’s response if resistance is shown
- If your dog resists, he/she may be reflexively resisting pressure. If so, reduce pressure dramatically and use treats
Ideas for Practice
- Push into a position before giving your dog permission to do something enjoyable, eg., go outside, allowed up on furniture/lap; eating, etc.
- Push into a sit before leashing
- Once your dog easily moves into position when lightly touched, teach word (sit or down) right before cuing with pressure
**You may want to skip or modify this exercise if you plan to show your dog in conformation so your dog doesn’t respond to the judge’s touch by sitting or lying down.