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Sarah Wilson
Award-winning Pet Expert
Teacher, Trainer & Author

Simple Sit, Guided Down, Beginning of Come and More!

See the Simple Sit, learn what part a slack lead plays in the guided down, hear how to turn that head turn into a consistent Come!, find out Sarah's suggestions for a listener's question and, want to know how Sarah answers a bystanders friendly suggestion to just put the puppy Sarah's working in the back of their car? Tune in!

Have questions? Want Sarah to work with your video clip on air?
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Links to the clips can be found at - Teacher's Pet - the Episode Info page for this Episode!

.Gypsy Call Backs..............Gypsy Downs..............Gypsy Simple Sit


You’re listening to PetLifeRadio.Com.

Ok class,  take your seats. I said take your seats. Class sit. I swear your all acting like a bunch of animals. Pet Life Radio Presents Teachers Pet where you’ll learn how to understand and communicate with your pet and train them to be the best pet they can be. Its time to see the world from your pets point of view; so give a tail waging welcome to your teachers pet host Sarah Wilson.

Sarah Wilson: Welcome to Teachers Pet this is Sarah Wilson on Pet Live Radio. This week we have a lot of fun in store for you. I went down to Mass and met with Nancy and her golden retriever puppy Gypsy and you’ll see a little bit of that. We started some simple sit, we worked on the guided down and I started to build come off the head turn that you’ve already seen in previous episodes. So that was a blast and we’ve got video clips to go with all three of those things. We’re gonna wrap the show with a listener’s question that came to us from Japan. So, hello to all the Japanese listeners and tune in for that one. We’ll be started in a second just after we hear from our sponsors.

Ok class grab your Tuna Flakes Biscuits and bones Teachers Pet will be back in two shakes of a tail right after recess.

Ok class hang up your collars and leashes Teachers Pet is back in session. Now park yourselves on the floor. I said, “Park not bark”. Ok Teachers Pet with Pet expert and author Sarah Wilson pay attention there maybe a quiz later.

Sarah Wilson: Alright we’re back this Sarah Wilson on Teachers Pet on Pet Live Radio Gypsy is adorable a very typical happy outgoing ball crazy treat lovin people adoring golden retriever puppy. Nothing wrong with gypsy in the least other than she’s four and a half months old she’s a moving mouth, she’s spontaneous she’s happy and she’s distractible in other words she’s a puppy. One of things I worked with her on right away was the simple sit. And I want to show you this because this seems to be easily misunderstood. What the simple sit is, is it is light upward pressure on the lead it is steady meaning this is not a pressure you pulse and it is light meaning you are not choking the dog. Front feet are never off the ground that’s about five times more pressure this is a reminder it is not a correction and with puppies we use flat collars. Gypsy has already been taught sit so all I had to do to introduce her to this concept was apply that light steady upward pressure the moment she sat I released.  That probably is best summed up by Pat Pirelli who’s a horse trainer and I don’t know if he got it from somebody else but I got it from him and from his wife Linda. and what he says is pressure motivates release teaches the light upward pressure motivates the dog to seek an answer the minute they sit boom you give slack to the lead you give the instant answer that’s exactly what I want. So while you watch this clip I want you to notice how quickly my hand  drops a little bit and I give her slack I want to underline it circle it gold star it green light it that’s exactly what I want it. Now why would I even bother teaching this and by the way those of you with show dogs don’t teach this alright cause when you go to stack them or hold up the leash they’ll be cued to sit. But for the rest of us because now your able to have a full conversation with your dog with out ever having to look at them or speak to them. So if your stopping to chat with a neighbor or you want to pay attention to what’s going on around you. You can do that light upward pressure boom they sit and your done alright or I love to use it with jumping puppies and you will see me use it here she starts to jump up I give a little light upward pressure. It does not hold her up in the air. It is not resistance it follows her wherever she goes. Its just that steady light upward pressure. It isn’t resistance. It isn’t blocking, but what it does is it creates a little oppositional thing on the dog. That little upward pressure makes the puppy go oops I want to go the other way and what that other way is, is down, and sit. Perfect, now could I give her a sideways leash correction? Yeah sure, I did those for years but what I don’t like about that in this scenario is I want this puppy to feel confident and happy and to continue to figure things out. Over the years, I’ve become much more interested in the dog thinking things through, than me just immediately inhibiting the behavior. I can immediately inhibit the behavior; so can you, but what can happen with that which we don’t need to have happen is if you correct the dog they can start to worry that being friendly is the wrong thing or tying to be playful with me is the wrong thing. No, No, No so I don’t want to add doubt I want to add understanding, so I don’t want to do anything that frightens or hurts her or confuses her. I want to do things that  make her go huh I wonder how I can change this boom she sits it goes slack and you will see that she starts to think and that she starts to sit faster and faster. Does she have an attention span yet? No Do I expect her to? No not at her age not at her, breed. Am I starting to build tools that will be really useful as she matures mentally and physically? You bet lots of uses for this one. I’m going to go have you watch the tape. Sorry about all the traffic sounds in the back ground we were at a parking lot in the mall that was right by a highway, but you can still see what’s going on you’ll probably hear most of it. Enjoy and I’ll see you in a minute.

Side Note: if your looking for the video clips go to,  Teacher’s Pet and above the episode title there’ll be little icon that says episode info. Click that and then the video links will be in there and the links will be up on on the first page as soon as I get them up. I’m going to be traveling a bit this week but they will be up. Now the audio portion of the guided down and the come with the head turn I put up because I’m talking a lot and you can hear what’s going on. I didn’t do it with the simple sit because I was working solo at that point and your basically listening to a lot of traffic sounds. I will try hard not to be so near to traffic in the future but I think it’s worth suffering through it this time. Enjoy, now back to our regularly scheduled program.

(video clip)

Sarah Wilson: All right, see how easy that is before any of you start using this with jumping I want you to really practice it when your puppy or dog has four on the floor and isn’t excited. You can say sit at first what ever it takes to help them because they will very quickly realize that, that funny pressure on the neck boy you know when they sit it goes away instantly. Your job is to be as crisp and clear as possible so you don’t slowly lower your hand that butt starts to go down your hand drops three or four inches boom. Slack good dog that’s the good dog of it all. By all means, smile praise if you want but it is the release of pressure that is teaching your dog. Once your dog does that well try it when your out for a walk you come to a curb give him light upward pressure boom they sit beautiful. The next clip we have is on the guided down. Now we call this the guided down because much like the simple sit this uses light pressure to motivate the dog in this case the puppy to lie down. This is not the same thing as the enforced down. The enforced down was putting your foot on the lead up by the clip and powering the dog down this is entirely different matter and I want people to see it in action so they can get their own ideas about it. We’re going to start with Gypsy. Now Gypsy’s owner Nancy has done a lovely job getting this puppy ready. She’s got a terrific lure down she’s got a very happy down that sets us up perfectly to go ahead and move to the guided. You’re going to see me start just doing a couple of lures to see where she is and she’s great. Then I just took my fingers put them in the collar and did gentle pressure as I lured her so she would feel both the pressure and see the lure at the same time so she could understand better what was what. Then I did one with no lure and just the pressure no problem. So I stood up and went to pressure on the lead using my foot. This is much fast progression than I normally would do, but because of all her terrific pre-training work it was perfectly ok for this particular puppy. You will see her be a little puzzled by the pressure but she will not panic or be upset. I help her I tell her down whatever I need to do to help her to understand when you feel this light pressure I want you to lie down. Now why even bother to do this if your puppy will do this for a cookie most of the time? Why even bother teaching them this step? Well because its going to make your life a lot easier that’s why. You’ll see it in part in this little clip because I leave my foot on the lead when she lies down the leash is slack that is really important. I do not want there to be tension on the lead when the puppy or dog is lying down. Why? Because if there is pressure on the lead then it is the pressure on the lead that is keeping the dog down and when your dog is off leash you wont have that pressure and the dog won’t understand as well and also I want pressure on the lead to mean what? Lie down so if they’re already down and they still feel pressure on the lead where’s the green light? They don’t have a green light. You always want to work toward a green light you’re always trying to get to good so once they lie down I want to make sure they understand that’s the right thing. So there’s always slack on the lead when they lie down. When Gypsy goes to get up, she immediately feels that light pressure on her neck and you’ll see that I’m keeping enough slack on that lead that she can stand all the way up. At no point do I have her head plastered to the ground. Cause that is when dogs begin to stress and panic and get confused which is understandable. I simply want the pressure she stands up. Up and she feels that funny pressure again isn’t that odd? Once she understands this then Nancy can have a friend over for lunch. Put Gypsy in a down put her foot the lead and if Gypsy goes to stand up she can just leave her foot there let the pressure do its work once Gypsy understands this well and then the minute she chooses to lie back down Nancy can attend to her. What a good girl that was so smart pet her a couple times. What I like about this too is that it takes you out of the picture if every time your puppy gets up you bend over you look at them. You know Gypsy down, down lie down, down what happens is getting up causes attention and I don’t want that because that actually is rewarding  for the getting up this way getting up causes nothing just that little  pressure hmm odd lying down causes the attention ah that’s going to help your cause. This also a wonderful thing to do if your puppy’s just being bratty and making you crazy do a couple of guided downs three or four in a row walk away see if that doesn’t calm him down a little bit. The action of having to make the choice is very calming for some puppies it makes it a very neutral behavior to there’s not a lot of drama not a lot of movement not a lot of voice it just does the trick. So let’s see how Gypsy does. Enjoy the clip then come right back.

Sarah Wilson: Alright, how much fun was that? I love Nancy’s enthusiastic disbelief and excitement with it these methods are so easy they really teach it step by step. Your dog won’t be stressed and if they are stressed go back a step this isn’t a race right your just teaching them. One of the things clients often say to me when their puppy stands there feeling the pressure and not moving is they say see their stubborn that’s really common I don’t see stubborn dogs what I see are confused dogs. That puppy isn’t being the least bit stubborn what she is confused so she’s just standing there going huh that’s odd a moment ago my head wasn’t stuck now it’s a little stuck huh I wonder why. That’s it she’s not saying I won’t do this she’s saying I don’t know what to do. So anytime your puppy isn’t doing what you want try to think confused more then stubborn or difficult or stupid or spiteful or any of those words. Just think my puppy’s confused and the minute you think confused then your going to think I wonder what I can do to help her? So you’ll see that right if you go back and look Gypsy got stuck a couple of times she didn’t down very quickly. So I just told her down that’s it helped her out she’s a puppy this is new then as it went on she began to down to pressure better and better. Do I expect perfection in the first five minutes? No, I don’t I don’t expect if from myself and I certainly don’t expect it from a four and half month old puppy of a completely different species. It’s nice to see improvement with improvement we will get better and better and better and I bet that by now with Nancy’s work Gypsy’s downing pretty well to pressure. Before we go on, we need to take a break and hear from our sponsors.

Ok class grab your Tuna Flakes Biscuits and bones Teachers Pet will be back in two shakes of a tail right after recess.

 Ok class hang up your collars and leashes Teachers Pet is back in session. Now park yourselves on the floor. I said, “Park not bark”. Ok Teachers Pet with Pet expert and author Sarah Wilson pay attention there maybe a quiz later.


Sarah Wilson: Welcome back this is Sarah Wilson on Teachers Pet on Pet Life Radio. Next, you’re going to see how I start building come using head turn. I start out with Gypsy doing what you’ve seen me do at other times approach an item when she gets distracted back up pulse the lead praise with the head turn. Once she got pretty good with that then what I did was say come as she’s turning her head. Now why as she’s turning her head the reason I say come as she’s turning her head is because when she hears come I want her to do what turn her head. If the only time I say come is when she’s looking at something she may become confused and think that come means look at something. I once saw somebody in Central Park in Manhattan who whenever he said come his dog would pivot a hundred and eighty degrees and race off in the opposite direction. Now anyone who’s done obedience knows a go out is really hard to teach so I wish I knew how this guy had taught this. He was of course infuriated by it he thought his dog was being stubborn, difficult, spiteful you name it. But why did the dog do that the dog did that because my bet is every time he heard the word come what was he doing racing away from the owner and because dogs don’t know English all the do is associate the word with what they’re doing at the moment they hear it. So this dog said no problem. Come if you want me to race away from you when I hear come I’ll do it. Dogs are smart just keep in mind they don’t know what your teaching so they will believe you if you associate it with something no matter what that is. If your dogs hear off, off, off, off, off when they’re jumping all over you. Guess what they think off means in this case what am I doing I want come to mean turn your head back in my direction. That’s the first part of come. Come is three things turn back to me, come back all the way, and then stop once you get here. That’s come turn away run back stop. So I’m going to say come when I see that turn away starting. That’s the behavior I want to be cued by the word and then I praise her all the way back as I’m backing up. Remember dogs chase moving things. So if you say come to a puppy who doesn’t know what it means and you stand there looking at em they’re likely to stand there looking at you right back because your not doing anything helpful that encourages them to come your way. So I’m going to backup and praise her give her a treat as she comes in if she sits I give her a treat. Great puppy you’ll enjoy this. This will look familiar but I wanted you to see it starting with a naive puppy and once you see the footage come on back.

(video clip)

Sarah Wilson: So how cute is Gypsy? Really  Really, Cute what a lovely puppy. Before we leave off, we have a treat we heard from a listener in Japan about her two poodles lets see what’s up. Here’s her question. “Sarah I have two toy poodles one is eighteen months and the other is fifteen months the younger Polly is good at coming back to me when called. If I do the excited crazy person behavior, he loves it and darts back. However, Agner the older one could careless what I do unless I have food. He’s a foody. My question is how can I wean him off the food sometimes I forget to bring snacks with me and he knows it. Then I get ignored. I’m lucky to live in area of Japan where we have lots of opportunities to be off leash. I want them to come when called. This is especially important with Agner since he loves to chase birds. He happened to run into a pheasant once and now even if he hears one calling he darts off looking for it. Thanks Sherry. Boy this is a question many, many of our listeners will be able to relate to right. The dog doesn’t come. So if I was there with you in Japan Sherry this is what we would do. The first thing I would do is see how Agner is with you on lead without any treats. Does he pay attention to you? Does he listen to sit and down. How responsive is he in the house. Because unless he’s nailing his sits and downs and being attentive in the house on lead. We know that’s the place to start and for all of you I’m drawing this squeaky sound this is Pip inviting me to play. This is not the right time. I am doing a yeah, yeah not the right he listed a flip of the hedge hog in my direction. So put up with the squeaking for a bit because I find it cute. Alright so first things first how responsive is he on lead and how responsive is he around the house? I would let go of food in the house no more treats for the basic sit down leave it wait and simply learn how to follow through if he ignores you. The other thing I would do is when I am working with him outside I would use food but I would raise the bar. If I call him and he doesn’t come right away of course, he’s going to be on lead right. If he doesn’t come right away and that leash tightens or I have to use that leash at all or I have to make extra effort say the command twice. Forget it you show and stow you put that treat right to his nose and then you put that treat right in your pocket. What till you see the look of shock on Agners Face! How can this be you will start seeing a much more attentive poodle. The other game I love to do for dogs like this is take him out by himself and can you get a hold of a retractable lead and what I want you to do is go to an open field area and simply start walking with him I don’t’ want you to lock the mechanism I do want him to be on a flat collar a wide flat collar if he goes north your simply going to turn and walk south when he catches up I want you to praise yeah what a good boy. If he looks at you or is attentive to you treat him then. Don’t call him don’t pat your leg don’t give an early waning system I want it to be his job to keep track of you If you play this game and you really have fun with it when he’s running in your direction. And you really light up and give him a treat and tell him how good he is great your going to see him watch you a lot more. Now Another key to this is, is he is birdie so dogs who have high prey drive often can have high play drive. So I would take up every squeaky in your house there are no more squeakies freely available. I would have one that I save special for him. Again, put Polly away this is Agners toy and a couple times a day I want you to walk by take this toy out when I’m doing this I often leave it on top of the fridge. And I walk by the fridge I take it of I go ohhh what’s this what is this, this is so cool and Ill squeak it and put in front of him tease him a little bit I’ll let him grab hold of it I’ll bite tug this is the most fun ever what a good dog Take it out of their mouth put it back on the fridge I want to build a squeaky junky then when your out with him still on lead for a bit because we’re not going to give him a chance to fail when he gets distracted by something I want you to say Agner come and squeak the heck out of that thing When he catches up play tug with him make that the most fun ever and then stop put it away so make sure it’s a toy that will fit on your jacket fit in your bag put it away and you turn off like a faucet Agner come, come boy come boy wrestle, wrestle, wrestle take it away put it in your bag walk off you are no longer interesting what will happen pretty quickly is that Agners going to start thinking oh I wish she would call me because when she calls me we have the most fun. I’d start with that and also for anybody anywhere in the world if you want to send me a couple of minutes clip of what’s going on with you and your dog. I’ll coach you happy to do so you can slap it up on You Tube I’ll come over and take a look and then we’ll figure out how to get it over to Pet Life Radio and we’ll do an assessment on the air. And we’ll have fun I’ll give you lots of positive ideas about what to do and how to succeed with your dog alright. So Sherry give this a try do these things up the work in the house no treats in the house raise the bar include play and play the flexi lead game with him and report back alright. I bet your going to have a blast and that’s the show for the day and apparently Pip is really enjoying this whole section of the pod cast cause she’s now in a play about playing with her hedge hog. You are too cute for words you are. I’ve done a few sessions with the cheese but nothing really to report needs more mileage. Until next time this is Sarah Wilson for Teachers Pet on Pet Life Radio and remember, any pet can be teachers pet. Have a great week.

Schools in session on Pet Life Radio with Teachers Pet learn how to communicate with your pet train your pet and see the world from your pet’s point of view. You may even learn a few tricks your self Teachers pet with pet expert and author Sarah Wilson only on PetLifeRadio.Com.


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