Australian Shepherds are a wonderful breed of dog that’s loved around the globe. Whether it’s due to their athletic tendencies, high levels of intelligence, or their non-stop loving drive, Australian Shepherds are widely considered a fan favorite.
When you train an Australian Shepherd to listen to your commands and follow them, such as “sit”, you’ll unlock deeper levels of bond with your furry friend. Today’s article breaks down how you can easily train your Australian Shepherd to shake upon request.
Teaching your Aussie to listen to your commands is super important – it allows for improved communication, increased control (and safety) over a given situation, and allows for trust building to occur between your dog and yourself.
Preparing to Train Your Australian Shepherd
One of the most important aspects of training your furry friend a new trick is to prepare them for this change. Untrained Australian Shepherds do not know any better and are acting out of mere instinct.
To teach them a new skill, such as shaking your hands or giving you “knucks”, you will need to show them what proper expectations are and help them understand the desired outcome you’re looking for.
Establishing a Positive Training Environment
Australian Shepherds (dogs in general) dont have long attention spans. Be sure to keep the training sessions short, fun, and rewarding for your furry friend. Try to spend 5-10 minutes practicing the sit command.
Dont Forget About Pawsitive Reinforcement
Dont forget to provide pawsitive (positive) reinforcement for your furry friend – if they follow your command, consider rewarding them with a small treat. Encourage them to follow the command as you’re teaching them to do so.
Consistency Consistency, Consistency
Another important aspect is being consistent with your training. Do your best to show up consistently and follow a routine for best results.
Clear The Distractions
An often overlooked aspect of dog training is to remove distractions while training your Australian Shepherd. Distractions such as toys, sounds, treats, other animals, etc. can reduce focus and thus take longer for your dog to comprehend their new trick.
Consider a Clicker
Australian Shepherds are both visual and non-visual learners. When you add a “clicker” to your training routine, you teach your dog that the sound of the clicker is a good thing. Thus, when they hear the clicker, they understand they did a good job. Optional but helpful!
Get into a Training Routine/Schedule
While your pup is still learning the ropes, consider setting up a plan to work with your dog to learn the “sit” command at the end of every day. The more consistent you are with training your dog, the quicker and more consistent your results will be.
Remember to Keep the Reinforcement Positive
Remember to be patient with your dog when training them. They are doing their best and always trying to please their masters. If they do not understand your trick, consider a different approach than punishing them. They are doing their best and pushing them will often add to the confusion. Be Patient. Work with your Australian Shepherd. Positive Reinforcement Wins. Be Consistent.
Start Small & Increase Difficulty Over Time
Start with simple tasks that are easy for your Australian Shepherd to comprehend. Encourage them and reward them when they complete the desired action you’re looking to achieve. Let them know they did it as you planned. As your Aussie learns the trick, he or she will become bored more easily. To counter this, consider increasing the complexity, and difficulty, or increasing the number of distractions available.
Teaching the ‘Sit’ Command
The Step-By-Step Process
Step 1: Get Your Dogs Attention
The first step to training your Australian Shepherd is to get their attention. Call them by their name or do something that will get their undivided attention. Your Aussie will likely come over to you at this point.
Step 2: Use the “Sit” Command
Express your “sit” command clearly for your dog to hear. Upon first time, your dog will have no idea what this means. Optionally, you can assign a hand gesture as well, giving them both a verbal and non-verbal cue to sit in the future.
Step 3: Entice Your Dog to Enter the Sitting Position
Show your Aussie what you’re expecting out of them, gently. Get them to sit as you would expect them to.
Step 4: Reward Them For Successfully Doing What You’ve Expected Them To
If they’re now in the sitting position as you had planned, its time to show them that they did it right. Give them a treat, express positive comments such as “good boy/girl” and pat them on the head. Let them know they did a good job!
Step 5: Repeat This Process
Remember, this process works with continued consistency, compassion, and patience. Repeat the training daily to engrain the command in your dog’s brain.
Tips for Increased Success
Although the process is relatively straightforward to train your Australian Shepherd to sit, there are a number of tips to can use to help increase your success rates. Some of these tips include:
- Patience and Positive Reinforcement go a long way.
- Use your Aussie’s favorite types of dog treats as positive reinforcement.
- Use verbal queues & pet your dog to express a good job well done.
- Keep the training sessions brief
- Make it a fun and exciting activity
Avoid These Common Mistakes
Although the process to teach your dog to sit is pretty straightforward, there are actually a number of common mistakes you should be aware of in order to avoid.
- Avoid Using Punishment
- Not training your Australian Shepherd consistently
- Lack of patience
- Lack of clear communication or desired results
- Not offering a focus-worthy reward to your furry friend.
With the information and process outlined above, you’re well on your way to teaching your Australian Shepherd to sit. Continue to follow this process of regular, consistent training, coupled with positive reinforcement to teach your Australian Shepherd the sit command!