We caught up with Dog Trainer Taylor and her super talented viral video stars Trick Dogs Lottie the Border Collie and Grizzly the Rescue German Shepherd. The trio put on three great shows at the recent Dog Lovers Days festival in Kitchener.
Dog Lovers Days generously supported us filming Taylor and her dog shows and tips.
They are so well trained and both posed beautifully “Sitting Pretty” (in their bow tie and bow by HandMade in the Hammer) and giving each other hugs.
I have been trying to teach my dog Kilo the Pug to “Sit Pretty” with limited success. His body shape does not make it easy since he’s top heavy and has very narrow hips. Grizzly being a German Shepherd also has a heavier top and long body so I got Taylor to give some tips on how to train Kilo and your dogs to do this trick.
Dog Training Tips By Taylor: “Sit Pretty”
Taylor explains that she only uses Positive Reinforcement techniques to train her dogs. She uses rewards such as food/treats, games, toys or affection to mark good behaviours. It’s important to keep training a fun experience for the dog and the trainer. That way they will want to do tricks or commands for you.
The “Sit Pretty” trick does require lots of core strength and basic trick fundamentals like “sit” and “stay”. Doing exercises like dog burpees, working on wobble boards and peanuts and “paws on the wall” or on your knee are a great way sto help build up your dog’s core strength.
How To Train Your Dog to “Sit Pretty”
Taylor showed us two ways to teach the trick:
- Start by having your dog in a “sit” position and use a treat to lure your dog to sit up. They use their core strength to pull their paws up. Mark this action with a treat to positively reinforce the behaviour and repeat.
- For dogs who are having trouble balancing or may not have the core strength offer your arm as support – help them up and let them lean. Then continue with step one.
This trick comes naturally to some dogs like border collies but for others like Kilo the Pug and Grizzly the GSD, it takes more practice. Every dog has their own way of performing this trick. Grizzly kind of leans back more. With patience and lots of practise and positive reinforcement, most dogs should be able to sit pretty. Always make sure the dog is in a safe spot so they can’t fall and injure themselves.
My friend Diane from To Dog With Love mentioned that her beautiful Havanese Rocco had trouble balancing at first too. She suggested that some people teach the trick with the dog’s back to the couch. This works for Kilo the Pug practising. We have been trying various methods all week but he still topples over or prefers to pop up on his hind legs and dance around. On the floor, his little froggy legs splay out so he really has to pull on a lot of muscles to hold the position. He has excellent balance and is very muscular so I think he just needs to find a position that works for him eventually.
Does your dog know this trick? Share tips and stories below.
For more tips and tricks by Taylor and Lottie Check Out her Dog Trainer Spotlight .