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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
https://iaabcjournal.org/2016/10/01/train-sit-reconsider-relevance/
For discussion & perusal.
I'll actually still give it a closer read--interesting.

I take my dog to a nursing home, and am trying to avoid automatic sitting (rewarding sit too much, or having dog sit every time I stop) just because I don't want his tail stepped on or run over.

But, the article goes into training alternate choices, for different scenarious. Interesting stuff.

Enjoy.
 

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I like this article a lot, and have asked the same question.

I particularly like this quote, which I agree with: "I believe we should be, as Kay Laurence put it in a recent seminar, “assisting the dog in being a dog. Positive training is about training normal dog behaviors by construction, not deconstructing unwanted behavior by suppression.”"
 

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This is very interesting, and oddly enough, something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

Both my dogs have a default sit for most situations. While it is convenient, it is also annoying for some things we try. I do think it doesn't really reduce their desire to do what they want to do (as I've witness from both my dogs shaking at the agility start line).

It is interesting, I think a default stand would be a nice thing for us. I mean honestly, would it really be so bad to ask my dog to sit if I needed it? Plus, I believe my dogs have the ability to recognize that different scenarios call for different responses. They know our house = all furniture is okay, but at my MIL's, no furniture allowed.
 

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Oy... I don't care if my dog sits, he does it by default. Sitting, laying down, even rolling over is a default behavior.

I would hope that this is a misprint?

and is a failed foster mom to three big, black dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oy... I don't care if my dog sits, he does it by default. Sitting, laying down, even rolling over is a default behavior.

I would hope that this is a misprint?
Failed as in failed to rehome, instead, she kept the dogs for herself--it's a little joke (or that's how I interpreted the statement)
 
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Yes, it is an interesting article and opinion.

I certainly agree with the concept that requiring ( through default or cued) a dog to sit when meeting other dogs is probably the wrong way to go in most cases. My dog is trained to take a default sitting position whenever I stop however if I should stop and want something else, I'll issue the appropriate command ( stand or down) as I am stopping.

I question the " training normal dog behaviors....." comment the author made because most train out "normal dog behaviors" from the get go. Lack of bite inhibition, barking, forging, following scents, aggressive play/interaction, resource guarding, territorial behavior etc. are all items which I would deem " the dog in being a dog" but yet many people train/modify these behaviors out of the dog.

I'm not clear as to what the author meant by " " training normal dog behaviors..." as most all dogs need no training to exhibit "normal dog behavior". Maybe the author meant what humans think "normal dog behaviors" should be.
 

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One of the parts that struck me was the list of things people have a dog sit for.
I used to have my other dogs sit (or down) before I opened doors. It always seemed to ramp them up, not the effect I wanted, but it was what we learned in dog class, so...

For Sonic, now I just wait for acceptable behaviour, as in, don't be scratching, whining, barking at the door, and then we can go for a walk...mostly it's a stand, about a foot from the door, occasionally he'll put his bum down. I don't care, the sooner I get him leashed up and out the door, the less amped he is--and that's what I want.

I still have have him down at the door, sometimes, but do that in terms of using environmental rewards to train a down, or an 'out' from a 'down', but I will say the net effect is ramping up--the opposite of a calm dog, so I take that into consideration (ie, if I don't want to be ramping him up, I don't do it).

The article seems to hint at this, or maybe not, but something to ponder anyway.

I'm guessing 'start-line stay sits' are used simply because the position is clear, natural (dogs sit for all sorts of reasons) and 'stand' is a bit fuzzy and so the dog is more likely to move one paw, then two paws, and then off and running with no release cue at all.

I find sport training and plain old pet potatoes training do not always mesh well, as in, when I'm thinking of sport (for me, it's non-competitive, just for fun) I'm ramping my dog up, not down, so while his obedience is going up, I also have him up in a pretty excited state, but for all the pet stuff (or nursing home) an excited dog is not what I want (hint; don't start secret free-shaping exercises in a place and time (sitting with my senior friend at the nursing home) where you want a calm dog--an excited free-shaped 'down' is NOT the same as a calm down, it really isn't--oopsie)
 
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Pippy has a default stand and always is allowed the choice to move away. I loved the article. It resonated with me on a lot of the training choices I make with my own doggy.

Also--foster failure just means the foster dog got adopted by the foster home instead of someone else.
 

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Bus knows sit, but it's not really a default behavior for anything. If he wants something (like me to throw the ball) and sees that I am waiting for him to settle down before giving it, he may offer a sit, but he may also offer a down, or he may circle or bark obnoxiously if still too ramped up for more "civilized" behaviors. His preferred "waiting" behavior is standing for the short term, and a down (which he hasn't actually been taught to do on command, though I can usually get him to do it in public by showing my own "waiting" behavior) for long term idling. His "waiting" down is different from his actual "relaxing" down, he lays very straight, with his feet propped under his haunches, rather than slumped over- but he picked it, so it must be comfy. Sometimes he will sit, but it's not the most common choice. I will put him in a sit if I want him to be still and he's not doing it by his own volition, but I rarely bother if he's willing to stand still. I sometimes use it to arrest jumping behavior if he's excited to see kids, as he likes to put his feet on them and get up in their grill if they get him excited.

I use a standing wait (actually, I don't care if he sits or downs either when on "wait", but he usually stays up) a lot for him when we are outside or playing, he's good at it and it serves the purpose, so why use sit if I just want him not walking around?

I look at stand/sit/down as a gradient of movement arresting behaviors, each one successively more so. My experience, and others as well from what I have heard, is that a dog in a stand is more likely to move then a dog in a sit, and likewise a dog in a sit vs a dog in a down, whether that's due to the mechanics of the position itself, or the methodology of training (how many people train a really solid stand/stay?), I don't know. If you have a dog who is very eager to move, arresting their movement (briefly) with a stay command is going to increase their desire to move, same as holding a leash would. I finally got Bus consistently jumping off our bulkhead into water this year by using restraint (both physical and verbal) to build desire for the retrieve. Think of it like a restrained recall.

I never ask him to sit when meeting another dog, as I want him to be able to express himself freely and move away if he wants- he's usually ok with other dogs, so I trust him to behave appropriately given room to do so.
 

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My dog has a default sit in only one case - obedience heelwork. My dog does offer sit though when she wants something I have like food.

I can though understand why sit is so popular for a default behavior. It is easy to teach and sets easy criteria for the trainer to reinforce. The dog is less likely to move when it has to stand up first. The dog's head is also higher than in the 'down' position so it can be rewarded or petted. It might also be easier concept to reinforce bottom on the ground than watching id the dog has moved a paw or leaned into some direction when the click occurred.

And sit is probably the most famous dog command. It is ingrained into the culture. Ask a random person what kind of commands they know given to dogs. Sit is probably the first one listed, if not, then among the first three. We seem to think the sit is the most basic skill when we are talking about a well-trained and obedient dog. Although I've heard show people not to teach sit so that the show dog would not sit in the ring. As if stimulus control or teaching the dog to stand didn't exist. My dog obediently stood still when told so but offered obedience heel when she was supposed to trot beside me casually around the ring. You don't wash out 6 years of exercise for one weekend XD

I don't ask my dog to sit when she meets other dogs. The whole thought is foreign to me. I want my dog to be able to show her full repertoire in body language to inform other dogs if she is comfortable meeting them.

I do ask a rambunctious young dog to sit before I let her through the door when we go for a walk. I admit I didn't consider why sit and not something else. Sit is easy. Less leeway to rush. Faster than counter-conditioning and teaching invisible borders when it's not my dog. Having a routine spares my knees and wrists and the dog is less in danger to escape.

I also ask all four dogs to sit before I feed them. There would be a chaos without it. Maybe even fights. I tell them to sit, there is some order in the room, and everybody knows what they are supposed to do.

I know some people teach their dogs to amp up when they are left in positions so that once they are released they explode into action. Sports dogs. Alva cannot do that. She just isn't explosive. I call her locomotive. Slow to get moving, but does her job. I've never paid attention if any of our dogs has seemed to get frustrated or to collect steam under the engine* when I ask them to sit before getting something/somewhere.

*No idea if there's an idiom in English for that. In my native language we say 'collect RPMs', makes me think a car at traffic lights pressing the gas pedal but holding the clutch down, making the car roar.
 

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I do ask a rambunctious young dog to sit before I let her through the door when we go for a walk. I admit I didn't consider why sit and not something else.

How about for no other reason than it is a commanded obedience which sets the tempo before ever leaving the front door. Harnessing the tool of anticipation perhaps. Wouldn't matter if it was a stand, down or sit. Like you said " sit is easy". I see nothing wrong with doing any of that with a young dog as it learns a bit of impulse control via obedience of any nature.
 

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Very cool article, I was addicted to default sits until I got my fearful dog.

I don't have to make the mistake of asking her to sit and greet to know that if she were to wander up to a stranger and I said "Wait wait wait! Sit!" That I would completely obliterate her faltering drive to seek attention from strangers. She wouldn't dream of putting her paws on anyone other than me. If she lets someone pet her, I'm happy.
 
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