As a trainer with Four Legged Scholars LLC Dog Training, Salt Lake City we understand that training settle is an important command for many dog owners. We want our dogs to be calm and relaxed in many scenarios. These scenarios can include watching a movie with friends, and it can also include a friendly conversation with a person on the sidewalk during an on leash walk with your dog. Training settle is a paramount command and is also super simple to train.
The best way I believe to train settle is through behavior catching. This means you just naturally wait for the behavior that you want to occur and then reinforce that behavior. If you want your dog to down or sit more frequently, you can create this by just rewarding this behavior more often. As you are watching a movie have your clicker and treats on you. When your dog sits click and treat. Click and treat every time your dog sits and retains the sit. initially the timing between the clicks will be extremely short. Once your dog is retaining the sit more often than you can wait for longer time periods before clicking and treating. When you stop on a leash walk to talk to someone click and treat when your dog sits. Again you will keep clicking and treating as your dog retains the sit. As the sitting / settle behavior becomes more of a habit you will click and treat less frequently. You can do the same process if you would prefer to train a down as a the settle behavior rather than a sit.
We hope this short post was helpful for you. If you need further support remember to there are many reward-based dog trainers. Salt Lake City has many options.
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How successful have you been in training your dog to settle?
Johanna Teresi, Four Legged Scholars LLC Dog Training, Salt Lake City