Field sighting # 2

Ken McE (
Thu, 08 Jan 1998 11:43:08 -0300

Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 11:43:08 -0300
From: Ken McE <>
Subject: Field sighting # 2

> Merlin & I used a different trick but it will require a third party to
> be involved...
> When I wanted to teach Merlin (an Airedale Terrier) the DOWN and SIT commands, I had a helper -- Merlin's big "hooman brudder", Nicholas, who was 7 at the time.
> I got Merlin's attention and then said "Nicholas DOWN" and Nicholas lay
> down in the same way I wanted Merlin to do. I then got him up again and
> repeated 3 or 4 times. Merlin's attention was raptly on both me and Nicholas --
> I had waited until he was in an especially attentive mood.
> Then I said "Merlin, DOWN" and he didn't do it at first but suddenly
> after 2 or 3 repetitions, he cocked his head at an angle (see the light bulb
> going on!) and did a perfect DOWN. Since then, he has understood the command
> (even when he didn't want to do it) -- it took only about 2 such sessions
> before he remembered it perfectly.
> Sit was harder, and we had already started the "push the butt down"
> technique; however having Nicholas get up on all 4's and then teaching SIT the same way worked (or seemed to) in 2 or three sessions also.
> I don't know if there is a small-child-rental-store in your area, though... :-)
W. Austin

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