It's all a matter of timing.
Think of it this way: Your dog already knew how to sit since she was about 1 week old. She also knew how to stand, lie down, come to her Mom (to nurse), jump up etc.
All you are doing is teaching her English.
Now imagine you were in China and someone was inviting you to sit down and you did not understand them. Would you rather have them push you towards a seat and push you down or would you rather have them show you a place to sit with food in front of it? Which one would be easier go understand? My guess is you would act on their body language but if you kept hearing the word for sitting every time it happens you would understand soon what the word to sit is.
Our dogs are exactly the same. By lifting a food treat straight up over your dog's head (without any pushing on them or even touching them) you give the dog a reason to sit. If you say the word sit before the dog is actually sitting your are teaching the dog NOT to sit when you say that word because your dog learns, just like us, by association.
The same goes for every other obedience command. You show the dog what you want (use the food as a lure) and then reward the dog for doing what you ask (using the food as a reward). This is also much faster to teach. If the dog makes a mistake you can be 99% sure that the mistake was in your timing of lure, cue (command) or reward.
Only once the dog consistently sits on the hand signal (raised food in hand) should you start adding the verbal cue. This way the dog also enjoys the training a lot more and you can do 10 repetitions in 2 minutes and then go on to something else.
Hope that makes sense. Just keep it all upbeat and fun for both of you. Using positive reinforcement and making it all one big play session will work best. If you have a dog that is a little bit worried about the clicker just use your voice instead of the click. But make it a very clear single sound marker like "Yes" and don't use that word for anything else.
Let me know if you have more questions.
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.
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