Updated: Aug 19
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Have you ever looked at all the adorable pet photos on Facebook and Instagram and wished that you could get gorgeous pictures of your pets? Wish no more! Train your pets to hold the perfect pose with these commands:
Using a leash and a treat, you can teach your pet to sit in no time! Pinch the treat between your thumb and pointer finger and face your palm up towards the ceiling. Place your hand in front of your pet's nose. Once she realizes you have a treat, slowly scoop your hand up towards the ceiling to lure her into a sit. Pairing your treat lure with light, upward pressure on the leash can help get your pet there even more quickly! If your pet moves or "breaks" from the sit before you have released her, simply get her back into place as quickly as possible using your hand and leash cues. I use the word, "Ok!" to signal to my pets that they are free to move after they have completed a command. If I haven't said that word, they have to remain in the sit! Once your pet is sitting consistently with your hand and leash cues, say your vocal cue, "Sit!" as your pet is settling into a sit. Now you have three different cues for the same command: voice, hand, and leash cues. Make sure not to repeat that voice cue over and over! Say the command once and follow through on it. While our pets may tune out most of what we say, we want them to pay close attention to those vocal cues! You can improve your pet's ability to hold a sit-stay by practicing with a little more distraction each day. Walking in a circle around your pet, moving across the room, throwing or squeaking a toy, or asking a friend or family member to come in and out of the room are all simple ways to add in distractions. Once your pet consistently holds a sit during one distraction, add a another distraction! If you're hoping to take festive photos with your pets like Zuko's photo above, you can also use hats, headbands, and clothes as distraction when practicing your pet's sit-stay!
Now that your pet is rocking a sit-stay, you still need to get him to look at the camera! A "watch" command is an easy way to do this. Before meal time, grab a handful of kibbles (or other treats) to practice this command. Hold the kibble in front of your pet's face. Once he realizes it is there, draw the kibble up to your face, point at your nose with the hand that is holding the kibble, and say, "Watch!" As soon as your pet looks up towards your eyes, give him that kibble! Just as you do with sit, slowly increase the level of distraction each time you practice "watch". Start off inside with one distraction and over time you'll be able to build up the distraction levels so your pet will maintain eye contact with you even if you are outside in the midst of a crowd of people and other animals! This won't happen overnight! Consistency is key. Practice regularly and don't increase your distraction levels too quickly! Now that you've taught your pet to be the perfect model, we'd love to see your pictures! Tag @kingscreatures in your Instagram posts!
Are you participating in the 2019 Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt? Congratulations! You've found the fourth picture! Don't forget to "love" and comment on this blog post to complete your entry into the contest. Throughout the day, a Valentine photo of each of Laura's pets will be posted across the internet. If you "love" and comment on each one, you'll be entered into a drawing for King's Creatures gift cards ranging in value from $10 to $25! Use them for training sessions, pet sitting, dog walks, and more! Gift cards can be credited to your account or gifted to a friend. Gift cards expire on 2/15/20. Contest ends Friday, 2/15, at 6pm. Winners will be announced at that time. Did you miss the other photos? Check out our social media links at the very bottom of the page!