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Hi,

I've been trying to teach my chihuahua some basic commands like sit or lay down and I feel like he doesn't pay attention at all to the voice cues. He just sits down when I have a treat in my hand and when I lower the treat he lays down, but when I just say the cue, he doesn't know what to do, basically just sits and waits for the treat.

I've watched hundreds of videos about dog training tips and I've been doing it step by step just like in the videos..

Anyone knows why it doesn't work with my pup?
 

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Dogs do tend to be more attune to body cues than verbal cues, but learning what all of them mean is still a lot of work. And sometimes even a well trained dog will look at you like you have two heads when you ask them to do something that they typically do well, and claim that they have no earthly idea what you are talking about. "Sit? Never heard that word before in my life... I guess it means go sniff this thing over here?"

It sounds like you are using the treat to lure him into position, which is fine in the early stages. But you need to use a marker (like a clicker or a verbal "yes") to let him know that what he's done is correct, and then give him the treat. Once the dog looks like he's getting the idea, you stop using the treat as a lure, but still use it as a reward after the mark. The sequence is cue (or lure), behavior, mark, reward.

This is a really good online class, called Training Levels https://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/7435 that starts on December 1st. Registration opens today, and tuition for the full 6 weeks starts at only $65. Once you enroll, you can join the student group on Facebook for even more help and support.
 

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I agree with LeoRose, the sequence should be *cue (or lure), behaviour, mark, reward*.

Although, I would add to that *verbal cue ie: 'sit', slight delay, then lure, behaviour, mark, reward, release cue ie: 'ok' or 'free' *. Then *play, and / or re-set*

After sufficient repetitions, the dog will soon begin to associate and anticipate the forthcoming lure during the delay. And VIOLA! a verbal cue is born. lol.

Having a release cue is essential, yet often overlooked. Otherwise the dog will learn to self-release.

Also, as soon as the dog is reliably executing the behavoiur via luring, I would quickly transition to the lure becoming a mere signal with NO food in that particular hand. You can do this by signalling, then rewarding from the opposite hand.
 
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