Tag Archives | Dog Trainer

PitBull Nina, a video testimonial about her training

Nina needed a confidence boost so she could get a grasp of some much needed manners. Remember our training is not magic or luck, it’s a progressive plan that meets the dog right where it’s at. Small steps are mandatory and always setting the dog up for incremental steps forward are vital to replicating transformations like Nina has showcased here.

So whatever your challenges and concerns are, please include us when considering your solutions and options.

Please give  us a call and we’ll come out to you for a FREE Demonstration with your dog. The Demo takes 40-60 minutes and is a great way to see what we can do to help you.


Sit Means Sit Hawaii
Call us today 808 283 DOGS (3647)

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How To Communicate With Your Dog

Clear communication is the corner stone for the longevity of any healthy relationship, including the relationship we have with our dogs.

While it can be argued that English is the common language used throughout the world among humans, such is not the case with our dogs. Not only does your dog not speak English, it does not speak any other verbal language either. Therefore, when we bring a new member into our family, the responsibility is on our shoulders to lay the foundation for healthy communication.


The purpose of this short article is to create a paradigm shift of our understanding in how we can best communicate with, and teach our dogs to produce desired results.

To make it simple, consider that our dogs have the capacity to be multi-lingual. The following, but not limited to, can all be considered languages of communication, Body, Verbal, Food, Toy, Collar, Whistle and Leash. To attempt teaching, using all these languages at the same time, sets up confusion not only for the dog, but more importantly, the owner.

At Sit Means Sit Hawaii, we initiate teaching communication without using any verbal commands. We use our body, integrating our SMS collar and then the leash as needed, to guide and create a desired physical movement. For most, this approach is counter intuitive, since generally folks assume the dogs speaks English, and then they start throwing out commands louder and faster, sending the dog into confusion all while yanking on the leash.

The classic, “yell at the dog until he figures it out,is the shortest route to confusion and the direct route to inconsistent compliance. This scenario is no different than someone yelling at you in a foreign language. Confusion and frustration show up quickly, followed by fear. This does not set a healthy stage for learning to take place for either you or your dog.

Teaching your dog a skill starts with gaining your dog’s attention. With our Sit Means Sit program there is no yelling, screaming or otherwise “hissy fits” involved to get your dog to learn. We build a line of communication in a planned progressive protocol. The progression is based on each dog’s capacity to demonstrate a level of comprehension to pay attention to the owner. Once the dog understands what is expected to pay attention, then we begin with teaching a defined skill, followed by verbal marking. The initial skill set includes the commands “come” “sit” “place” and “free.” We can teach all these skills without a single word being spoken. Our deaf dog clients are the easiest to grasp this approach.

By refreshing the importance of clear communication, it is our intention to shift your paradigm to the language of mutual understanding, so you can continue to teach your dog new skills. We would like to encourage all of you to check your communication style, and if need be, refresh your approach down to a whisper and go back to Sit Means Sit basics. Go ahead and dust off the place board, pull out the long leash and challenge yourself and your dog, to go through the corner stone drill of Come-Place-Free drill. Then progressively, add duration, distance and distractions, do all this to enhance your relationship and level of communication with your best four legged pal.

Scott Sanchez

Sit Means Sit Hawai



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Incorporating Treats/Food In Your Training

Treat Treats/Food can be used to both shape behavior patterns and reward behavior patterns. When using treats to shape new skills, we use the food as a lure to create the movement pattern desired. Normally we break down the desired skill into progressive stages to instill a “success builds success” type of environment.

Once the dog has followed the lure through the initial stage of the movement pattern, food is then released to the dog. Then progressively, we connect the stages while delaying the release of the food  until the entire skill is completed. It is important during the learning progressions that the food be released with predictability to the dog. When the skill has been completed 30-40 times in its entirety, the food can now take on the form of a reward.

Studies show that once the skill has been learned, that the speed of execution of the skill, can be better enhanced by random release of the food. This means, that there should not be any predictability in the dispensing of the food reward. This has been documented to increase the working drive AKA enthusiasm, of the dog to complete the skill on demand. Make sure, that you maintain the common goal, that your dog will learn to execute the skill without any food once it matures through it’s learning and proofing stages. Everybody has a dog that does tricks in the kitchen but only for a treat. Through proper balanced training, you and your dog will not only do tricks without food, but do them well outside the boundaries of your home.

Scott Sanchez

Sit Means Sit Hawaii



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House Breaking Your Puppy or Dog

Believe it or not, house training is one of the easiest things to teach a dog because dogs are clean by nature and don’t like to soil their den area. Using this concept, begin by always supervising your puppy when he/she is not in her den-crate environment. The largest reason people fail with house training is that they give the puppy more freedom than the pup or dog is capable of handling. An un-supervised pup or dog is bound to make mistakes.

Use a Crate to Replicate the Den

If you can utilize a crate to replicate the “den” environment that dogs need and feel secure in it will shorthand the process. If the puppy or dog is given the opportunity to get out of his crate when necessary, it can aid your house training efforts enormously. As the puppy is let out from the dog crate, take him out on a leash to the spot you will want him to eliminate. If he goes, praise him. If not, put him back into his crate and try again in about 15 minutes or so. Continue with this cycle until you and your dog have a routine going. Success earns the pup freedom for twenty minutes or so. Gradually extend the time as he grows older and more reliable. Remember a seven-week-old pup does not have a great deal of bladder control. Don’t expect him to go more than a few hours without having to eliminate, and don’t expect him to wait once he is out of his crate to eliminate.

Use an Elimination Word

Begin the first time you take your puppy out to give a word to associate elimination with. In the beginning the puppy won’t understand the word, but if each time you take him out you say to your puppy, “hurry up”, or “go potty” and continue to repeat the phrase until he goes, praising when it happens, your puppy will learn to associate these words with the action. Later when traveling or out in public it can be a cue word to get your dog to relieve himself in quick time, without having to wait in the scorching sun, or freezing rain.

All-in-One Management System

An even easier system for house training is using a crate with a dog door and an enclosed dog run on the other side of the dog door. The dog crate goes up to the dog door. The dog door in the beginning may need to be taped or otherwise rigged up so the puppy can comfortably go through the dog door. The outside of the dog crate should be enclosed somehow to prevent the puppy from getting into any harm, or harm finding him!

Supervise your Pup or New Dog

When the pup isn’t in his crate, you have to use constant supervision to keep him from making mistakes. The easiest way to do this is to literally tie or tether the pup to your waist with a leash or line, or tether him to a piece of furniture where he has no more than three feet of freedom in any direction. Remember that a pup tethered to furniture should be watched carefully or he may chew it. Crating, supervising and tethering are examples of a management system used to support the dog until he is trained. With the crate set up to the dog door system, your puppy learns quickly to let himself out of his containment area to relieve himself. It also helps him develop some independence from always having you to hold his hand, thus increasing the need for the puppy to feel that he needs someone to take him out, he can’t possibly go by himself.

Preventing Separation – Anxiety

Because dogs are inherently pack animals, they prefer to be with us, than be alone. Most cases of adult “separation- anxiety” would never develop if the dog as a puppy had been trained in the crate/dog- door/dog -run management system just described. Early on the puppy would learn to deal with being alone and without the opportunity to dig, chew or destroy things left available. One important thing to consider with this system is that when you first let your puppy out of his crate you would still want to take your dog immediately to the outside area you are encouraging him to go relieve himself in. Even though your crate has access to the outside, puppy may have been resting and not recently “emptied out.” It won’t take much movement on the dogs part to feel the strong urge or need to “go.” We don’t want mistakes that could have been prevented. These are some of the first essentials for a good start with your new puppy. Enjoy him and give him a good start with safe and secure boundaries in your home!

All three dogs are Sit Means Sit trained dogs. They are trained to do fun things which help us educate the public. “Stuff” Sit Means Sit Phoenix, Toni Drugmand “Beck” Sit Means Sit Denver, Dave Skoletsky “Sonic” Sit Means Sit Atlanta, Darin Shepherd

By Fred Hassen & Toni Drugmand

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Sit Means Sit Hawaii Celia shows us how she trains her little dog Rico.

These clips show us how well a little dog can focus when they are guided properly. Here you will see that Rico (a Chiquaqua / Minpin rescue dog from the Maui Humane Society) keeps his attention on Celia and goes after the task with “rocket speed”. Celia has a done a great job of showcasing the progressions and versatility of her training skills. These types of off leash results are attainable by implementing consistent training progressions using the Sit Means Sit protocols.

Aloha & Enjoy

Sit Means Sit Hawaii
Call for FREE Demo
283 3647 (DOGS)

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