I tried a group sit with Fozzie and Dahlia, and he would just watch them sit and remain standing.
I tried some intensive efforts just trying to lure his head up with a really good treat in my hand, and he stood on his hind legs to reach it.
I rewarded that as Stand is one of my favorite tricks, but then I thought it was stupid to teach him to Stand before he learned to sit as many adopters might not be thrilled at that skill set absent the more sedate ones.
I was a bit stymied by the difficulty for Marshal of learning Sit, as it is such a great building block for impulse control exercises--and an important position for the most appealing profile pictures. I think sometimes shy dogs are slower to learn tricks and skills because--just as in humans--their insecurity gets in the way of advanced cognitive function.
Then Chewy.com offered a series of free snacks including True Chews Premium Jerky Cuts with Real Chicken.
These are high-value jerky snacks with few ingredients and no sugar. They are chewy jerky snacks, easy to give as a larger chew or to break up into small pieces for training treats. Maybe a really good treat would provide the motivation Marshal needed?
I rounded everyone up in the kitchen with a handful of True Chews bits. The dogs seemed very aware that I had high-value treats in hand, as they followed me with their eyes and noses. And as my hand went up in the signal for sit, Dahlia's little butt immediately went down--and Marshal's did too!
Maybe he'd been watching Dahlia all along, and saving up his performance for maximum impact. Or maybe he was insecure about giving it a try, and the high-value treat made him all of a sudden feel successful. Either way, Marshal executed several high-quality sits in exchange for some high-value True Chews.