Dogs associate their state of being with the command.
The human discriminates between cause and effect…and to him they usually matter.
However, this acuity of perception can be overridden by a training technique I call ‘molding’.
One may train a child easily using the same principle as the long leash on the dog and the ‘come’ command.
For example, you wish your child to sit down on the floor. You speak her name first, but only in the moment she is looking at you. Use a light calm tone: “Jenny.” Of course, Jenny is already looking at you, so her state of attention toward you and the hearing of her name are associated.
Next, kneel close by, and push carefully in at the back of her knees, settling her to the floor…’molding’ her, as you simultaneously say, “Sit down.” As soon as you complete the motion and command, praise her. Do not thank. Praise. “Jenny, you sat down right away. That’s the way. I’m impressed!”
The principle is simple overall. Always make sure the child is in, or entering the state you desire, or is being induced to remain or enter the state you desire while you are giving the command.
Jenny does not care if she looked at you because you called her name, or if you called her name because she looked at you. Nor does she care if she was already starting to sit down when you told her to sit, or if it was you who induced her to sit as she heard the instruction to do so.
Let’s not be frustrated parents who are demanding or cajoling; begging the child to follow our request. This is only reinforcing behavior contrary to the training.
Let’s keep it simple.