You'll get a lot of mileage out of the following methods:
- Start small and work your way up. Your dog can't learn SIT in the kitchen and then just do it instantly when she's at the dog park playing with a group of other dogs. Teach new skills in a low distraction area and work your way up to higher and higher distractions. And, try your best not to ask for too much too soon - you can't teach COME and expect to call your dog off of a cat after only a hew days of work on that cue.
- Teach the skill in many areas. After teaching a SIT in your home, teach it out in the backyard, then the front yard, then out on a walk, then in an unfamiliar place, then at the pet store, then the dog park, and so on.
- Have other people teach your dog the behavior. If your dog will SIT for you, ask friends and family to ask for a SIT and have them reward your dog with petting, praise, and treats.
- REWARD, REWARD, REWARD. I heavily reinforce Buddy for his recall because I need to be able to call him away from things and other dogs instantly (Buddy has a knack for getting into trouble). He will turn on a dime and happily fly at me when I call him to COME. That is a beautiful sight to see and it is the payoff you can get when you REWARD, REWARD, REWARD.
Cara, Austin Dog Trainer