Tip – 42 – Dog training – teach your dog to sit
Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic training exercises. Many owners do not teach their dogs this exercise and this is a mistake. When properly taught and executed, the sit command can keep your dog out of trouble and can build up its confidence. It is also a good training tip to know to treat possible behavioral problems involving dominance issues.
Dog training – sit – The procedure
The goal is for the dog to put its bum on the floor with its head up looking at you whenever you say ‘sit’. The dog should already know and respond to its name. (if it doesn’t read this tip first). Start the exercise in a quiet room and use a calm voice. Call your dog by its name and show your dog a treat that it loves and have plenty of other treats in your pocket. While the dog is standing show and hold the treat close to the dog’s nose and then move it just above its head while moving the treat slowly backwards. The dog should naturally get into the sit position by bending its legs. As its legs are bending say ‘sit’. The very second the dog sits, give it the reward and enthusiastically say ‘Good dog!’ and give the dog a petting. If the dog does the wrong thing don’t give any reward and don’t fret, just try again. Keep this up over time until the dog has mastered the exercise. Then continue the training varying the levels of distraction. Slowly decrease the food rewards and substitute them with enthusiastic ‘Good dog!’ praisings and/or pettings.
Additional teaching your dog to sit tips:
- Try this technique before the dog’s mealtime so it is hungry and eager to work for the reward.
- In order to avoid confusion, always use the EXACT same command AFTER the dog’s name (e.g. Rover, ‘sit’ not Rover, ‘sit down’)
- Never fumble around looking for the reward after the dog sits. Have it ready!
- Be patient and never get angry. Dogs pick up on these feelings and won’t want to practice with you if it’s not fun.
- It’s best NOT to push the dog’s bum to the floor with your hands if you are having trouble. The dog might well associate this with the actual training and wait for you to push its bum down in the future. If you are having trouble with this technique then an obedience class with other dogs is a great idea.