How to teach a dog to sit?

April 13, 2012

Teaching a dog to do tricks is one of the rewarding accomplishments of having a dog. A dog owner will certainly be proud if with a mere click of a finger or with a single word command understanding would flash on the dog’s face and it would obey with alacrity. Teaching the dog to sit is probably the easiest and the most basic trick you can teach your pet. Dogs already know how to sit but the objective of the training is to teach the dog to follow your “Sit” command. This is most valuable whenever the dog is acting up and it needs to be calmed. A dog that has perfected the sit command is ready to learn other tricks.

Make the sessions short and fun. It would entice the dog to follow your commands thus it would learn quickly. It would be best if you can conduct the training in a location that has few distractions. Dogs have short attention span and would easily get distracted by noises or by other people. Arm yourself with the dog’s favorite treats. Be sure the treats are soft and small enough to be eaten and swallowed easily by the dog. A treat that has to be gnawed or chewed will distract the dog. Even before the training is started it would help the dog to understand the command if you would say “sit” whenever you see the dog sitting. This will familiarize the dog to the command.

With a piece of treat in your hand, bend down to the level of the dog. In this position you will be less threatening to the dog. Bring the hand holding the treat over the dog’s head gradually. As the dog smells the treat in your hand it would point its nose upwards. By moving your hand over the head to the dog’s back, the dog will either back up while standing or it would sit on its haunches. Most dogs would sit as it is easier to do. Soon as you see the dog sit, say the “sit” command and give a treat. The treat must be associated by the dog to performing the command. The dog may jump at the treat in your hand. If this happens, you are probably holding the treat too high. Practice 3 to 5 times every day but take care not to overdo the training sessions so as not to bore the dog.

Once the dog has almost perfected the trick, you can change location. A side street or the park will do this time to test if you can hold the attention of the dog in spite of the distractions. Also, you can lessen the giving of treats. Lavishly praise the dog instead every time it obeys the sit command.

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