Teaching the Sit Command

August 29, 2015

 

Getting your puppy or dog to sit on command is a good place for you to start your obedience training, and a really useful skill for them to learn. It is a great alternative behaviour to request of your dog if they are doing undesirable behaviour and help you gain control.  Once your dog has mastered the sitting skill they can move onto further basic obedience training, such as ‘Paw’ or ‘Down’.

 

What is the aim?
Your puppy or dog will sit promptly on your command.

 

When should I teach this?

Anytime. It should be one of the first skills learned and continuously reinforced throughout their life.

 

What do I need?

Treats and favourite toys

 

Keep training sessions short, five minutes is enough, especially for a young puppy. 

 

Method one for very young puppies

  1. As you see them about to sit, say ‘Sit’ in a very clear voice

  2. Reward them immediately, this can be a praise, toy or treat, they quickly catch on to what they are being rewarded for.

  3. When your dog begins sitting to a vocal command, add a hand gesture, bending your arm at your elbow and lifting your hand when you say ‘sit’

 

Method two for older puppies and dogs off lead

 

Use a treat, or your dog’s favourite toy to get your dog’s attention.

  1. Hold the treat in your hand and lift it up and back over their head. Their nose should follow the treat making them look upwards. As their head goes up, their bottom should go down.

  2. Give the ‘sit’ command at the same time that their bottom touches the floor.

  3. Give the treat and praise your dog.

  4. As your dog begins to understand the command you can stop luring with the treat and give the ‘sit’ command, treating for a correct response.

  5. Initially you may need to wait for a few seconds before your dog realises they need to sit to get the food.

  6. Your dog will not always want to sit, but with frequent repetition, it will come.

  7. When your dog begins sitting to a vocal command, add a hand gesture, bending your arm at your elbow and lifting your hand when you say ‘sit’

 

Method three for older puppies and dogs on lead

 

If the above methods do not appear to work.

  1. Stand with your dog to your side both facing the same way

  2. Hold the lead straight up above the collar

  3. Gently press down on your dog's backs, between the hips

  4. Say ‘sit’

  5. As soon as your dog is sitting, praise and reward them.

  6. When your dog begins sitting to a vocal command, add a hand gesture, bending your arm at your elbow and lifting your hand when you say ‘sit’

 

 

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