How to teach “Sit”
- Take a treat and show it to your pet.
- When your dog shows interest in it, he will follow it with his head, trying to get at it.
- Hold the treat above your dog’s head so he looks up, then take it to just behind his nose so that he has to move his head backwards. The only way your dog can reach the treat is to put his bottom on the floor.
- The moment he does so, press your clicker, if you are clicker training, and give him the treat and lots of praise.
- Within a few attempts, your dog will know how to earn his click and treat, and his sit response will get quicker.
- When he fully understands what is expected:
- Introduce a hand gesture which your dog will learn. Use a gesture, like your hand held vertically in front of you, that is consistent among all people training your dog.
- Say “Sit” as your dog sits, so he learns to associate the word with the action.
- Now you have added the cue, with practice you will be able to ask him to sit rather than lure him into position with the treat.
Teaching puppies to sit
Puppies can be full of energy and this can make them difficult to train. Be patient. Wait until your puppy sits, then reward them, saying “Sit”, as they do. If you do this often enough, the pup will learn the command. Follow the tips above for getting dogs to sit. These apply to puppies too.
The sit command is often the first one that puppies learn and it will be useful their entire lives. It also sets up the basic training relationship between dog and handler. Ensure that your pup has a positive experience and they will want to continue learning throughout their life.