Got Thirty Minutes Teach Your Dog to Sit

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Got Thirty Minutes Teach Your Dog to Sit

by Don Sloan

Here's the complete low-down:

The Sit Command is one of the easiest commands to teach your dog during dog training. The reason? It involves tactile (touch), the leash and collar combo, and praise (one of the most important ingredients in dog training).

Here?s the basic routine for the ?Sit? command: position your dog by your left side, with the ?pinch? collar (or the collar of your choice) in place around your dog?s neck. Your dog probably will be standing on your left, tongue hanging out, wondering what?s next. Yup, yup ? what?s next?

It?s simple. Every command sequence follows basically the same routine, a standard in programming dog behavior: a minimum of words, tactile reinforcement of the command (until they start associating the command with the action), and praise ? lots and lots of praise (when the action is completed correctly :-)

Here?s how it goes in sequence: Call the dog by name, speak the command, and follow through with touch.

In this case, for my dog, it would be ?Honey! Sit!? spoken in a commanding tone. The first time, your puppy dog will not have any idea what you mean. So, with your right hand, you will pull up on the leash while pushing down on the dog?s hindquarters with your left hand. Forcibly, if need be.

The combination of the two actions may bring a surprised yelp and a bit of struggle. But gently (and firmly) pull up with your right hand, and push down with your left. The dog really has no choice but to comply, and as he or she does so, lavish them with praise.

As I said, the first time for the sit command will be a new experience for you both. But the second time will be a bit easier. And the third, and the fourth time, as each completed command is followed with praise, you?ll be thinking: ?this dog behavior, dog training thing is a snap? ? but only when the dog?s hindquarters are actually touching the ground can the celebration begin. Then, the reinforcement in the dog behavior will be clearly associated with the command and the subsequent action.

By the time you get to the tenth time, believe it or not, the dog will likely already be in the motion of sitting down as your right hand goes up with the leash, and your left hand is reaching for the dog?s hind end.

Repetition is like magic for dogs! Issue the same command, in the same tone of voice, in the same sequence, as many times as you want to practice this. But I would not try it more than 30 times in a row ? both of you will get bored. Instead, begin practicing the next step, which will be to teach your puppy dog the ?Down!? command.

Don Sloan is an experienced dog trainer who has worked for ten years with the Humane Society, teaching dogs (and their owners) how to get the control and obedience they want! Visit his website at and enjoy the Dog Obedience Journey!

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