How To Teach A Dog To Sit

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How To Teach A Dog To Sit

by Barbara K

Teaching a dog to sit is easily accomplished if you follow a few simple rules and as my own personal experience shows, it can be embarrassing if you don't!

When I was young we had a beautiful, loving and overly boisterous golden labrador called Jackie. Because Mom and Dad had not taught him how to ?sit?, he was always jumping up to greet people. One day a man arrived at our house to see Dad on business and as soon as Jackie saw him he just sort of pounced on him and ended up getting his claws caught in the man's zipper of his pants. Ouch! My red-faced Mom spent the next few minutes trying to extract Jackie from his pants while apologising profusely at the same time. Although looking back it was funny, for Dad it wasn't. The end result ? the poor man couldn't wait to get out of the house so Dad didn't get the business, but he vowed from that moment on Jackie would be trained properly and set about doing it.

So how do you teach your dog to sit?

No distractions

For anyone starting out to teach a dog to sit you need to be in a room on your own with your dog. Grab a few doggy treats and ask your children or partner to give you a few minutes alone, about ten should be enough. If you don't, your dog will become easily distracted by their presence and you'll get nowhere. Remember that a dogs attention span is very short so its better if you repeat what you are trying to teach them later on in the day but again only for short periods of time.

Praise and reward

With the dog in front of you move one of your hands holding a treat over your dogs nose and slowly move it above his head. His nose would have picked up the smell of his treat so he'll know what you are holding. This action of moving the treat above his head should make his nose and eyes follow the scent and he should sit down as a result. If he doesn't a gentle push on his backside should give him the idea. As soon as he is sitting give him lots of praise and the reward. Repeat this a few times and he should be getting the idea of what you want him to do.


Now you can bring the command into the equation. Again use the action as before but this time speak a firm ?sit? while you are moving your hand. He will begin to associate the command with the action you want him to do but again repetition is the key to his understanding. Always follow with lots of praise and of course give him his expected treat.

Phase out the treat

With patience on your part and constant repetition of the technique you will be able to get to the point where he will sit on command without receiving a treat at the end. So try it, phase out the treat and give lots more praise instead when he sits for you.

Daily routine

Once the treat has been phased out you can bring in the ?sit? command into your general day to day routine. Get your dog to ?sit? before he receives his dinner or before you give him his ball or any other toy. Other family members can take part now to reinforce the command so that he understands that the result of the command is expected of him no matter who asks it.

So teaching your dog to sit is achieved quite easily by the use of constant repetition. Ultimately your dog should be able to sit on command whenever he is asked, wherever he is and with whoever is around. By using the technique shown here there is every reason to believe that he will. With your patience and understanding you will be rewarded with a dog that will be a joy to behold and a delightful companion to boot and not the least bit embarrassing.

If you need help in trying to train your dog, come along to where you'll find techniques that are certain to stop your dog's bad behavior.

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