Training your dog to ‘‘sit” is an important basic command, yet an important task that your dog must learn. After training your dog to come, it’s probably the second trick that you’ll teach your dog. So how to train your dog to sit?
Sit, is a very easy command to teach, and once mastered it leads to other tricks, such as down, stay, shake a paw, and more.
Before we start, I just have to say, when training dogs, make sure that they are exercised before doing training. Then they will be relaxed and will listen easier because they won’t be bouncing. So, let’s get started.
When training your dog to sit, you should have treats. Although many people train their dogs to sit by pushing their bum down, (I know I have in the past), this is not the best way to teach a dog to sit.
Let the dog know that you have treats, so then he will pay attention to what you’re saying.
Here are 3 simple steps to train your dog to sit:
- Bring out the dog’s treat and hold it inside your hand, and bring it near your dog’s nose, so they lift their head. Then, bring the treat further behind their head. The result should be that they sit down.
- When they do sit, say ‘Sit’, and give them their treat right at the moment that they sit, so that they can link the motion to the word and treat. Once they have mastered sit with the word command, include a hand motion when you say that word.
- If they back up instead of sitting down, you can have them near a wall so they can’t back up. If that doesn’t work, then gently press their back-end, so they understand what you want. Once they do the command, you give them the treat right away and then repeat. Once they have it mastered use a hand signal along with the word ‘sit’.
When they stand up again, repeat step 1. Do this several times in a row. For around 5 minutes each training session, but not longer.
The reason that we use hand commands in combination with verbal commands when training your dog to sit, is that if you are far from the dog and they can see you but can’t hear you, they can do the command, and also as they get older they can still do commands (as they lose their hearing), and the double word plus hand command gives the dog more to learn from.
Here is a simple trick to use:
Do the training at meal-time. Feed them some of their food from your hand as they do they sit so that they earn their meal. It also teaches them to eat gently, and they feel like they earn their meal.
Do not overdo lesson times. Keep lesson time to around less than 5 minutes, so they don’t get bored. Instead of long training sessions, do several short training sessions a day, every day.
Once your dog has mastered ‘sit’, you can now move on to other tricks such as ‘down’ and ‘stay’.
Training your dog to sit is an important task. It can be used if you are far away and you don’t want your dog to move anywhere. They will sit where they are until you say to move. Also, if you do agility or obedience training, this is a basic command that they will need to know.
With our dogs, we like to have them sit before meal times, before they are allowed off the leash, and again before they are put on the leash. They know that if they sit, there is a very good chance that they will get a treat and praise, and probably something that they’ll like. Some people also like to get their dog to sit before it crosses the road.
With all training, never hit or get angry with your dog when you are trying to train them and always be sure to reward them with a treat when they successfully complete the task at hand.