Teaching your new puppy to sit is undoubtedly one of the most important things you can do and you should begin this rewarding task as soon as you bring him to his new home. The steps below will show you exactly how to train a dog to sit.
1. The first step is to get your puppy to sit on his own. Be observant and whenever you see him about to sit, say the word ‘sit'; eventually he will come to associate the word with his action. This method is also useful in other areas of training.
2. Next you want to reward him with a treat. You should use his favorite but be sure to break it into small pieces so he can eat them quickly.
3. Get to the same level as the dog by sitting on the floor. He feels less threatened if you sit. More importantly, you are closer to the dog so he can be rewarded faster.
4. Bring the treat over your puppy's head gradually. Remember that your dog has a keen sense of smell and his nose will naturally follow the path of the treat. As the treat is moving from the front of him to the back, he can do one of two things to keep following it. He will either back up while still on his feet or he'll sit down. Sitting down is easier and this is what most dogs will do.
5. The instant the dog sits, say “sit” and offer the treat. The timing of the reward is the most important part of training. It must be given exactly when the dog does the behavior you want.
6. Sometimes rewards can be more than just treats so the next step is to praise him. Show joy with your voice and your body language.
7. This is something you could continue to practice 3-5 times a day. Don't over do it though, as moderation is important, unless you are able to make these steps as fun for the dog as they are for you.
8. During the next stage, you should try the following steps while standing. Check to see if your dog responds to the word ‘sit' without a treat, or a hand motion. If he does, praise him. If not, don't worry about it. Never show your lack of confidence in the dog while training it just simply wait patiently for him to sit, then dole out the rewards.
It is important that the dog understands that the sit command is not optional. Regardless of distractions in the surrounding environment he must respond. To reinforce the command use it often and require that the dog comply 100% of the time. Socialize your dog by exposing him to a variety of other people, pets and locations. Teaching him to obey the sit command in a variety of situations will enhance his training and help confirm his understanding and compliance.
Learning how to train a dog to sit will reward you in many ways. When you begin training, the puppy learns to respond to his name and becomes accustomed to training and your commands. You earn the puppy's respect as his or her master, and in turn your pet will feel safe and secure. At the end of the day, you will both know you're a great match!
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