Learning how to train a dog to sit is an important task for any new dog owner. Training can begin as soon as the puppy is in his new home. While it may not seem important to teach this to your puppy right off the bat, it is a cornerstone to developing a relationship with your dog. Here are some steps on 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.
3. Being on the same level as the dog is less threatening to him, so get down on the floor with him, so that you are at his level. Make sure that you sit close to him — that way you will be able to provide your dog with his reward more quickly.
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. More than a treat, your dog looks for your approval so you should also reward him with that. Your approval for a job well done should be apparent in both the tone of your voice, and body language.
7. Repeat these steps not more than 5 times in a row, but you can repeat the steps multiple times each day.
8. Next, try the same things while standing. See if your dog reacts to the word “sit” even if you don’t use your hand or offer a treat. If he sits, praise him for sitting, but if he doesn’t, don’t worry about it. During training it’s important not to show any disappoint to the dog.
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 on command is not that difficult. Start when your dog is a puppy and, not only will you teach it to sit, but you will find that they love to do other tricks with you as well. By training your dog as a puppy, you will get the dog used to hearing its own name, acting on your command, and being an active participant for other activities. This will get your dog use to having you in charge and make the dog more secure in being part of your family!
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