It may sound like a common behavior, but sometimes, you may really need your dog to sit down at the right place and time, especially when they are trying to attack a stranger or visitor. If you’ve recently adopted a pup that needs to learn how to sit, then follow the guide below to get your dog to sit obediently on command.
The benefits of training your dog to sit
Teaching your dog to sit comes with a lot of benefits:
- Sitting is the starting position for many other training commands, so if your dog can’t sit, it will be tasking to progress with other forms of training.
- Sitting helps control the behavior of your dog.When your dog gets excited, it moves a lot. So sitting helps to keep your dog still, which helps keep it calm. The sit command helps out on walks when they get frightened or defensive.
- Training your pooch to sit helps them place their focus on you. You always want to make sure your four-legged companion is focused on you when training, and sit helps you achieve that.
There are two popular methods for teaching your dog to sit, which depends on your dog’s love of treats and ability to pay attention.
How to train your dog to sit
Method 1: Use the enticement
The first obstacle your dog will need to overcome is learning exactly what you’re asking them to do. Now, it’s likely that you’ve seen your dog in a seated position already, but how do you get them to understand that position means sit? One way to do that is by luring them into a position by following the steps below;
- Step 1: Grab your pup’s favorite treats.
- Step 2: Hold the treat on the end of its nose, so it can really smell it.
- Step 3: Say, “Sit” as you move your hand in a slow motion back toward the dog’s tail and slightly up. This should make them certainly fall into a seated position.
- Step 4: Praise them and give them the treat.
Method 2: The Physical Demo
Another way to get your dog to sit, particularly if the lure method proved abortive is to physically guide your dog into the proper position. Some dogs need this method if they are particularly high-spirited or don’t respond as well to food enticements.
- Step 1: Do not have a treat in your hand, because your dog will not be able to cooperate.
- Step 2: Place one hand on your dog’s chest, and another on its rear legs.
- Step 3: Say, “Sit,” then press down gently on their rear and slightly back on their chest, which should guide them into a seated position.
- Step 4: Praise and reward.
NOTE: Don’t roughly force your dog into this sitting position, but instead, just gently guide them into what should be a very natural position.
Method 3: Use the clicker
When training a dog, a small “clicker” device can be incredibly helpful. These handy little devices make a simple “click” sound when pressed. But they’re hugely helpful for your dog.
When you reward your dog during training, you often give them treats. But how often are you ready with a treat at the exact moment your dog does the right behavior? Sometimes, if something goes wrong, you’ll be fumbling with treats for a few seconds, which means you lose the valuable immediacy that will link the command with the behavior in your dog’s brain.
With a clicker, the goal is to click immediately the right behavior occurs. So when a dog works on sit, you “click” right as their butt hits the floor, so they understand when the correct behavior happened.
Irrespective of how you trained them, at the start, most dogs get a guide from you at first. Practice sit 5-10 minutes per day to help your dog really shine. As your dog gets better and better, start to remove the guide. If you’re using a treat lure, try to get to a place where you’re not holding the treat, just doing the hand gesture. If you’re physically guiding your dog, start by taking one hand away, then take both.
The goal is to get your dog to sit on just a verbal command, with little to no guidance from you.