HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DOG TO SIT
I highly recommend training your dog to sit reliably on command. This should be one of the first things that you and your dog learn in basic dog obedience training. I’m not talking about your dog sitting because you’re holding a treat in your hand. Nor am I talking about your dog sitting after you have repeatedly told it to. I’m talking about a sit that happens immediately after you say the command once, and that eventually happens without a command, any time your dog anticipates something from you.
Start training your dog to sit as soon as you get it, even if it’s a barely weaned puppy. It’s one of the easiest things to teach your dog, especially if you expect your dog to do it a lot.
Many people train their dogs to sit while they and their dog face each other. I recommend that when you first train your dog to sit, you teach it while it is next to you. The reason for this is that you can then teach it to sit as part of your stopping routine when you are leash training your dog. If your dog has been trained to sit while next to you, it will sit down next to you when you tell it to sit while on a walk. However, if your dog has been trained that when you say “sit,” it should be in front of you, it will automatically come out in front of you to sit, which is a problem for when you are ready to start walking, again, or if you are at a busy street corner.
When training your dog to sit, have it next to you on its leash. Say “sit,” and bring your right hand (if your dog is on your left) up from in front of your dog’s nose, and back over your dog’s head. Your palm should be facing up. With your other hand, pull up and back on the leash. If your dog follows your hand with its eyes as your hand goes back over its head, it will be thrown off balance a little bit; and this may be enough to get it to sit. As soon as your dog’s rump touches the ground, reinforce it with praise and a treat (or attention).
If the above is not enough to cause your dog to sit, then position your hand at the base of your dog’s tail, and bring it down over your dog’s tail and anal area, using a slight pressure, as if you’re trying to curl your dog’s tail under its body. Pull back and up on your dog’s collar with your other hand. This will require you to turn to face your dog, but don’t worry about that.
You may need to repeatedly guide your dog into sitting, while saying "sit," before your dog starts sitting on its own. Always reinforce your dog, with something that it likes, for sitting quickly after the command, even if you have had to guide it into the sit.
Keep treats hidden, until you are ready to give one to your dog, to avoid teaching your dog to sit only when it sees a treat. Also, only reward your dog for sitting, if it sits right after you say "sit" the first time.Once you have taught your dog to sit, the next step is to
teach your dog to stay.
For a full explanation of how to train your dog,
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