How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Teaching a Dog to Sit
Teaching a dog to sit is one of the basic early training exercises that
As your dog will naturally sit many times during the day, you can simply say 'sit' as they are sitting. Then praise them. They will then get to associate sitting with the word and the praise. Watch for them beginning to sit and say 'sit' as they sit. Do not bother say 'sit' after the dog has been sitting for more than a couple of seconds (it will not associate the word with the action).
If you can lift their head and attention up, their backside may well naturally go down. A simple way to do this with treats is:
Another way to raise their attention is to step a little in towards them. They will need to raise their head to watch your face and may drop their bottom. If all they do is to step back then try another method.
If the above methods do not work, you can try this method.
If the dog fights against the leash or plays with it, you will first need to get them used to having the leash put on before moving on to a sit. To get them used to the leash, first reward them when you put it on, then reward them further for not trying to grab it. Gradually extend this period in the usual way.
Other notes to consider:
Sitting is a natural position for a dog and they will naturally take this pose when they are resting but want to remain reasonably alert. Teaching the dog to sit is not really teaching them new tricks, but rather is about teaching them to sit on command.
Why do we teach dogs to sit? To make them immobile and stop them wandering around the place. We also use 'sit' rather than 'lie down' because lying down puts the dog in a lower, inferior, more vulnerable position.
If the dog is not interested in the treat you are offering, try something else (different food, praise, scratching, etc.) or try at another time or in a different place. In other words, find what works for your dog. Be flexible.
If your dog decides to sit when they know you have a treat in their hand, teach them other tricks so they learn that they have to listen to and obey a particular command before obeying. A good one may be to stand (as they are already sitting). Rewarding them for sitting before they are told to sit only teaches them to do this every time.
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