Teaching your dog to sit is not as hard as it may seem. It is not even as difficult as training your own dogs. Teaching your dog to sit, will teach him a life-long lesson about what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Sit may not even be the first command your dog will learn; however, sitting on command is one of the most basic dog training commands and will teach your dog about submission and discipline.
Teach your dog to sit by using your voice and body communication together. Find a quiet, comfortable spot to practice and bring along your clicker, dog treats and perhaps a cup of water to offer encouragement and incentive. Once you have taught your dog to sit, remove the lure and treat and offer him the water. Slowly, and gently guide him towards the dog crate and then into the sitting position.
Stand with your legs apart but not too far apart. Give the dog the treat and the water and then tell him to sit. When he complies begin with the same procedure you did earlier. Put the lure between his nose and the ground and move it around until you hear it click. Your dog should begin to understand that if he wants the reward he must sit.
This process can be used whenever you want to teach a new skill or two. You can use this method to teach him to sit every time you take him out for a walk or even on a summer day when you want to keep your dog off the couch. It is important that the two of you are using the same command to teach him. You do not want your dog thinking that you are switching methods. In fact, you want them to associate the “sit” command with the action of the two different hands.
The next step is to teach your dog to release the sit command when you give the dog the treat and the water. The simplest way to teach your dog this is to have him sit in one place and then say “release” while making the “sit” command. Do not move your body while making the release command. When your dog obeys praise him and give him the treat and water. Repeat this exercise until your dog understands what you want him to do. When he releases the sit command to release the “release cue”.
The final step is to start moving your body so that your dog can see you move and be more likely to follow your lead. Start by putting your body together and resting your elbows on the ground at shoulder level. Put your feet flat on the floor while standing still, but don’t actually put your legs underneath the table yet. Now put your hand on the bottom of your dog’s back while you hold onto his leash. The idea here is to let your dog see that you are moving so he will begin to follow you.
The first step of the exercise above is to tell your dog “sit” and then move your body until your dog has already followed you. The second step is to give your dog a treat while you are in the sitting position. The third step is to give your dog another treat when he has already released the sit command. Continue repeating the steps above until your dog knows exactly what you want him to do. This exercise is important because if your dog doesn’t learn to do what you ask, you will have to do it again until he gets it.
Keep trying new things with your dog and don’t give up. If your dog responds well to one reward but not another, don’t give up. Eventually, your dog will start to recognize what you want him to do and will be able to take one step at a time toward learning how to sit.