Teaching your dog to sit is generally fairly easy, because most dogs naturally sit with no instruction needed. “Sit” is perhaps the most important basic dog training instruction that every dog needs to know. It’s a means to help your dog focus on you and establish a bit of order in your pack. Once they’ve learned to sit, it’ll be much easier to teach them other commands such as “stay” and “heel.”
In this article: part one, we gave you some good general information about teaching your dog to sit. In part two, we’ll cover the specifics. Dogs will often learn to sit because it helps them establish a sense of order in their pack. That order could be subverted and confused, but dogs will always sit when you give them a cue signaling that they’re to sit. This means that they listen to you and follow your instructions.
This means that the main purpose of teaching “how to train a dog to sit” is to reinforce the right behavior. Your dogs will learn how to sit and stay for you if you make sure that they get positive reinforcement for that behavior. If you mess up, you can’t just yell at them and punish them, which is what some people recommend. All that does is make them confused and weaken their ability to control their own behaviors.
The way I would recommend reinforcing your dog’s behavior is through treats and praise. The treats can come in the form of dog cookies, small gifts, or even a clicker (which can be found online). Each time your dog does something that you ask, you simply click or snap your fingers as you give him a treat and praise him. The click or snap is his reward, and he learns that he gets his treat when he follows your instructions.
You might wonder why I said in the first paragraph that a dog might be confused about what you want him to do. In the dogs’ world, there are only two things that matter: your commands and the rewards of doing what you want. They don’t care what other things happen in the dog’s world. Your pet doesn’t care if the dog bites the dog, scratches the dog, or doesn’t obey your commands. As long as he’s still getting his daily serving of food, water, and land (the basics), he’ll keep going with that routine.
So, the question is how do you use this to train your puppy to sit? The first thing that you have to remember is that you shouldn’t reward your dog until he has actually performed the behavior that you want. If he’s not performing an action that you want, don’t give him any treats. You might get angry at him for continuing to disobey you, but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to stop completely. Training him to “stay” will require that he do what you say, and that means he must first realize that there are rewards beyond food and water.
Once your dog has learned to stay on his own, he can be taught to release cue (or “go sit”) by simply moving his body toward your sitting area. When his back touches the ground, your hand will go down and push him back up. He has to follow your command, release cue, sit up, and then stand up. The important thing here is that he learns to release cue, and then you can reward him with treats.
In general, when a dog responds according to your instruction, praise him, and give him treats. It’s as simple as that. If your dog is misbehaving, don’t waste time yelling at him, scolding him, or using other harsh methods. Use positive reinforcement and praise and your dog will quickly learn how to behave appropriately.