Teaching your dog to sit is a very important skill for you and your dog to master. Not only is this the first step in dog training, but it teaches your dog the very foundation for all other skills to come. Sit commands are an essential first step for any training session and can teach your dog how to listen and obey you. There are many different types of sit commands, but the one that most people use and love is the sit-stay-fetch technique. This technique teaches your dog three important lessons.
First, when your dog responds to the sit command, offer him food or a treat. Do not reward him immediately, as he will be too shocked to the reward to respond. Instead, offer him a toy, or a piece of his favorite dog food. The idea is to get him used to the idea of the sit command before rewarding him for good behavior. Some dogs have a natural instinct to sit on command, while others have learned to do it by repetition.
Second, the sit command is taught through repetition, so don’t forget to train your dog! Dogs learn best when they are involved in the training process. So, while your dog is sitting on the ground, repeat his sit command over until he understands it. Continue this practice for a few days, until he has become familiar and comfortable with the idea of the sit command.
Third, you can train your dog to sit by distracting him from whatever is causing him to sit down. For example, if your dog is chewing on something, offer him a treat to distract him, then give him the command to sit. If your dog is focused on barking, offer him a tasty treat or distraction that he can concentrate on. You can also distract your dog by talking loudly, or giving him a treat. Once your dog focuses his attention on the command, give him the treat.
Fourth, keep in mind that a sit command is just a beginning gesture and should be used in a controlled manner only. Your dog will soon learn to respond to your commands in other constructive ways. Don’t use the set command as a way to punish him, as this will teach him to be afraid of you. Use the sit command only to reward good behavior, such as sitting calmly when asked.
Fifth, be patient. Your dog will need to work a little longer before he learns to sit, but don’t let that discourage you! The rewards will be well worth the wait. Remember, it usually takes about 10 days for a dog to become familiarized with a particular sit command. Use the five-step process described above, to speed up the process.
After about ten days, your dog will have learned the sit command and other things, and you can use the command word as much as you like. It is important to praise your dog whenever he obeys your command word. Never scold your dog when he doesn’t sit, or otherwise punish him for not following the instructions. That only makes him fear you, which is exactly what you don’t want to do! Show him love and appreciation, and he’ll look forward to doing it again.
Dog training is a fun and rewarding experience. With time, patience, and consistency, you will train your dog to perform many tricks and become an asset to you and your family. Using the clicker training technique described above is a very useful, and very effective training technique to train your dog to sit.