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8 Things you should know when learning how to train a dog to sit

The first step in dog training is teaching your dog to sit. To begin this process, it is important to start when the dog is just a puppy, or as soon as it gets settled into its new home. Why do I need to train a puppy to sit? you might ask. After all, doesn’t a dog already know how to sit? If you keep reading, you’ll learn why this early training is important, as well as exactly how to train a dog to sit.

  1. The first step is to get your puppy to sit on his own. Be observant and whenever you see him about to sit, say the word ‘sit’; eventually he will come to associate the word with his action. This method is also useful in other areas of training.
  2. Find the dog a delectable treat and place one in your hand. The puppy should be able to swallow the treat quickly and easily so be sure it is small.
  3. Get to the same level as the dog by sitting on the floor. He feels less threatened if you sit. More importantly, you are closer to the dog so he can be rewarded faster.
  4. Get your dog to sit on his own by moving the treat over the puppy’s head in a very slow movement. He will get him to follow its movement with he’s nose because of the smell it emits. By doing so, he’ll have two choices: He could back up, or he could just sit down. Considering that sitting down is the easiest thing to do, he will do just that.
  5. As he sits, immediately say “sit” and reward him with a treat. This is key in all training. The reward has to be given at the same moment the dog responds correctly.
  6. More than a treat, your dog looks for your approval so you should also reward him with that. Your approval for a job well done should be apparent in both the tone of your voice, and body language.
  7. Repeat these steps not more than 5 times in a row, but you can repeat the steps multiple times each day.
  8. During the next stage, you should try the following steps while standing. Check to see if your dog responds to the word ‘sit’ without a treat, or a hand motion. If he does, praise him. If not, don’t worry about it. Never show your lack of confidence in the dog while training it just simply wait patiently for him to sit, then dole out the rewards.

You need to keep practicing this so that your dog your dog will learn to sit when you tell him to no matter what’s happening around him. This is something you’ll have to keep working at for the rest of his life. He will constantly be faced with new situations, strange people, other dogs, and different environments, and you can use each new experience as a way to challenge him to reach greater heights.

Learning how to train a dog to sit will reward you in many ways. When you begin training, the puppy learns to respond to his name and becomes accustomed to training and your commands. You earn the puppy’s respect as his or her master, and in turn your pet will feel safe and secure. At the end of the day, you will both know you’re a great match!

Lee Dobbins

Lee Dobbins writes for where you can learn more about dog breeds and dog care.

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