Training

3 minutes reading time (613 words)

Training your dog to sit like you

The trick of "sitting up" is easily taught to small dogs, but should try not be included in a big dog's grooming, as it is difficult for them to uphold their balance.

The training of sitting up is one of the basic tricks to instruct and forms the groundwork for many other dog tricks. To train a dog to sit up, prepare some treats as a reward, and set your dog on his haunches in a corner, so that he cannot fall either backward or sideways and has very small or no space to lose balance.

Keep him from shifting ahead by holding one hand below his chin and with the other hand hold the treat above his nose and keep repeating distinctly and purposely say, "sit up." Do not make him sit up too long at any one time, however repeat the lesson oftentimes and reward him often with plentiful of praise and treats.

During his first lesson he will demand considerable help from your hand to prevent him from shifting ahead, however as he gets master of the balancing muscles and understands what you want, he will depend less and less upon your hand to keep him in position and you can step by step provide him less assistance until you will only have to keep one hand in position two or three inches from his neck or chin, so as to be ready to prevent him pitching forward; later on you can withdraw this hand totally and just hold the treat just above the level of his head.

By continual practise he will sit up well after you groomed him up; then he should be set up against the wall, so as to give him a support for his back only, and after he has been well groomed at this and can keep his position easily, practice him against chair legs, cushions or other objects that afford him less and less assistance, until finally he learns to preserve his balance and sits up without anything to lean against.

During all these lessons the words "sit up" have been motivated upon his mind by regular repetition, and now comes the final lesson to teach him to sit up as soon as he hears the words, and the chances are, if he has been diligently drilled, it will be essential only to call him out in the room, show him a treat, hold it up a desirable distance from the floor, say "sit up" and he will do so, when he should be given the treat while still in position.

The only requisite to perfection is to practice him several times a day until he will sit up at the word and without being shown a reward; that can be given him after he has obeyed.

You have now a foundation for several other tricks. He can be taught to beg by moving your hand up and down just in front of his paws, which he will move in unison with yours. He can also be taught to salute by bringing one paw up to the side of his head, or to hold a wooden pipe in his mouth, or to wear a cap on his head or other articles of wearing apparel.

In teaching a dog to submit to being dressed up, do not attempt to get him to wear too many things at once; try him at first with a cap and after he becomes habitual to that you can put on a coat and gradually habituate him to the other clothing articles.

Enjoy teaching your dog the "sit up" trick and most importantly have fun along the way!

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