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Teaching Your Dog To Sit
Teaching your dog to sit is usually very easy, most dogs 'get it' quickly. The 'Sit' command is also usually the first obedience lesson a puppy learns.
A puppy is like the proverbial 'blank slate' and he's desperate to please you... this means that teaching him basic commands is easier now than it will ever be.
Like human kids, puppies absorb their lessons quickly and completely and something that's been learned during the early months will never be hard-wired into his little brain!
The process is the same whether you're teaching an 8 week old pup, or an 8 year old dog.
Adult dogs may take a little longer to learn (but not always) and a dog of any age can be taught basic commands.
Teaching the 'Sit' command is definitely the easiest lesson for Fido to learn, and for you to teach. It's also very versatile and can be the starting point for many (more advanced) lessons.
How To Teach Your Dog To Sit
Start out by getting a pocketful of tasty dog training treats
Attach your pup's leash to his collar
Get his attention focused on you by saying his name.
Then show your puppy one of the treats and let him sniff it.. but not eat it, yet.
Slowly raise the treat up in front of his eyes and over the top of his head towards his back.
Simultaneously say 'Fido sit' in an firm, upbeat voice. Don't make it a question, it's a command.
Your dog will try to follow the treat upward with his nose, and his rear end will naturally go down
As soon as his butt hits the floor, say 'Good sit!' in a happy voice and give him a treat and praise
Stand him up and repeat the whole process.
TIP.... TIP.... TIP.... TIP....
Sometimes, when trying to follow the treat with his nose, Fido will back up his whole body rather than just move his nose up and his head down.
If this happens, simply encourage him to come back towards you with the treat and then try again.
You can use your hand on his rump to gently encourage him into the right position to begin with if necessary.
.... and Voila! That's all there is to teaching your dog to sit.
Here's a short video from the 'For Dummies' franchise (one of my favorites!) that demonstrates exactly what I've explained above.
It will help you see how to move the treat so that your pup naturally goes into the sitting position.
It also has some extra tips including how often to practice and how to phase out the treats once your puppy 'gets it'......
Do be sure to practice teaching your dog to sit regularly, I'd recommend two or three times a day at least, doing maybe half a dozen repetitions each time.
Don't forget to keep ALL training sessions short and sweet at this point though, puppies are babies remember, and they have very short attention spans.
You want to keep him having fun, not getting bored or tired.
Why teaching your dog to Sit 'Pretty' or 'Sit & Beg' isn't good
It may look cute when Fido or Fifi sit up on their rear legs, and teaching the 'Sit Pretty' command is pretty (sorry!) popular, but it may not be good for your dog's health.
Laurie Edge-Hughes, an Animal Physiotherapist believes that because a dog's body isn't designed to be positioned in this way, the posture puts all kinds of stress and strain on bones, joints and ligaments which can lead to real problems for Fido down the road.