Teaching Your Dog To Sit

Teaching your dog to sit is usually very easy, most dogs 'get it' quickly and the 'Sit' command is usually the first obedience lesson a puppy learns.

Golden Retriever puppy learning the 'sit' command

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!

Teaching the 'Sit' command is definitely the easiest lesson for him to learn, and for you to teach.

It's also very versatile and can be the starting point for many (more advanced) lessons.

But the process is the same whether you're teaching an 8 week old pup, or an 8 year old dog.

Just follow these simple guidelines and Fido won't even know you're 'training' him because he's having so much fun. It's the perfect starting point.......

How To Teach Your Dog To Sit

Train your dog to obey the 'Sit' command by following these simple steps....

Print these steps by clicking on 'Print' button below.

Dog Training Commands - 'Sit'

  1. Start out by getting a pocketful of tasty dog training treats.

  2. Attach your pup's leash to  his collar (so he can't run off when he gets distracted... and he WILL get distracted!).

  3. Get his attention focused on you by saying his name.

  4. Then show your puppy one of the treats and let him sniff it.. but not eat it, yet. 

  5. Slowly raise the treat up in front of his eyes and over the top of his head towards his back.

  6. At the same time say 'Fido sit' in a happy, but firm and encouraging voice - don't make it a question, it's a command, but say it lovingly too!

  7. Your little guy will try to follow the treat with his nose and in doing so his little bottom will naturally go down as his head goes back (most times!). 

  8. As soon as his butt hits the floor, say 'Good sit!' in a happy voice and give him the treat and a little bit of petting.

  9. Then get him standing up and repeat the whole thing.

TIP.... TIP.... TIP.... TIP....

Sometimes a puppy will back up his whole body rather than just move his nose up and his head down.

If this happens, encourage him to come back towards you with the treat and then try again.

Patience is the key when it comes to any type of puppy and dog training!

If you've tried several times and your pup still just doesn't seem to get it, you can use the hand that's not holding the treat to gently press down on his rump at the same time as the other hand raises the treat over his head and you say 'Fido sit'.

This is a last resort, but sometimes it's necessary for the first couple of times so that your pup realizes what it is you want him to do without getting too confused or upset.

Once he's sat and had his treat, get him up and repeat. Soon he'll understand and you won't need to help him into the sit position....

.... and Voila! That's all there is to teaching the 'Sit' command.

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.

Check out this article on her website to learn more.... caninefitness.com

More Basic Dog Commands:

› Teaching Your Dog To Sit

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