Teach a Dog How to Sit

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teach dog how to sit

There are many ways to teach the cue "sit" to your dog. Some still use the archaic method of pulling straight up on the leash, attached to the collar, and then push the butt or put pressure on the hips of the dog until the dog forcibly sits.This is one way to teach it, but many times the dog doesn't learn sit, it just realizes you touch their butt and when they put it to the floor you stop pushing. This can lead to the dog only sitting if you say "sit" but then have to touch the dog's butt as a signal, same as popping the leash.  Many dogs only sit if they get that pop on the leash. Pushing down on the dogs hips can sometimes cause damage to the hips themselves. I want to try and teach you the positive way of teaching sit.

If you haven't read how to use a clicker, then please do so, clicker is a faster and better way to train. If not use the word "yes" as your marker, to tell your dog they did the right thing, they earned a treat. Also figure out what release word you'd like to use. I have used "done" or "free", something not heard in allot of everyday conversation, you'll need that when you teach Stay also. Get them use to not moving around until they hear a release word. Also, praise let me say, when you praise, please pet them UNDER the chin not on top of the head, and tell them "good dog" or "good Boy/Girl". They need to feel good about themselves and what they have done, not feel like you're dominating them by patting them on the head. Also don't put the cue in the praise, don't say "good sit", the dog has done sit already, why would you want to confuse them by telling them to sit again when they are already doing so?

Sit: How many dog’s know sit? Do they sit every time you ask? Do you have to repeat word? Or force them, or pop leash .First we teach the action, then we add the cue word when the action becomes reliable. We teach a hand signal with the action. Dogs communicate with sound and body language, they will pick up on your hand signal faster than your cue word.

The "sit" Hand signal I use is: flat palm FACING UP, from about your knee, use a sweeping upward motion towards your shoulder, like tossing a softball underhanded.

How we teach it:

Put your small soft moist Treat between thumb and index finger, palm open with other 3 fingers open and facing up, (looks like sign language's letter  F#

Hold treat slightly in front of dogs nose, slowly move treat to between the dogs ears, then move it towards their shoulder blades.

Dog’s bottom should go to the floor, mark it using click or word and treat it. PRAISE then RELEASE them with your word.

If dog backs up: say #Negative Word Marker# "eh-eh", take treat away and try it again, this time hold treat further away from nose, you may have had it to close.

If he jumps up: say NWM, take treat away, and try again, this time holding treat a bit closer to nose.

When they become reliable #90%# with hand signal then start adding word “sit” to action, as their butt hits floor.

Do this maybe 3-4 times then stop, start in a non distracting area first, then gradually in more difficult areas with distraction, in every room of your home.

Dogs do not generalize, so you must practice it every where. Try and do as many as possible, but practice in short burst, 3-4 times then wait for an hour or 2 then do 3-4 again.

You can also wait and catch the behavior, if you have a treat in your hand most dogs will try and figure out how to get it, if they jump up ignore, they may bark, look away, they may spin around, ignore it, when they finally "sit" then say yes or click and give treat.

Make sure when you treat the "sit" behavior the butt remains on the floor while you give them the treat, if they jump up say #NWM), uh-uh, and wait for the butt to go back to the floor, then give it to them, praise. Then after they swallow, then release them, if they get up before you release? Again Uh-uh, and have them sit again, but this time make sure and dole out the soft moist treat your using slowly, and then when they get to the last piece squished from your fingers, then say release word. Once they get this, which dogs may have to do this 2000-3000 times, they will know what you're asking for. Stop clicking, once they know what sit means and they are doing so for you with no problems.Then, start to randomly treat, don't treat every time any more, do so every 3rd sit, give treat, then treat every 4th, then every 5th, then every 6th, then go back to every 2nd, then  go to every 7th, then every 4th, then every 8th, but you will always praise, that is a lifetime reward.  Good luck, find out how much fun training can actually be.

More to come.