The moment you bring home a cute little puppy, you must convey to them that you are the boss or the leader of the pack. If not, your dog will dominate and disrespect you, and teaching them basic commands at a later age will become a real challenge. As such, you should begin the basic command training right away. Let’s start with ‘how to train a dog to sit at your command’.
Why is it important to train your dog how to sit?
1. For Convenience: You will have a much easier life if your dog knows how to sit and stay still. On most occasions, there are household chores that need to be done without your dog playing around. For instance, if you’re cooking at home and you need your dog to stay at a distance for safety, then you can just command ‘sit’. Another example is if you are cleaning the car and are worried that your dog might run out. If they know the command ‘sit’, then you can go about your usual household chores without having to think about the safety of your dog.
2 For Good Manners: Dogs must learn how to behave whether they are inside or outside the house. Not everyone loves the idea of dogs jumping on them.
This is especially true for those who have big dogs such as a Golden Retrievers, which can easily knock out an individual. Moreover, if you love taking your dog out with you, you would not want them to jump on tables while you eat. It is your duty to make certain that your dog will not misbehave, especially in public areas.
And believe me when I say that even those who are not really fond of dogs will appreciate one that is well-behaved and knows how to sit at your command.
How to train your dog to sit?
1. Preparation: It is very important that you train your puppy in a quiet and serene environment. It could be in your bedroom, the living area or anywhere else as long as the place is quiet. Puppies have the tendency to get distracted easily. This is why you have to choose a place where there are no distractions, like loud noises or people coming in and out of the room. Puppies can concentrate more if they are not distracted by anything or anyone.
2. Understanding: It will take time and patience to teach a puppy how to sit. But sooner or later, you’ll manage it. Make sure that your puppy understands that they did the right thing. For example, if you say the word “sit” and your puppy follows your command, then you can say ‘yes’ or give a pat or hug as a form of positive reinforcement. This is the best way for your pup to understand that they did the right thing.
Some dog owners would use a clicker to signal correct behavior.
3. Give a reward: Buy some treats like dog biscuits. During training hours, make sure that you always have some treats available. If your dog follows the command ‘sit’, I advise you to give a reward right away. This is what you call ‘association’. The dog associates the command behavior of sit with a reward. So next time you say ‘sit’, the dog will obey your order. Just don’t forget those yummy treats.
4. Coax the dog into a sitting position: Once your dog has associated the word ‘sit’ with reward, you can now move on to the next step. Be patient, though, as this step will take a while for your dog to learn and master. This time, what you want your dog to learn is how to ‘sit’ upon seeing a hand gesture. Yep, I know that is quite a challenge, but with patience and perseverance you and your dog should be able to do it.
Get a treat and place it near the nose of your dog. Do not say anything at this time. Instead raise your hand and place it over the head of your pet. As a response to the treat, your dog will move its head backwards to follow the treat. As the dog moves backward, the body will hinge and the bottom part will touch the floor. Once your dog’s bottom part touches the ground, say “sit” and give the well-deserved treat.
Once your dog has mastered the command, you can slowly increase the period of time that the dog has remained seated – from a few seconds to a minute and then more. This is to teach the dog to remain in a sitting position until told to move.
The reason why we are doing the hand gesture is for your dog to learn how to sit without having you actually say the word out loud. Your furry pal should learn how to obey the command simply by following a hand gesture.
5. Repeat the process: Dogs learn through repetitive processes. This is why your patience is very important if you want to train your pet. Keep on teaching your dog how to sit by giving a reward. They will also appreciate a huge hug from you every time the sit command is carried out.
As long as you keep doing these steps, your dog is sure to learn how to sit at your command.
6. Try without a treat: Once your dog has associated the hand gesture, as well as the word ‘sit’ with a treat, it is now time to move on to the next step. Your dog must learn how to obey the sit command without any treat.
Now you have two options – either to say ‘sit’ or use the hand gesture to make your dog go into a sitting position. Again, keep on doing this for several days until your dog learns how to sit at your command.
7. Do it in different places: Slowly encourage your dog to follow your sit command in places like parks, malls and other busy locations. The idea is for your dog to get used to obeying your command even in noisy areas.
Since these areas are usually busy, you may have to buy a tastier treat, so your dog will focus on the treat and your command instead of everything that’s going on around them. Be patient as your dog is learning to obey you despite the busy surroundings.
8. Consistency: The key is to be consistent all the time, regardless of whether you find yourself in a quiet or busy area. Do not allow your dog to get away with it if your command is not followed. Reward if your command is obeyed. As your dog learns the concept of sitting on command, you shouldn’t have any issue anymore even if there is no reward available.
How to be successful in training a dog how to sit?
In order for you to be successful in teaching your dog how to follow your command to sit, there are some key rules to follow:
- Uniformity: Always use the same hand signal. There will be numerous occasions when your dog will not follow your command, but keep on using the same hand signal and the word ‘sit’ until the dog learns them.
- One at a time: Do not teach sit and another command at the same time. Let your dog master one command at a time. In this case, learning how to sit should be the focus.
- Reward: After every correct behavior, do not forget to give a reward. Dogs learn through association. But as the dog learns the sit command, giving a reward may no longer be necessary. If you wish, you can still give one from time to time as positive reinforcement.
- Confidence: Your dog can sense you. If you fear that your dog will disobey your commands, then that can be a huge hindrance in teaching your dog how to sit. Be confident and firm, so that your dog will listen to you.
- Fun: Punishment is not part of the equation. Your dog will feel insecure and fearful if you inflict pain. The two of you must have fun teaching and learning, so I advise you to enjoy the ride with your dog.
- Patience: Teaching a puppy the basic command of sitting is not an easy job. But if you keep on trying and remain patient along the way, then you will definitely see results.
No dog owner wants their dog to misbehave. But training begins with you. You are the master and it is your duty to teach your puppy how to respect you as a pack leader. The most basic command that a puppy needs to master is the sit command. The dog’s behaviors are shaped at a young age.
You, as a dog owner, benefit a lot from a well-behaved dog. You can socialize and enjoy the outdoors even more if your dog knows how to obey your commands. It all begins with the sit command.