Teaching your dog the “sit” command is usually quite easy because dogs tend to sit on their own accord anyway. “Sit” is an important basic command that in principle every dog should know (and be able to). It is a way of leaving your dog in a place so that he can focus on you. This command can help as a basis for learning “stay” and other difficult commands. It is important that your dog associates the command with the action to teach your dog to sit.
Make sure you have enough tasty sweets with you. These should be soft, small and of course very tasty. Do you use clicker training? Then hold your clicker in your hand. Choose a location that is private with no or little distraction, such as your backyard or a quiet park.
Know the correct sitting position
When your dog is in the correct sitting position, it sits firmly on the floor with its hocks and rear. Some dogs will cheat and “float” a little above the ground. So make sure you don’t reward your darling until his butt actually hits the ground. Ideally, your dog should sit until you release/release the command (some trainers use the word “OK” for that). Sometimes your dog will not obey. Therefore, first, teach him the “stay” command. Keep 5 to 10 minutes a few times a week to work on this training.
Show the reward
Grab your dog’s attention and show him that you have something tasty in your hand. Hold the treat just above his snout (not too high or he may jump). Move the candy towards his ears, close to his head. Your dog’s muzzle will rise to follow the treat. Most dogs sit down when the treat gets to some point. As soon as your dog’s butt hits the ground, say “yes!” or “well done” in an enthusiastic way (or click on your clicker). Give your dog something tasty immediately, pet it and praise it to heaven.
Repeat the command
Repeat these steps until your dog, when he notices the treat above his snout, sits down spontaneously. Then add the command: say your dog’s name followed by the word “sit” / “sit”, pronounced consistently while holding the treat in the same position as before. Repeat this several times, using the command “sit” / “sit” each time and gradually decrease the hand movement (keep using the reward, just finish the movement).
Have short training sessions throughout the day in different locations, both indoors and outdoors. This will, of course, increase the distraction, but after all, you want your dog to sit down despite all the distractions. Always end the training positively (successfully), be patient and consistent.
Problems and evidence behavior
If your dog doesn’t sit alone after a few tries, don’t push it into the sitting position. Dogs don’t learn anything that way. Don’t yell or punish him. Dogs rarely respond to negative comments. They only cause confusion. Instead, consider sweets that are even more delicious, such as fresh meat, pieces of hot dog, cheese or liver sausage.
Are you still having trouble getting your teach your dog to sit? Then try to mark the behavior. Spend some time observing your dog. Whenever he sits down of his own accord, you praise and reward him and give the “sit” command. Do this every time your dog sits down. You will always need to have candies with you for this to work properly. Moreover, it is quite easy to record behavior with a clicker. Once your dog knows how to sit, you can train the “sit” command in different locations with different types of distractions. This is called evidence behavior and allows your dog to obey this command when and where it is given.
- Choose the front door and food bowl as a regular training spot. Chances are your dog will sit down when he greets guests (at the front door) or at the food bowl before you feed him.
- Once your dog becomes a sitting expert, you don’t have to feed him a treat every time. It is a good idea to occasionally reward and thus strengthen behavior.
If your dog has mastered this well, you can start teaching your dog to lie down.