Every dog knows how to sit, the trick is getting them to sit on command. When I taught Sadie and Rusty to sit I was just reinforcing behavior they already do on their own. Before feeding the dogs their breakfast, I would conduct a ten minute training session. Why wait to feed them? Most dogs tend to be more responsive and eager to please when they’re hungry. I know I am.
Since I have two dogs I always separate the dogs for their individual training lessons. Separating them lets them concentrate on what I am asking them to do, instead of competing with another dog for the treats.
First get your dog’s attention by calling him/her to you. Then request your dog to “sit”. Chances are they will not, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Initially, I put a little gentle pressure on the dog’s butt and say “sit” again. As soon as the dog starts to sit even if they do not completely drop into a sitting position, I give the dog oodles of praise and a small treat. Small treats work the best because the dog can snap it up quickly and will not have to spend any time chewing before returning his/her focus to you.
Soon your pooch will make the connection: Sound ”sit” = action (I sit) = TREAT/PRAISE! The next step is to associate a specific hand gesture with your request for your dog to sit. This is very useful, because sometimes you do not want to loud. I use an open hand parallel to the ground and move the hand with a slight up and down motion. When associating a gesture to the command use the same gesture every time you say the command. Be persistent and your dog will soon be happy to sit when you want him/her to.
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