It would seem that sitting down is one of the simplest commands we can teach any dog. We prepare the treats, call the dog, say sit and… – we expect the dog’s bottom to clap on the floor, but it just stands there and tilts its head in surprise. So how to do it properly?
HOW TO MAKE YOUR DOG SIT WHEN YOU ASK HIM TO?
Below, we describe the individual steps that are necessary to teach your pet this command from scratch.
HOW TO TEACH YOUR DOG TO SIT? – FIRST STEP
We guide the dog to the set position using a treat closed in our hand. Our hand should be directed from the dog’s nose (thanks to which it will smell what we have inside) up to its ears – which will naturally cause that following our hand it will be more comfortable to sit down at some point. As soon as this happens, we immediately praise him and reward him with a treat from our hand. The dog will surely understand what we mean, so as soon as we notice that he sits down each time, we can start guiding him in the same way, but this time with an empty hand. This does not mean giving up treats, as soon as the dog sits down we also reward him, this time taking a treat from the other hand or e.g. a sachet.
TEACHING YOUR DOG TO SIT – SECOND STAGE
Limit ourselves to guiding with our hand until the gesture is left alone, e.g. showing the dog only an open hand. We carry out this stage gradually, from repetition to repetition making smaller and smaller movements of our hands. Remember not to jump immediately to the gesture itself, as our dog may not yet understand what we mean. Gradual changes will be much clearer for him and step by step he will learn to sit and also see only our exposed hands.
THIRD STAGE – THE SIT COMMAND
If the previous stage is already working out well, we can start adding the word 'sit’ just before showing the dog the gesture. By doing a lot of repetitions in this way we will build up the association and we will be able (if we want) to withdraw the gesture as well and in this way teach the dog to sit on the command itself.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DOG TO SIT?
We have succeeded! Our talented dog sits down flawlessly every time! However, we must remember that teaching our dog to sit in a calm environment such as our home or garden is only half of the success. It is worth gradually making the conditions in which we train more difficult for the dog. On a busy street, in a park or during a visit of guests at home, it will be much more difficult for him to concentrate and it may happen that in such a situation this exercise will stop working at all. Therefore, let’s slowly make things more difficult for your dog – let’s first practice in the presence of another person, on quieter streets in the neighbourhood, and then gradually move on to more difficult conditions. And don’t forget the most important thing – reward your dog for every well-done task! Don’t be angry if something goes wrong, take a break and start again. Our dog will happily wait for the next exercise if we shower him with praise and rewards!