Teaching the sit command is a great tool for a lot of different reasons. It’s a great feeling when we ask our dog to sit, and they respond correctly. It’s like the basics – letting other people and dog owners know, this, you got down. It’s also a great tool when trying to calm our dog down before an activity that they get especially excited about, like going for a walk or eating a meal. When you ask a dog to sit, it tames their energy a bit, and that’s just a lot nicer for us humans. It’s easier to put a leash on a dog who is sitting in front of you, rather than bouncing around excitedly.
It’s also nice when we ask our dog to sit while visitors are entering the house, rather than bombarding them. Many people like to ask their dog to “heel” or sit before crossing a road as well. Just asking our dog to follow our commands and ultimately having that expectation also helps establish us as a pack leader. Teaching sit is not hard to do at all, it just requires a few training sessions and some persistence. Your pup might not pick it up right away but give it just a few sessions and most dogs pick it up quite quickly.
How to Teach the Sit Command
1. Instead of standing in front of your dog for this, get closer to their level by either sitting in a chair or in front of them on the floor.
2. Use a small treat and allow them to get a sniff of it so they see it and it gets their attention, and as you do so raise the treat above them and over their head.
3. As your dog or puppy tries to follow the treat they will naturally sit, and as soon as they do you say the word “sit” and give them the treat with some praise.
4. Keep the treat closed in your hand, and don’t hold it to high above their head so they have to jump for it. This is why you want to be either sitting on the floor or in a chair as you do this.
5. Do this over and over again at least a few times. It may take a few training sessions over a week or two but they will learn.
6. When they start sitting on their own, then you should switch between praise and treats as a reward.
Dogs are usually quite intelligent and so will learn what you are trying to teach them quickly. However you should establish a training schedule with your new dog or puppy to get them familiar with commands. Eventually you can reduce the training sessions or stop them completely. However being consistent to begin with will help them learn quickly and develop lasting habits. It is also important to be in a happy, confident mood when you train because your mood will affect your dog. Have fun with training and your pup will likely have just as much fun with you, and learn things quickly and easily.