Sunday, April 10, 2011

How to teach a dog to sit

How to teach a dog to sit? Teaching a dog to sit is one of the first and most important steps in training your dog. Teaching a dog to sit is a skill that your dog can learn no matter their age, temperament or size.

When teaching the dog to sit, it is helpful to put a leash on your dog. This helps to limit his options. Stand on the end of the leash so that you can't pull on it. In this way, the dog only has a few feet of space in which to get distracted. When you have rewarded the sit behavior numerous times, you can start to allow your dog more room during training because he will be more likely to respond to your request.

When you are trying to get the dog into the sit position and he keeps backing up all over the room, try putting his backside up against a wall. This will keep the dog from backing up too far since they will either hit the wall or your leg. Even if he half sits on your leg, give him a treat. This is the start of your sit.

When asking your dog to sit, do not bend over toward or lean over him, which can seem threatening to the dog. Threatening or forcing him to obey is not a positive or even a reliable way to ensure compliance. If taught using rewards, your dog will enthusiastically want to respond to your cue to sit, not just in hopes of a reward but because he has a positive relationship with you.

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When teaching a dog to sit for a cookie, be careful to bring the treat directly up rather than back over his head. Keeping the cookie directly vertical will get you a tuck sit from a dog who sits close enought to hold onto, rather than a dog who backs up to sit and ends up out of hand range.

Teaching your dog to sit in distracting situations is not nearly as tough as you might think. The secret is to stop using a verbal command and start teaching your dog to offer the sit to get what he wants. Put the treat over the dog's head and ignore any jumping. When your dog finally sits, say YES!!! and than toss him the treat. (Your tone of voice is very important when teaching a dog to sit or any tricks for that matter). Each time that you do this, the sit will happen faster. Try this with your dog's toys, chews, and meals too. When getting ready to go out with your dog, put your hand on the knob and quietly wait for him to offer the sit. Make eye contact. When your dog sits, say "YES" enthusiastically of course. (remembering that tone of voice is very important) than open the door. The more you practice this with your dog, the more they will sit without you even asking.

Many behavior and control issues are based on the fact that many dogs have little self-control. They don't think about things, they just do them. That is why the sit command is the most important thing to teach your dog first prior to teaching any other tricks. This will help your dog hold still so that you can teach him and he can learn from you. After you teach a dog to sit, it will be the foundation for everything else you teach them (obedience and tricks)

It is very important to remember that dogs need clear and consistent rules and boundaries. Dog owners need to communicate their expectations to their dogs and be consistent.

In summary, Let's go over the basic training steps in teaching your dog to sit
1) Put the leash on the dog, hold the other end under your foot (limiting space the dog can take off to). Have a treat in your hand
2)Show your dog the treat. When he reaches up to sniff the treat, tell him to "Sit" (remembering that tone is of the utmost importance)and move the treat directly above his head.
3) As his head comes up, his hips will go down.
4) As his hips touch the ground, praise him- "YES" "GOOD TO SIT" and pop the treat in his mouth
5)Practice a total of five times a day per training session until it becomes second nature to your dog.

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