How To Train Your Dog To Sit

Dogs are known to be a very smart group of animals even though they don’t communicate with human beings in the same way that we communicate with each other. In fact, many breeds of dogs can understand over 150 verbal commands once they have been taught them. One of the simplest commands that we can give our dogs is to sit. Even though you love having your dog around you, there are times when you don’t want him/her to get in your way.

That is especially true when you are trying to do chores around your home. Let’s say that you are trying to vacuum the floor for example. If your dog is circling you as you are vacuuming the floor, it can make it more difficult for you to complete the chore. So, I will show you how to train your dog to sit so that you can focus on whatever you need to get done.

Before I get started though, I have something I would like to mention. You will want to go through this training indoors at home as this will reduce the amount of distraction for your dog. That way, you can gain better control over the process of training your dog to sit.

(Photo courtesy of Luis Garcia via Wikimedia)

1. The Treat Trick

One of the best tricks for getting your dog to sit down is with delicious treats like Canine Carry Outs Dog Treats which offer a variety of flavors to satisfy your dog’s tasting buds including hot dog, chicken, and beef and cheese. Once your dog is ready for the sit training, I would recommend that you try and have him/her placed near a corner. That way it will prevent your dog from potentially walking backwards while you are training him/her using the treat trick.

Once your dog is in position, go ahead and show him/her a treat in order to grab his/her attention. But, don’t give the treat to your dog just yet. With your dog’s full attention, hold the treat near his/her nose and then slowly move the treat upwards and over his/her head. Your dog will then move his/her head upwards in order to keep track of the treat.

That will eventually prompt your dog to sit down. That is because, since your dog is a four-legged animal, he/she can’t lift his/her head up very well while he/she is standing up on all fours. Once your dog sits down, say the word “sit” as so to ensure that he/she associates the sit command with sitting down. Then immediately give your dog the treat and praise him/her by rubbing his/her head and saying something like “good boy/girl.”

It will probably take between one and two weeks of sit training your dog using the treat trick, in order for the concept to sink in for your dog. You will then want to start to slowly wean your dog off treats. The ultimate goal is for you to get your dog to sit down by giving him/her the sit command and without needing to reward him/her with treats. Even as you decrease the use of treats to reward your dog, you should still praise your dog for obeying your sit command.

2. Use Your Own Body

(Photo courtesy of Burty1 via Wikimedia)

Another great trick for you to train your dog to sit is to use your own body as the guide for him/her. This trick is best suited for dogs who are very active physically. For this trick to work, you will first need to put your dog on a leash.

I would recommend that you order the BAAPET dog leash because they are designed to be comfortable for your hand to hold on to. You will also want a no pull harness that has a front clip because you don’t want to risk injuring your dog’s neck doing this training trick. The BARKBAY No Pull Dog Harness Front Clip is a great option.

That way, you can have more control over your dog’s movements and behavior during this sit training. After you have attached your dog to a leash, walk him/her around your home for a moment. Then stand still in front of your dog and pull him/her towards you by using the leash. That should prompt your dog to sit down.

If your dog doesn’t sit down the first time, you can gently press down on his/her back to encourage him/her to sit down. As soon as your dog sits down, say the word “sit” to ensure that he/she knows to sit down when you give the sit command. Then immediately reward your dog with a small piece of treat and offer him/her praise.

Depending on how physically active your dog is, it may take weeks of sit training your dog using the body trick before he/she gets the hang of it. As time progresses, you will ideally be able to get your dog to sit down with the sit command independent of any assistance and without treats.

3. Use Your Dog’s Natural Behavior

(Photo courtesy of land_and_sea via Flickr)

You will want to use your dog’s natural behavior to your advantage as a way to get your dog to sit down. This way of sit training would work the best if you happen to have a calm and older dog as a pet. The idea here is for you to observe your dog as he/she is walking around your home until he/she eventually decides to sit down on his/her own.

Be careful that you don’t do anything that will cause your dog to sit down. Just stand there and watch your dog until he/she eventually decides to sit down. At the very moment that your dog sits down, say the word “sit.” Immediately follow that up with a small piece of treat and a compliment.

I suggest that you continue to practice this with your dog until he/she starts to connect the sit command with sitting down. I would allow for up to half an hour to an hour per training session for practicing this sitting technique on your dog. At the end of the day, you want your dog to sit down right when you tell him/her to without having to wait for him/her to decide to do so.

So, I suggest that you use these three tricks for how to train your dog to sit. What are your thoughts? Does your dog sit down whenever you tell him/her to do so? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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