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How to Teach a Dog To Sit

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Training your dog to respond to basic commands is a vital part of pet ownership. Commands are not just for fun or show: commands can help keep both you, your dog and anyone—or anything—interacting with your dog safe from potential threats and harm. This doesn’t mean that you have to teach your dog to roll over or do backflips—but basic dog commands are important to the well-being and socialization of your animal. Dogs should be taught to respond to commands that will help them behave with better ‘etiquette,’ such as commands that keep them from jumping up on people or from getting on furniture that is off-limits to them.

How_to_Teach_a_Dog_To_SitThe most basic command that many pet owners start with when they have a new puppy or are training an older dog is the most obvious: “Sit.” “Sit” is a command that is used by pet owners around the world to get their dog to—what else?—sit down. This command is usually considered to be one of the easiest to teach, although naturally the breed of dog, its age and its personality can have an effect on how quickly they are able to pick the command up. Let’s go through the process of teaching your dog how to sit, step-by-step! You will need a treat or some kind of edible reward for this process.

Step one

First, you need to stand in front of your dog. This position will make your dog focus on you, instead of the things around you, and presents you in a more dominating position.

Step Two

Next, take your treat or other edible reward and place it in the palm of your hand. Close your hand. Then, put your hand close to your dog’s nose, allowing them to smell it.

Step Three

Next, take your hand and very slowly move your hand up and over your dog’s head, moving towards their tail. This will help them associate the smell of the treat with the movement of your hand, which has sloped their body in a sitting position.

Step Four

Now comes the actual command. First, say your dog’s name; then, give it the command “sit.” Some pet owners extend the command into “sit down,” but for simplicity’s sake it’s best to keep it to the one-word.

Step Five

As soon as your dog sits, praise them–“Good boy!” or “Good dog!”–and give them the treat.

Step Six

Repeat steps one through five until your dog has gotten the hang of the command. Some dogs might pick up on the command easily and quickly while others may take a few sessions to work out what you want them to do; if your dog appears restless or bored, take a break! You can always pick up on your training the next day. If a dog does pick up on the trick easily and becomes bored, this may be an indication that they are ready for more advanced commands!