Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic obedience tricks or commands you can teach your dog. It is also one of the most important because the ‘Sit’ command builds foundation for many other tricks and commands that you may eventually want to teach. Having a solid ‘Sit’ is very important when it comes to teaching a dog ‘Sit-Stay’ commands, balancing a bone on his or her nose, or many other advanced tricks you can teach your dog in the future.
- First, begin by letting your dog know that you have a treat or a piece of kibble by letting him or her smell or lick it.
- Second, hold the treat or piece of kibble just over the dog’s head and say ‘Sit.’ When you are teaching your dog verbal commands, say them in a calm assertive tone. There is no need to shout, yell, or scream a command. This will just confuse your dog and frustrate you.
- Next, move the treat or kibble above your dog’s head toward his or her back. As soon as their butt hits the ground say ‘Sit’. Praise them and then give your dog the treat. Praising them is beneficial because a dog can hear pitch and tone changes in your voice; which allows them to know that you are happy with the behavior they just did.
- Repeat this exercise until your dog has a consistent and clean ‘Sit’. You should only have to give the command once. It should not be “Sit…Sit…Sit…Fluffy Sit…” It should be a simple “Fluffy, Sit”. If you have to give the command repeatedly, I suggest working on it longer until the dog fully understands what it is you want them to do.
You can gradually wean off of the treats once their sit is consistent. You can give your dog a treat every third or fifth time he or she sits. You can also say ‘Good Girl!’ or ‘Good Boy!’
After you have successfully taught your dog the ‘Sit’ command, you can challenge them by having them sit at different distances; which will be beneficial to your dog’s training later on.
You can also read our article on ‘How To Teach My Dog An Advance Sit’ where they learn how to sit at a distance on command.