It’s extremely exciting and satisfying when we teach our dogs a new trick. Whether you train them how to be better behaved (sit, lay down, stay, off) or how to make your friends smile (shake hands, roll over, give a kiss), teaching your dog new behaviors can be very helpful and rewarding for both of you.
When it comes to learning new tricks, it’s important to start with the basics. Training your dog to sit is one of the best first tricks to teach a new dog or puppy. This process is also a great opportunity for you and your furry friend to get the hang of your training sessions together.
While sitting is a more basic skill, it plays an essential role for any well-rounded pooch. Sitting is a regular step for other training sessions, whether you’re trying to teach dogs how to stay or introduce them to another canine companion. Having your dog sit on command is also a great way to stay safe. For example, you can ask your best friend to sit while you wait for traffic to clear before you cross the street. No matter your reason, it’s never a bad idea to train your dog to sit.
7 Steps to Help Your Dog Learn to Sit
Training your best friend to sit is not a difficult task, but it is important to prepare appropriately. According to Professional Animal Trainer and TV Show Host Joel Silverman, you’ll want to follow a few do’s and don’ts to make the most out of each training experience.
Before you start teaching your dog to sit, you’ll want to identify a quiet environment without any distractions. Your dog should be entirely focused on you during training, so avoid any places with loud noises or other people and animals who may divert your best friend’s attention. You’ll also want to keep your individual training sessions short and sweet. Limiting your session lengths will make each treat mean more and keep your dog interested.
Once you’ve prepared your pooch – and grabbed some tasty Bil-Jac training treats – it’s time for the two of you to get to work! Use these 7 simple steps to teach your dog to sit from start to finish.
Start off with your dog in a standing position. You’ll want to make sure that your dog is focused on you so that they pay attention. A great way to do this is to hold a Bil-Jac Training Treat between your thumb and forefinger and expose your palm so that your dog can always see and follow the treat as you direct them.
Once you have that treat in your hand, calmly bring it down to near the dog’s mouth and say the word “sit.” As your dog is focused on your command, move your hand up and behind them. This action will lead your dog to naturally lift their head and shift from a standing to a sitting position as they follow the treat.
Once your dog sits, say the word “stay.” If your furry friend holds that sitting position, praise them and reward them with the treat you’re holding. Using treats as a reward will reinforce that sitting on command is a good action and will help your best friend associate that good behavior with positive thoughts.
It’s time to start the cycle over again. Repeat steps one through three multiple times to help your dog learn this new behavior. Over time, your dog will become more and more comfortable sitting and may even start sitting without as much guidance. As mentioned before, don’t be afraid to break this process into multiple sessions if necessary.
5. No Treat
As soon as your best friend seems to be getting the hang of sitting, it’s time to take away that extra bit of motivation. Hold your hand as if you are still holding a treat and repeat steps one through four. After your dog has completed the process of going from a standing position to a sitting position, pull out a treat from your pocket and reward them.
6. Move Back
When your dog seems to understand the sitting motion, move back a bit. Instead of keeping your hand close to your dog’s face, shift yourself to be about two inches away. And of course, reward your dog when they sit! After enough practice, you can remove the treat altogether and dole out verbal praise instead.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
Practice with your best friend for about three days to a week. After this, you and your dog should be sitting with ease. Need some more help? Watch Silverman teach a dog to sit in the video below!
Use Training to Bond with Your Best Friend
Teaching your dog a new trick does more than help them learn good behaviors. Going through training sessions with your dog is a tremendous way to bring the two of you closer together. Make sure to end each session on a positive note and let your dog know you are very proud of them – they’ll love the fact that you get so excited when they learn a new trick. That enthusiasm will make them want you to teach them more!
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