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Getting Started with the "Sit" Command

SitStay Blog: Getting Started with the "Sit" Command

Teaching your dog to sit is the first step to obedience training, but it is important for other reasons as well. There will be times when your dog wants to jump on someone or chase something. Once your dog has learned the sit command, you will be able to use it to elicit the desired behavior (sitting), instead of an unwanted behavior (jumping or running).

Training Rules

There are some basic rules that apply no matter what behavior you are trying to teach your dog. First, you should address your dog in a calm but firm voice when you are training them. You should never yell at your dog, but you should use a voice of authority. 

You'll also need to get your dog's attention before you begin your training session. It's best to begin training in the house, so there aren't as many distractions. Make your dog's area as distraction free as possible when you begin training.

Training With Treats

The easiest way to train your dog to sit is to use treats. You'll want to repeat this process often, so choose a small treat. Hold the treat in front of your dog. Hold it close enough to his nose that he won't jump up to try to get it, and move it from its nose to behind its head. Your dog should naturally sit in an effort to follow the treat. Say SIT when the dog is in the process of sitting, and then offer lots of praise as well as the treat. Try to just use the sit command and a few words of praise after the dog sits. Try to avoid phrases like, "No, sit.", because it can confuse the dog.

Weaning Off Treats

Be sure to offer lots of praise each time your dog sits. When they are consistently sitting, you can begin to wean them off treats. Continue to give a treat every other time that they sit with a lot of praise. Keep this process up, decreasing the frequency of the training treat, until your dog is consistently sitting without a treat.

You can also use a clicker when training your dog a new trick such as the sit command. Clickers give an auditory cue to your dog that they have completed the task you have asked. To learn more about incorporating a clicker into your training, watch this video.

Teaching the sit command is not only an important skill for your dog to master, it's also a great way to bond with your pet.

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