Apart from being known as man’s best friend, dogs are widely known for how intelligent they are, especially because they can be taught a wide range of different tricks and skills. For pet owners, it’s important that you teach your pet basic obedience, as this can really come in handy. It’s not only adorable but is also useful as well, especially when you’re giving out instructions or commands to your dog. For instance, if there are new people around, it helps to command your dog to sit down so he remains calm and doesn’t approach guests or overwhelm them. It’s a useful skill when you’re walking him and you come to a crosswalk, too. Teaching your dog to sit down at your command doesn’t have to be that difficult, either; it’s one of those basic, fundamental skills that every dog can learn when he’s beginning obedience training. If you’re wondering how to train your dog to sit, keep reading.
Things to Consider When Training a Dog
As a dog owner, you need to establish good communication and rapport with your pet. The connection is definitely important, especially because this will be the foundation of dog training and will, to a degree, dictate how future training goes. The way you two relate and how your pet sees and trusts you can be handy when it comes to training him to learn more elaborate skills.
But apart from connection, it’s essential for you as a pet owner to have an assertive energy but still remain calm. You cannot force your dog to learn anything. To become more effective, you need to be assertive in a way that is calm and soothing. There’s no doubt that teaching your dog can be really difficult. You need to have patience and you need to keep on practising until your dog knows what to do. In this process, you need to use incentives like dog treats and other rewards to motivate him to follow your commands.
Use a verbal cue– One of the very first steps to do if you want your dog to learn how to sit is through the use of verbal cues. Yes, you can just say the word “sit.” You might be surprised that there are dogs that can easily learn and follow verbal commands. But if you’re training your dog for the very first time, you cannot just utter the word and expect your pet to follow the lead. You want your pet to start associating the word “sit” with the actual action, so you need to teach the action using a small treat. Hold the treat about an inch away from your dog’s nose, and then move your hand back a little bit. What happens is that your dog will try to sniff the treat, and when he moves his head back to follow your hand, his tendency is to sit down on the floor to steady himself. Repeat the word “sit” while moving your hand back. Once your dog sits down, you can finally give your treat. Then, encourage your dog to stand up. Repeat this process until your pet finally knows the cue.
Remove the treat– After you’ve taught your dog to sit down using a dog treat, the next step is to make your pet do the command without the use of the food but with the use of the word. Put the treat inside your pocket and do the same thing that you did in the first step, using the same hand movements. Your dog thinks that you still have the treat in your hand and still follows your cues. Just say the word “sit” and move your hand towards the dog’s nose as if you’re still holding a dog treat. When your dog does a good job, you can give him the treat.
Lessen the movement– Dogs learn fast and easily. With the right cues and with constant practice, they can easily learn the skill without the need for several movements. The next step is to start phasing out your hand movements. You can try this out by saying the word “sit.” If your dog follows your command, then that’s a good sign, but if not, you can repeat the previous steps. Try it out using your hand a foot or so away from his face. Keep practising this routine until your dog eventually sits down upon hearing the verbal cue. With constant practice, your dog can easily follow in just one command.
Teach Sit to Meet and Greet
Teaching your dog to sit can be really useful because you can ask your pet to sit whenever you meet people. The tendency of most dogs is to get excited or anxious when you meet with or talk to someone they don’t know. To prevent your dog from running wild or jumping at your visitor, it helps to give your dog the verbal cue to sit. In turn, you can give a reward. The next time you both encounter the same situation, he will be more apt to perform his task right away.
When buying treats that you can use for training your dog, you should go for low calorie and high value. The treats should also be relatively small. Keep in mind that you use these treats as incentives, so make sure you purchase treats that dogs love. Little pieces of meat or cheese are great, as are the tiny, soft treats that some brands make specifically for training purposes.
In training your dog to sit, there are different techniques. Some trainers make use of what’s called clicker training. In this training technique, what they do is use a handheld tool that makes a click sound, and they activate the click whenever the dog follows a command. Then, the owner or trainer gives the treat as a reward. With this technique, the dog will end up associating the click sound with a reward. When he hears the sound, he will do his task in anticipation of the reward. You don’t have to reward every time once he understands the click, but be sure you reward after every 10 clicks or so to ensure he maintains the anticipation that motivates him to sit.
It can’t be said enough that training your dog to sit requires a lot of patience. If you succeed on the first try, your dog might be a genius! But, for the most part, it’ll take a lot of practice for him to succeed. Remember not to get frustrated with him if he isn’t learning as quickly as you want. Just continue practicing and training your dog, and eventually the skill will stick. Don’t be too tough on yourself, either. Just like humans, dogs learn at different paces. Make the training fun and enjoyable to ensure success.