How to Teach Your Dog to Sit – and Stay!

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How to Teach Your Dog to Sit

how to teach a dog to sitAt some point as a dog or puppy owner, you’re going to get frustrated because although maybe, on that rare occasion, you can get your dog to sit, you can never get him to stay. For instance, you’re in the park, and you just got him to sit after about 100 commands, then a squirrel runs by, and off he goes!  I’ve got great news for you.  I can show you how to teach your dog to sit – and stay in as little is 10 minutes a day!  So let’s get started.

Teaching the Verbal Command

One of the best methods for how to teach your dog to sit down and stay there is by treat association. The goal is to associate the act of sitting with both your verbal command and the reward of getting a treat.  Stand in front of your dog with a treat held visibly in your hand. Bring the treat within an inch of your dog’s nose, say “Sit,” and quickly move the treat up toward the top of your dog’s head.

Your dog will follow the treat with its nose. Keep moving the treat up and back (but still close enough that your dog doesn’t jump forward) until the dog is looking so far up that it has no choice but to move into the sitting posture. As soon as your dog sits, say “Yes!” and give it the treat. Repeat this process until the dog quickly sits upon command.

Teaching The Sit Command With No Treat Visible

Once your dog responds immediately to the “Sit” command with the treat, it’s time to transition to the next phase. Put a treat in your pocket or hold it in your off hand while repeating the command and gesture as before. You want to make the exact same motion, but now without the visible treat. Give the reward as before, but once your dog quickly responds to the command with an empty hand, try delaying the reward a few seconds while the dog stays.

Removing the Hand Signal

how to train a dog to sitGradually make your hand gesture less pronounced, and begin doing it with an open hand, palm up. This is how to teach your dog to sit, eventually, by verbal command only. When your dog quickly sits without hand gestures, practice further increasing the delay before saying “Yes!” and giving the treat. The dog should only receive the treat if it sits until you say “Yes.”  Teaching your dog to sit is one of the basic obedience commands you should teach your puppy early on as is leash training puppy.  Click here to learn how to leash train a puppy.

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