If you’re looking for an easy way to learn how to teach a dog to sit, you’ve found it. As long as you have some patience and a lot of love for your beloved pup, both of you will actually have a great time. This is a classic type of dog behavior and one that can pay real dividends in just about any sort of situation you can imagine. Teaching a dog to sit is much more than an adorable trick to show your friends and family members.
Here are a few tips on how to train a dog to sit in the easiest manner possible. Not only will you learn different methods of getting your dog to sit, but you’ll also learn why it’s so important to be able to control your dog whenever needed.
How To Train A Dog To Sit On Command
Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, you can train them to sit. Don’t assume it’s only worth learning how to teach a dog to sit when the animal is very young. That’s not the case at all. As long as your pooch doesn’t have any mobility problems, you should find this form of training to be a breeze.
There are two commonly used training methods – using a food lure and using physical guidance for overactive dogs. See which one is right for you, and then put it to work.
Using The Food Lure Method
Just about every dog will respond to food. You’ll find that combining food with lots of praise and love may make teaching your dog to sit easier. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
- Step 1 – Get a training treat – a small one would work best – and hold it in your hand while your dog is in a standing position. If you’re training a smaller dog, keep the treat between your fingers if possible.
- Step 2 – Take the hand that has the treat and put it close to your dog’s nose.
- Step 3 – Slowly move the treat up toward their forehead. Since your dog will probably raise their head to follow the treat, their rear end will go toward the floor.
- Step 4 – Say “sit” (or use whatever verbal cue you like), and then give the treat while the dog is in the seated position.
- Step 5 – Repeat the first five steps a few times, so your dog associates sitting with the reward.1
Eventually, your dog will start to sit whenever you move your hand in the nose-to-forehead position and use the verbal cue. You’ll no longer need the food lure. There’s also a chance you might not even need to use the hand motion after a while.
The Physical Guidance Method (If You Have A Rowdy Pooch)
There’s a chance your pup won’t be as cooperative as you might like during sit training. They may easily turn their attention elsewhere due to distractions, or they might just naturally be rambunctious.
If either is the case, try the physical guidance method. You’ll need a leash and maybe a harness as well. You’ll use them to reinforce the sitting behavior. If the dog acts up, ignore it – acknowledging that behavior could make your dog want to do it more.2
- Step 1 – Put the leash on your dog so that you can get their attention and keep it. Hold it tight, keeping your dog by your side.
- Step 2 – While standing next to your dog, push lightly on the part of the body right above the back legs. This might cause a little confusion, but your dog will eventually figure it out. Never force your dog into a sitting position. You might run the risk of hurting or scaring them.
- Step 3 – If your dog resists sitting, keep your cool. Walk your dog around a little big using the leash as a “reset.” Try the first two steps again. Use your verbal cue as soon as your dog’s bottom hits the floor.
- Step 4 – Keep the dog in this position for 30 seconds or so. That will help the dog associate the verbal cue with sitting.
- Step 5 – Repeat steps 1, 2, and 4. Repeat step 3 if needed. You’ll probably need to go through quite a few training sessions before your dog gets this down pat.
- Step 6 – Once your dog starts to sit on command, try the exercise in some different environments. Always stay calm and speak in a gentle voice, this will help your dog stay calm as well. You might also want to train when your dog is a little tired, such as after a walk or right before bedtime.3
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether you have an easygoing or really active dog, the key to getting them to sit whenever and wherever you want is to keep practicing. Learning how to teach a dog to sit the right way requires persistence. Always use plenty of praise and positive reinforcement – never negative reinforcement.
It might take a while for your dog to learn to sit on command. If this is the case, try using the food lure when the dog is lying down. Put the treat by their nose and slowly lift it up until they bring up their head. Give some praise, and then give the treat. Raise the next treat up a little higher, then raise the treats progressively higher until your dog is sitting.4
Another thing you’ll want to accomplish is known as the “capturing method.” This simply involves giving praise (and a treat if you like) every time your dog sits. There’s a good chance they’ll eventually start sitting on their own to get the reward. Add the verbal cue right before their bottom hits the floor. Hopefully, that will make it easier for your dog to sit whenever you give the cue.5
The Benefits Of Learning How To Teach A Dog To Sit
One of the best things about learning how to train a dog to sit is that it has real-world benefits. A dog will find it very hard to do anything wrong while in the sitting position. They won’t run to the door to jump on a guest, for example. It’s also a potential way for your dog to communicate with you. They might sit if they want a little love — or if they want you to play with them or let them outside.6
Even if it takes some effort, training your dog to sit is well worth it. Not only will you be teaching valuable behavior, but you’ll also be making the bond between you even stronger.