Training a puppy to sit is about more than just teaching them to follow a simple instruction. Once you have taught your dog to sit at your command, you have created a foundation on which you can build a more extensive training program.
Often, teaching a puppy to sit is the first step in your dog training journey.
Do not be daunted, however! It is pretty easy to teach your dog to sit. And, if you start teaching them from a young age, you will have laid down good habits in their minds from the start. To make things easy for you, here are some essential tips regarding how to train a puppy to sit.
Keep things fun
Training should be fun for both you and your puppy. Some of the training program described below involves repetition of commands, gestures and rewards until your puppy learns to sit when you ask them to.
However, teaching a dog to sit should never become boringly repetitive. If your puppy gets bored, they will become resistant to learning! You want them to look forward to their training sessions, so try to spread them out over a few afternoons a week.
And keep the amount of time that you spend training your puppy to around a quarter of an hour per day. Puppies love mental stimulation and learning new things, so it should not be difficult to engage them in the process of learning to sit.
A step by step guide to training your puppy to sit
If you want to train a puppy to sit, you will no doubt be reassured by the fact that it just takes a few steps to do so. You’ll need to repeat these steps in sequence again and again in order for the lesson to ‘sink in’ to your puppy’s mind. Take a look at them below:
Step 1: Get down on a level with your puppy
Do not loom over your puppy from above and boom commands down at them. Instead, crouch down so that you are on their level and they can observe your facial expressions as well as your gestures. Getting down on your dog’s level also helps you to build a rapport with them: very important for a successful training session.
Step 2: Use a treat to entice them to sit
Ensure that your puppy is standing on all fours. Take a dog treat in your hand and let them sniff it. Then, raise your hand and let your dog follow the treat’s progress by lifting their head up and upturning their eyes. Say the command ‘sit’ in a firm but gentle voice as this happens. As your dog’s head rises, their rump will naturally move downwards.
Once your puppy’s rump hits the floor, release the treat into their mouth and give them a big pat and lots of praise. Now, they associate the command ‘sit’ with the sitting position and a tasty treat!
An alternative method for this step is not to raise the treat but rather to let them know that you have a treat for them and use your free hand to apply gentle pressure on their rump until they are in a sitting posture. With each repetition make the pressure gentler and gentler until none is needed at all.
Step 3: Cut back on the treats
As you repeat steps 1 and 2 a few times every day, start to reward your dog with treats only occasionally. However, always make sure to praise them and give them a big pat too. Soon, they will start to sit on command even when there is no treat on offer.
At this point, you can say that your dog has truly learnt to sit on command as they are sitting simply because you have asked them to and not because they are going to get a treat at the end of it.
The best place to train a dog to sit is in the front room as here there are no distractions and no places for excitable puppies to scamper away to! However, if you really want to test your dog’s obedience, you can start seeing if they will sit when you are outside in the back yard or in a field, where more distractions are available. Only do this once you are certain that they have mastered the ‘sit’ command.
Video Credits goes to YouTube Channel – Howdini