Obedience - 'Sit'



Some people use a variety of ways to teach this simple command and many will use the method of forcing the back end of the dog down.  However a dog or anybody for that matter will resist the hand pushing them into something that they don’t know or understand.  I have found the following method the easiest teaching approach for you and your dog.  From here onwards the dog must work for every treat or dinner that you give him, this way there is no excuse for saying, “I can’t find the time to train.”  Each time you feed him, take a few nibbles from his plate and practice your lessons, remember one stage at a time and only for short intervals.  It will only take a minute or two to practice and you have done some training without much effort.  But like every new lesson you will need to practice as much as possible in order for your dog to learn what pleases you.


Stage one


Put a tit-bit in front of the dogs nose and move it up towards his eyes slowly.  The dog will raise his head up and his bottom will naturally go down.  The moment the bottom touches the ground give him the tit-bit and praise. Do not use the word “sit” for the moment just help the dog to repeat the behaviour and enjoy being rewarded.


Stage two

When the dog learns that the hand is going up his nose and he sits before you can do so, this is the time to introduce the command word “sit”.  When his bottom hits the ground, call out the command word “sit” and give him the tit-bit at the same time and give him praise.  Keep doing this until you no longer need to put the tit-bit near his nose and remember only to use the word when his bottom hits the ground and not before hand at this stage.


Stage three

Now we introduce a hand signal and it should go quite smoothly but do not get upset if they mess it up here and there.  Take it back a stage or two and only continue if you are not frustrated, remember the dog will learn through praise, easier and quicker if the time spent is a happy experience.

With the tit-bit in your hand and the dog focused on you, let him be aware where the tit-bit is and raise your hand straight up in front of you, calling out the command word “sit”.  When his bottom hits the ground immediately give him his reward and praise him. Continue with this stage so when he sees the hand going up he automatically sits.


Stage four

Now repeat stage three and wait for five seconds before you give him his reward and praise, the dog should be looking at you at all times.  Do this for a day or two and then increase the time slowly.  The third and forth days try making him wait for ten seconds, fifth and sixth days try making him wait for fifteen seconds.  Keep doing this until you can work up to a minute.  Again don’t get frustrated if he messes up here and there just simply take him back a stage or two and he will catch on sooner rather than later. 


Stage five


Your dog should now be able to sit with a hand signal and remember to use the command word “sit” on regular intervals so that he doesn’t forget the command word as like everything you tend to forget when out of practice.  Should you want to know advance lessons with,” sit” please ask, as your dog enjoys the stimulation and learning how to please you, as it means “fun” time for both of you.