How To Teach A Dog To Sit!

“Sit!” and “Stay!”  Two of the most common and useful commands to teach your dog.  Getting your dog to sit, anytime/anywhere can be a little bit challenging, but with practice, it is usually not too bad.  This command is useful in a variety of situations (especially social ones) and it is a basic staple to being able to control your dog.  All dogs should learn basic obedience skills like how to sit, and the canine good citizen criteria created by the AKC are some great guidelines.  One of the very first things they recommend is to teach your dog how to sit.  Teaching your dog how to sit is not terribly hard, so let’s get to it!

Teach Your Dog to SitFirst things first, teaching your dog how to sit using a verbal command.  You need to say the word “Sit” and have your dog get into the sit position by using a treat placed right above her nose.  When you hold the treat slightly above their nose, it will force them to look up and arch their head back, which will naturally guide them right into the sitting position.  If your dog tries to jump up when you do this, you are probably holding the treat too far away from their nose.  It can be helpful to practice by a wall so your dog cannot back up, but if you get the angle right they should immediately go into a sit position.  When they do this, immediately say “Yes!” and reward them with the treat.  Repeat this until they can sit on command without you having to motion and guide them into it.

Now, step two of how to teach a dog to sit is to have them sit on command, not just for the treat.  You need to disassociate the immediate rewards and have your “Yes!” be a reward in itself, with your dog trusting that the treat will eventually come.  When your dog has figured out that “Sit” means sit, and sits when you guide her with the treat, put it in your other hand and guide them with the empty hand.  Now do the same thing, just without the treat, and reward them when they do it correctly.  Once they can do this, start leaving the treat in your pocket.  It is really about patience and consistency, take baby steps and guide your dog through it, and they will do fine.  Once you have done this, the final step is taking away the hand motion, and getting them to sit from any distance.  Introduce these gradually and you will be fine!

Read this post for more tips on how to teach your dog to sit!