Dog Training Basics
One of the first questions you’ll ask when you adopt a puppy or rescue dog is how to teach them to sit. The most important of all dog skills, “Sit” is the foundation for many other tricks. A reliable sit on command can be a useful obedience behavior to establish in an early stage.
Although I’m not a professional trainer, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best. I can tell you how I taught Kilo the Pug, an older, impulsive rescue dog, using positive reinforcement-based training methods.
Kilo is very food-motivated so treats are his favorite reward. He loves praise and hugs. He doesn’t respond well to punishment or “no”.
I lure him to do certain things in order to get a reward or sometimes I can influence his behavior by rewarding him when he does something that I want.
Some people use clickers to mark the completion of certain behaviours or tricks during training. I prefer to use words like yes and good-boy with Kilo.
Kilo enjoys to sit because it’s simple, comfortable, and rewarding.
Although he can be reactive and anxious, he will calm down and distract himself when I’m cooking or walking around the house with guests.
Three Easy Steps to Teach Your Dog to Sit
Begin by laying down on your stomach with your dog. The treat should be moved towards the puppy’s nose and then towards their back. The treat should be directed towards the puppy’s nose. They should then lift their heads and drop their rear. You may be giving the puppy too much treat if they jump up. This is repeated before breakfast and dinner.
Have patience and have fun. If they don’t understand, you can gently guide them down with your hand.
Now, I use a hand signal to say “sit” anywhere. Kilo is able to follow my instructions. After he does that, he gets a treat or a toy.
This is a great way to get your puppy and you started.
You can learn more advanced techniques by reading How to Teach Your Dog to Sit Pretty.
For ideas, check out our post and video on 20 Easy Tricks for Teaching Your Dog with Kilo the Pug
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Be patient when training your dog. Don’t be discouraged if your dog doesn’t grasp the concept at first. Keep your positive attitude. Keep your training sessions brief, only a few minutes each day.
Before my breakfast and dinner, I have Kilo “Come”, then “Sit”.
Happy training! Please leave any questions or tips in the comments.
How to teach Talent Hounds to sit.