How Do I Teach My Dog To Sit?

6 01 2009


dog-sittingMom says that the “SIT” command is the #1 control command.  If a dog is acting out, all you have to say is SIT and the dog is back under control.  Mom said that she has noticed that the SIT command is also used in grocery stores for children.  Parents say SIT and the children SIT down in the cart!

In this post, we will only be covering teaching your dog how to SIT.  You are on your own with the kids.

  1. With your dog in a standing position, take a treat and hold it at the end of your dog’s nose.
  2. Slowly begin to back the treat over the dog’s head.  It is important that you do not go up with the treat, because that will cause the dog to jump.
  3. Go back slowly and say nothing.
  4. Once you have backed your dog completely into the sitting position you may say “SIT.”  Make sure that you don’t say “SIT” the whole time you are backing your dog into a sitting position.  The act of getting him into position is not a “SIT.”

If you overuse the command trying to get your dog to sit, the word loses any meaning it could have had.  Once he knows the word “SIT,” and that it really means putting your butt on the floor, you may add a hand signal.  My mom raises her flat palm upwards as she says the word “SIT.”  You may use any kind of hand signal, but be careful NOT to make that signal look similar to any other signal you may use.  My mom does not even say “SIT” anymore.  She just uses the hand signal, and we know what to do.

Once your dog has a grasp on the “SIT” command, the most important part of sitting begins.  You and your dog need to work on staying in the sit position until he is told to release.  That is where the release word or phrase comes in.  Basically, the release word or phrase is what your dog waits for when he is in a sitting position. This release word can also be used with other commands, like WAIT, STAY, etc.  The following is a list of release words that Mom uses:

  • You’re through
  • Through
  • Done
  • All done
  • Over
  • Free
  • Free dog
  • Bingo
  • Rock n’ roll

My release phrase is “You’re through.” Because I have siblings, and we are all at a different level of training, Mom uses different words for each of us, so that we know who she is talking to.  Tax has his own release word, and so does Molly.  If you have multiple dogs, you should use multiple release words.  After all, you would not want to tell five dogs to “SIT” and then use one word where all five get up.  Keep in mind with multiple dogs, that you should have a release order.  The question is, which dog should you release first?  The alpha of your pack.  Why?  You are reinforcing your alpha dog’s position as the leader in the pack.  This will also help you to maintain a healthy pack discipline.

You should practice SIT with your dog at least 3 times a day in every room in your house.  If you have more than one dog, you should train them to sit separately.  These training sessions should be no longer than 10 minutes each time. That is 10 X 3=30 minutes a day.  That will lead to a well trained dog!



5 responses

7 02 2009
Teaching Take It, Leave It & Drop It « Ask Spike Online

[…] truly does not understand what is expected of him.  In this case, Mom or Dad must go back and re-teach him the SIT command.  It is also possible that your dog has observed to learn how many times you will say SIT or yell […]

22 02 2009
Trying To Find The Inner Alpha « Ask Spike Online

[…] drag it around the house.  Every once in awhile, step on the leash and give your dog a command.  A simple SIT will do.  Why would you do this?  Easy!  Because you can, and leaders do what they want, when […]

28 02 2009
Teach Your Dog “STAY” And “WAIT” « Ask Spike Online

[…] Start with your dog in the SIT position. […]

8 03 2009
Teach Your Dog To “HEEL” « Ask Spike Online

[…] you stop walking, you should command your dog to SIT, bringing your opposite side hand around to the side where your dog is with an upward sweeping […]

21 03 2009
Teaching (Go To Your) “PLACE” And “PARK IT” Command « Ask Spike Online

[…] 21 03 2009 So far, we have discussed many different basic training commands, SIT, COME when called, TAKE IT, LEAVE IT, DROP IT, Potty Training, HEEL, and STAY and WAIT.  This […]

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