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Teaching the Sit Command

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written by Jess
Teaching the sit command is very simple and doesn't have to take alot of time.  The method I use quite frequently is the to lure the dog into position with a treat.
First start by finding a treat that your dog loves, it should be something other than there normal food, and small enough that they know its there but that it can still be eaten quickly. I often use cut up hot dogs.

Start in an area with few distractions. Have your dog in front of you and get his attention with the treat. When he's looking at the treat slowly move it over his head toward his butt, as you say "sit". He should follow the treat with his nose and automatically put his butt down as his head goes up. (In some cases the dog may back up, in that case I just shorten the leash so he can't, once he gets the idea you can gradually give him more slack). As soon as his butt hits the ground give him the treat and an excited 'Good Boy'. Practice this for a few days.

Once your dog is responding well to this start giving him the treat every other time but keep giving him the verbal praise. After a couple days of that really change it up a bit, do three or four sits before giving the treat, then do every other sit. Your dog will never know after which sit he'll get the treat, the benefit is you won't have to give your pet a treat all the time.  After training your dog will still give you a good sit, even without a treat.  Every once in awhile you will still want to give your pet a treat just to reinforce his thought that 'Hey I never know if they've got a treat', that should be enough to keep his performance good.
The bonus to training with this method is that while you are teaching your dog the verbal command you have also taught him a hand signal for sit. To try it out just put your thumb and forefinger together and move your hand from in front of your dogs nose toward his butt, just like you in the beginning with the treat, he should sit.

The only thing you should be careful of is what you do right before you lure your dog with the treat and give the command. I once inadvertently trained one of my dogs to sit whenever snapped my fingers. There were a couple times I snapped to my fingers to get his attention and then told him to sit. After that if I'd snap my fingers he wouldn't wait for the sit command, he would just automatically sit.I actually liked the way my accident turned out, but you might not.

I would also like to add that this method will work dogs of all ages, I have used it on puppies as young as four weeks old.
The information contained on this site is not intended to be a replacement for proper veterinary care.  We cannot diagnose or suggest treatments of illnesses over the internet, it is not only illegal but also dangerous. If your pet is ill take it to a veterinarian.
If you use any of the information on this site you do so at your own risk.

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