Teaching Sit – A Dog Training Basic

dog and owner getting ready for a walkDog Training basics – Teaching Sit

Consistently Teaching Sit

If you have a new dog or a new puppy chances are you are into dog training basics – teaching sit. Regardless of its prior home or age, optimizing the reliability of the dog sitting when you ask or when you stop walking or when you come to an entry or doorway is one of the first steps of dog training. Even if you’re not actively getting your dog into a sport or activity outside of your home, your dog will still need to know sit. He or she will need to be exercised, meet new people and have vet visits at the very minimum. You need to optimize for the sit behavior. Sitting quickly and close to you when told or when there is a cue for sitting is one of the basic foundations of a companion dog.

Ground-rule these days is that it’s by far easier to have a dog understand and comply with a quick sit by having a consistent, hard and fast rule regarding the places a dog must sit. The thing is, if you want to optimize the “sit” for each of these instances, you must include each instance in your training. You should simply ask for the sit behavior in every instance you expect your dog to perform a sit. This is where your behavior and consistency counts more than your skills at dog training.

Mentioning A Few Areas For Teaching Sit

Think about this for a moment: “A dog getting into trouble is never in a sit position!” Once this dog training basic – teaching sit, is a concept you envision, teaching your dog the “sit” becomes a valuable commodity. When treated as a fun activity, teaching “sit” is rewarding for both dog and handler. Here are some examples:

Ask your dog to sit.

Your dog sits for your attention.

Sit your dog before his or her meal.

Your dog sits before getting a treat.

Your dog sits before being let out of the kennel.

Attaching a leash? Your dog must sit first.

Ask for a sit before your dog is unleashed.

Entering a yard? Ask your dog to sit first.

Your dog sits before exiting a yard.

You are busy and your attention is directed elsewhere. Have your dog sit.

Ask your dog to sit when greeting another dog or person.

Waiting for a turn? Have your dog sit.

Opening a door? Have your dog sit.

Ask your dog to sit while the door is opened and while being invited to go out.

Getting into a vehicle? Have your dog sit before entering.

Insist your dog sits before exiting a vehicle.

Teaching Sit By Rewarding An Improved Or Correct Behavior

The use of positive rewards after an improved or correct behavior is important why? Oh, you didn’t know there would be a pop quiz! Again, the principle is very simple: A dog’s behavior is strengthened by praise or treats (positive rewards) which reward your dog for doing something you want.  The reward makes your dog more likely to repeat the behavior.  Beginning in an area of few distractions, show the dog what it is you want them to do.  Let them practice the behavior a few times. Do not reward failed attempts. Reward only the correct or improved behavior. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool but only if you are fair and use it consistently.


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