Teaching a dog to sit is often the first trick you teach your pet. Its one of the easiest tricks to teach and it begins to teach your dog obedience and teaches him that if he does what you are trying to teach him, he will get rewarded!
So why teach him to sit as your first trick? Well generally, sitting down is a motion that dogs do naturally. They are comfortable when in the classic sit position so they don’t really mind doing it. If he wants to do it anyway, it wont take much convincing to get him to sit on command.
How to teach a dog to sit
Like most other tricks, you need to link your ‘sit’ command with the motion of sitting down.
To get your dog to sit on command you need to have your dog sit down and at the same time you say your command. This will link the command ‘sit’ to the motion of sitting down. Its important to know that while you are training you need to say the ‘sit’ command while the dog is completing the sit motion and not before as many people think.
How do you get your dog to sit in the first place?
So now you need to get your dog to sit in the position.
Hold a treat in your hand, it has to be something he loves. Show him that you have it in your hand and stand in front of him. Slowly move your hand (and his treat!) over your dogs head and towards his tail. This movement will force your dogs head to follow the treat and his bottom will go down. If your dog sits down in the process, or even if his bottom just touches the ground, immediately say ‘sit’ and give him the treat and plenty of praise.
Sometimes he doesn’t want to follow the rules and no matter where you put his treat his bottom just doesn’t land on the floor. If this is your dog then don’t panic. You can gently push his bottom to the ground instead and gently push him into the sit position. As you push him down and his bottom touches the ground say ‘sit’ and give him a treat.
Be consistent. It does take some practice. Your dog should start picking up this trick within a week or less and once your dog is sitting on command you should start leaving a gap of a few seconds between your dog sitting and you giving a treat.
Sitting is often the first trick people teach their dog, but don’t forget you still need to practice and reinforce or he will forget how to do it.