GOAL: Upon hearing the word “Sit” once, your dog will put its rump on the ground until you give a release word.
- Have a small treat in your hand.
- Slowly place your hand holding the treat near your dog’s nose.
- Slowly raise your hand thereby leading your dog’s nose up. This will usually guide the dog to sit. Do not press on the dog’s rump.
- Give your dog that treat and praise only when your dog actually is sitting quietly.
- Wait a brief moment, then release your dog using your release word. Remember to have your dog looking at you when you give your release word.
- Repeat these actions several times. When you’re certain the dog will sit with this hand signal, go to step 6.
- Now add the dog’s name and the command “sit”. Remember to always release your dog using your release word after your dog has sat.
As your dog fully understands the command “Sit” (a week or two) begin to fade the food. Do this by putting the food in your left hand. Signal “Sit” with your right hand (with no food). When your dog sits, give your reinforcement word and pop the treat into your dog’s mouth with your left hand.
Your dog won’t sit.
Check to be sure that you are keeping your treat interesting enough (waggle it a bit) and that you’re holding the treat high enough.
Your dog jumps up
You may be holding your treat too high. Keep the treat closer to the dog’s nose height.
Your dog sits and then stands up.
Give the treat in tiny nibbles until the dog is released. Give lots of praise while the dog is sitting. Be very sure to always use a release word.
Praise while your dog is sitting.
Always give a release command.
REMEMBER: Visual trumps audio. If you’re having a hard time with your dog not hearing you, add the hand signal.
PRACTICE: having your dog sit to say “please”.
Sitting as dinner is served = “Please give me my dinner.”
Sitting before being petted = “Please pet me.”
Sitting at the doorway = “Please, let’s go out.
”Avoid changing the command to the often heard “sitsitsitsitsitSIT” or “sssssssssit”.