How To Teach the Dog to Obey the “Sitting”
Have you ever said to your dog in a peremptory tone “Sit!” and it kept looking at you with questioning eyes, not understanding what you were asking him? Don’t worry, it can be remedied even if you are not a dog trainer. In fact, unfamiliar with the subject, because it is very easy to teach the dog to sit with the command “sit”.
In general, professional trainers start with this exercise, which dogs can already learn at an early age, after one or two training sessions. Obviously, when the dog is a puppy, the learning process is more immediate, but excellent results are obtained even with adult dogs.
This is because “sitting” is for the dog an instinctive position, which our four-legged friends also do spontaneously, without the need for any particular conditioning; what we have to teach the dog is to sit when we ask it, and then associate that position with a specific command.
What are the most common methods of teaching the dog to “sit”?
There are several techniques, one of which we could define as the “natural method“: it consists of observing the dog and, when you realize that it is about to sit down, which always happens during the day, immediately pronounce the word “sit“, and as soon as it sits down, reward the dog with a snack and affectionate strokes.
You must repeat this exercise several times, the dog will soon be happy to satisfy you every time you ask him to sit, because it will know that an appetizing reward awaits him.
This method of teaching the dog to sit is easier with puppies, who tend to get tired much more often than adults and therefore sit more often, so there will be more opportunities to put it into practice.
This does not mean that it is not an effective technique even with dogs that have already grown, we just have to pay more attention and “seize the moment”, that is, in the few moments when they decide to sit down.
How to teach my dog to sit: the most common method
Another way to teach the dog to sit is by making it approach you, better if it is in front of you, you must show it a snack or a game, and then bring the hand that holds the prize up, above the dog’s head, so that the animal, in an attempt to snout the desired object without retreating, will raise its head so far back that it will become unbalanced and sit up. At this point you must say the word “sit” and give him a prize.
How to proceed:
- Take a prize and hold it in one hand.
- Call your dog and show him what you have in your hand and invite him to take it.
- Stand in front of the dog, lean forward a bit and with your hand holding the treat just above his eyes. The arm should be relaxed.
- Encourage him to grab the prize so that it is forced to lift its head and step back to do so. This should bend its hind legs enough to sit up. If this is the case, you should say the word “sit” in a friendly tone.
- Get him to take the treat (snack or game) with lots of compliments (a touch with the other hand and a few words of praise will strengthen the role of positive reinforcement).
- Take a few steps away and let him enjoy his prize. Then repeat the same exercise, without stressing the animal: if you see that it is disinterested or nervous, forget it and try again the next day.
- Don’t give him the reward if he doesn’t do exactly what is required.
- It may take a few days before the dog can associate the voice command with the requested action. With training, the dog may tend to sit within sight of the desired object: however, always utter the word “sit.”
Teaching the Dog to Sit: There is a Method that is not Always Appreciated
Not all dog trainers agree on the use of this third method to teach the dog to “sit”, which is very similar to the previous two, but with a variation, in which many do not agree.
By always having a treat for the dog and always saying the word “sit“, and simultaneously pressing the dog’s back with one hand, you push it down, so that it physically understands what we want from it.
According to some trainers, this technique would be incorrect because it would induce the dog, instead of sitting, to exert a counter pressure, pushing up while pushing down; but also because it would lead the owner or the handler to assume a too dominant position towards the dog.
This may induce the dog to interpret the training as an unpleasant moment. It is essential that, regardless of the teaching you wish to impart to your four-legged friend, all learning stages are always experienced by your furry friend as fun and interesting.
Teach Your Dog To “Sit”: Video
If you have more questions, you can consult a professional near your home, who will provide the best assistance and answer all your questions.
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