Teaching Your Dog a Sit Command

Posted on Posted in Basic Obedience, Training

All dogs should learn basic obedience, and sitting when told is a particularly useful skill for a dog to master. Sitting on command can be especially beneficial to your dog in greeting situations. In fact, with proper training, your dog can learn that sitting is the best way to encourage people to say hello. Teaching your dog to sit on command is relatively easy.

  1. With a piece of food in your fingers, put your hand directly in front of your dog’s eyes, about three inches away. Slowly move your hand towards the forehead, between the ears and then back to the neck of the dog. We are trying to get the dog to look at, and follow the food without moving her feet. When her head goes back, her butt goes down.
  2. When she is regularly sitting during this “lure” technique, begin to hide the treat in your hand so the dog doesn’t see it, but she still gives you the behavior.
  3. Once your dog reliably offers you this behavior, introduce the “SIT” command by saying it each time you give the hand signal.
  4. Continue to practice SIT in a variety of locations and situations.
  5. When your dog is performing a reliable SIT command, start rewarding him less often i.e. every other time, then the third time jackpot him with two or three treats. You can also provide a delayed reward that teaches the dog to tolerate a short period of waiting for the reward.