Here's how you can teach a dog to sit upon request:
Hold a lure (a tasty treat or toy that a dog loves) in front of his face at nose level. Let him sniff it so that he realizes you are holding something he likes.
Slowly move your hand with the lure in it from the dog's nose up, along the top of his muzzle, between his ears. The treat should be held high enough that the dog has to crane his neck, but not so high he needs to jump up. When your dog looks up at the lure, he will probably sit to maintain his balance.
As soon as he sits, praise him and feed him the treat or let him play with the lure. After the dog has learned to sit with the lure, add the verbal cue, “Sit.”
Once the dog sits reliably with a lure, try to drop the lure and simply use your empty hand as a signal by following the steps above.
Once the dog reliably sits without the lure (treat or hand signal), only treat him sporadically when he sits. Vary how often and when you give treats
Need some Pointers?
- Every now and then give the dog a jackpot – a handful of treats as a huge reward. Occasional jackpots keep dogs working, hoping to hit the jackpot.
- Teach the dog to sit in a variety of situations and locations (e.g., before being fed, before going through doorways, before being given a treat or toy, before greeting a person, etc.)
- If trained properly, sit should become the dog’s default behavior (e.g., the behavior the dog offers anytime he wants something).
- Don’t reward the dog if he jumps or paws at you, or otherwise acts pushy when asking him to sit. If this happens, withdraw the lure and turn away from the dog, then start again.
Teaching your pooch simple commands like "sit" can strengthen the bond you share, leading to greater trust and more affection! Sit could be the first step to a long, enriching life with you for your canine family member!