Trick and Treat: Teach Your Puppy How to Sit the Easy Way

Dalmation Puppy

 

Teach your puppy how to sit with our simple step-by-step guide:

  • Begin by positively reinforcing natural behaviour. When the puppy sits down, say ‘sit’ as their hind quarters make contact with the ground and reward them with praise. This allows them to link the word to the action.
  • When training, ensure you are in a suitable environment with few distractions. Training before meal times may ensure your puppy is more focused on training treats so try these times.
  • Stand in front of your puppy with a treat in one hand and let them smell it. Ideal treats are small pieces of hot dog sausage, chicken or cheese.
  • Hold the hand with the treat 20 to 30cm away from your pet’s head and then move it behind the head. This puts pressure on the spine as the dog looks up, encouraging them to lower their haunches. If the dog backs up instead, take your free hand and gently press the back of the hind legs until the dog sits. Maintain your treat hand above the puppy’s head.
  • As soon as the puppy’s haunches touch the ground, say ‘sit’ firmly to once again associate the action with the command. Hold for a second or two and then give them the treat, praising them as you do.
  • If your puppy jumps up, tell them ‘No!’ in a firm voice. Wait until they have all four feet on the ground before allowing them to gently take the treat from you. Try the command again. Reward good behaviour with lots of praise and be consistent with your commands.
  • Repeat the action several times, but try to stop before the puppy gets bored to keep their attention on the task. Keep sessions short but frequent until they are able to sit on command every time.
  • Start to remove the treat from the guiding hand, rewarding with your other hand. If you want a hand signal, now is the time to introduce one. If not, you can gradually fade out the hand movement until the dog responds to ‘sit’ on its own.
  • Finally, take away the treats by first giving alternately and then giving randomly. Substitute treats with verbal praise to let the dog know they have done well.

Well done, your puppy has now learned to sit.

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