How to Train a Dog to Sit

2+1 quick dog training techniques for beginners:

Are you planning to get a new dog? Perhaps you’re a dog trainer who has trouble teaching dogs to sit? Maybe you have a puppy or a grown-up dog that moves around too much, and you can’t seem to get them under control? Whatever the case may be, training a dog to sit is an essential part of being a knowledgeable and good dog owner.

For beginners, two training methods called ‘luring’ and ‘capturing’ are the most common ways to teach your dog to sit. Another technique known as ‘pretty’ sitting can be taught to a dog to make them sit on their two hind legs with their paws reaching upward. Using doggy treats such as small biscuits will encourage the dog; so reward them whenever they sit. 

So if you have a puppy or a dog that doesn’t sit when you ask them to, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with these easy dog training techniques that anybody can follow.

Technique # 1: ‘Luring’

As its name suggests, you need to take a dog treat and get close up and personal. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  • Pick a treat your dog loves. It doesn’t have to be big; even a piece of dog biscuit would be enough.
  • Bend down and get closer to your dog, looking them in the eyes.
  • Bring the treat closer to their nose. Allow them to sniff the tempting smell.
  • Then, move the treat away from your dog’s nose.
  • Lift it slowly, hovering directly above the dog’s head.

Your dog may be standing, but they’ll try to reach up for the treat. When your pet looks up, place the treat in your other hand and allow them to look at your empty hand instead.

And while looking directly at the treat above their head, they’ll end up sitting in the process. So, at that very moment, signal with your empty hand and say ‘sit’ to train your dog. Oh, and remember to give your dog the treat – they deserve it for obeying effectively!

Technique # 2: ‘Capturing’

You can try the ‘capturing’ method if luring doesn’t work out. Again, you would need to select a treat for your dog. You can start by taking a few pieces of biscuits in your hands.

  • With your hands full of treats, move closer to your dog. Allow them to sniff the treat and wait.
  • Reward But, again with a treat if your dog sits and then move away from them.

You may find your pet dog standing up and coming closer to feast on some more treats. If they stand up, come near, and sit again, give them a biscuit or two more. You can keep repeating this method as many times as you need for your dog to grasp visual and verbal cues.

Teaching your dog to sit in ‘pretty’ style

What do we mean by a dog sitting in style or sitting pretty? Well, it’s all about your canine friend sitting on its two hind legs.

If your dog has mastered the art of sitting when you ask them to, here’s how to add some style to it:

  • Start by asking your dog to sit (since they have become used to it)!
  • Then, repeat the luring technique, hover the treat above their head.
  • Since they can’t reach out for the treat, they’ll attempt it with their paws.
  • Once they move their paws upward, reward them with a treat.
  • But don’t stop just yet; start again and this time, hover the doggy treat at a much higher position.
  • Again, reward your dog with a treat once they get their paws up.

With every repetition, place the treat higher. Your dog may look confused at first and bend backward, but that’s part of the process to train your dog to sit in style!

And, of course, you can clap for your pet or praise them along with the treat.

PRO-TIP: It’s important not to start with an extremely high position. Your dog will have trouble reaching out if the treat is too high, which might make them stumble over.

Few things to keep in mind when training your dog to sit

While training your dog can be simple, some people may make mistakes. Here are a few points to remember when teaching your dog how to sit:

  • Don’t touch your dog or grab them to make them sit.
  • Don’t reward your dog with too many treats when it sits successfully. It could make them habitual of overfeeding, and they may gain unnecessary weight!
  • Reward your dog every time they sit by themselves, that is, without any command from your end.
  • Always give your dog the treat while they are in the sitting position. Giving it before or after will only confuse your pet. They wouldn’t learn much from the training session that way.

All in all, you can even practice sitting in certain situations. For instance, when you’re busy cooking and your dog is moving around, practice any two techniques. And your pet will learn not to disturb you when you’re occupied!

Recap: Training a dog to sit

Hence, teaching a dog how to sit is among the most common dog training tips for beginners. Two of the most straightforward dog training techniques for sitting include the ‘luring’ and ‘capturing’ methods. Of course, you will need a doggy treat for whichever way you opt to train your dog to sit.

When using the luring method, you would need to hover the treat above your dog’s head. And if you’re practicing with the ‘capturing’ method, just place a handful of treats in front of your dog to sniff. Then step back, so your dog can practice switching between standing and sitting.

Remember to not force your dog to sit by grabbing them! Always give a verbal cue by telling your dog to ‘sit.’ Use a visual cue as well by signaling with your empty hand, so they don’t get used to sitting only when they see a treat.

Now that you know how to train a dog to sit, start practicing right away!

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