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September 14, 2016

Part 1: The Treat Method Teaching your pooch to sit on command is one of the cornerstones of any obedience regimen. There are traditionally three different ways to teach your dog this important command, each tailored to different canine personalities. Today, we will go over the most common method.

Before beginning any of these methods, keep these three quick guidelines in mind:

  1. Be indoors. Teaching your dog anything outside is difficult – there are too many distractions.
  2. Limit your speech. The only word your dog should hear during training is “sit” and the release word. Using too many words will confuse her.
  3. Stay focused. If your pooch starts to look listless or distracted, take a break and try again later. Five to ten minute training sessions are ideal.
Step By Step Guide: This method works well for almost all dogs, but may not be ideal for those with exceptionally high or low energy. Parts 2 and 3 of this series will cover additional training methods for very high or very low energy dogs.
  1. Begin by ensuring you have your dog’s full attention by showing her a treat. Have more small treats at the ready, in a pocket or bag.
  2. Stand close to your dog and keep the treat about a foot forward and above the tip of her nose – close, but just out of reach.
  3. Move the treat slowly over the top of her head until she’s looking straight up at it. As you do this, she will follow it with her eyes, and she should rest back in a full sit position.
  4. If she does not sit down fully, you can gently help her by pressing down lightly on her low back and keeping the treat dangling above her.
  5. As soon as her rear end touches the ground, say “sit” firmly. Try to repeat the word identically every time you say it.
  6. Be sure to praise her after giving her the treat. Make sure she continues to sit while you praise her.
  7. After a moment, take a step back and say “release” or “come,” and encourage her to come to you. Give her praise when she comes, and then take out another treat to restart the process.
  8. After a few days of repeating this method, begin to use treats more and more sparingly, but continue to praise her each time she sits, and continue to use the release word each time she stands up.
  Using these simple steps, your dog should learn to sit and come on command. Be aware that this may take several weeks of consistent training.