Dog Training Made Easy- Sit

Carolyn: In this film in the series we’re going to teach your dog to sit when you ask him to. This is a great first exercise to teach your dog because it’s something he does naturally anyway, and it’s a start of good canine manners.

A dog who’s sitting politely isn’t jumping on anyone and it’s going to give you the skills to teach more advanced training exercises later. Once you’ve mastered the four simple steps to training the sit then you can teach anything else, and then the sky’s the limit.

So to help me show you how to teach your dog to sit I’ve got Fergus here.

So the first thing we’re going to do is show the dog what we want him to do. That’s the first step. So we don’t do that by pushing him or pulling him because that will just end up being about who’s the strongest and that’s not what dog training’s about.

What we’re going to do is take a treat, hold it on the end of his nose, and we’re going to lift the treat up and back over his head. Fergus, around this way. Good lad. And as his head comes up his bottom has to go down and then he gets the treat. Perfect.

And practice that lots and lots and lots. It might take a few minutes or it might take a few weeks, but practice it until the minute you lift your hand up your dog sits. Good lad. What a good boy.

So the next thing that we need to think about is getting the dog to use his brain and work out what was it that got me the sausage last time. And I want him to think, “Ah, so if I put my bottom on the ground I get sausage. Fantastic.” So Fergus, treat on the end of the nose. Yes, aren’t you good? Figgy, Figgy, look, look, got sausage. Oh, good boy.

And you need to practice this again lots until the minute you just hold the treat your dog sit. Well done. And this again you’ve got to practice a lot until the minute you take that treat and hold it his bottom goes down.

The third step, you should only move on to when you will be prepared to bet 100 pounds that when you take your treat and wait your dog will sit. And so take your treat. The minute you see his bottom start to go down put the word sit in. Because you want to link it in your dog’s brain the action of sitting with the word.

So Fergus, sit. Good boy. And you get the word in just as you see your dog’s bottom going down. So Fergus, sit. Oh, good lad. And this is another one that you then need to practice and practice and practice before moving on to step four which is the most important part of dog training.

So you practice it in the garden, do it at the pub, do it in the park, start off where there’s few distractions and then you can build up to doing it maybe when those dogs around or people around, so that he knows that sit always means sit. And at this stage you can start to reduce the number of treats you’re giving your dog as well. So maybe you might ask for one sit and reward him or you might ask for four sits in four different places and then reward him.

Keep him guessing as to when the treats going to come so he keeps working with loads and loads of energy. So Fergus, ready? And sit. You are such a good boy. Okay, let’s go and practice some sits then. So get out and have fun and practice. Don’t you think so?

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