Following commands is the trait of an intelligent, noble, and well-trained dog. However, even the most well-trained puppies can sometimes be stubborn and insist on doing things their way. “How can I make my puppy sit?” is a frequent question among dog owners and sitting is often one of the first tricks a puppy must learn.
Why is it so hard?
“What are you talking about, human? Can you repeat, please?”
Your puppy might be thinking this while staring at you, unsure what you want from them. Maybe your dog senses the treat in your right hand but doesn’t know what to do about it.
“Was I good? Oh, for the love of three sausages and a piece of ham, tell me what to do!?”
On other occasions, your puppy knows exactly what they should do but also knows that there isn’t any treat waiting for them at the end of the session. Puppies can smell your thoughts and sometimes may knowingly choose not to follow orders.
According to dog trainers, commands like ‘lie,’ ‘stay,’ ‘down,’ and ‘sit’ should be learned when the puppy is between seven and eight weeks old. At this age, puppies are most engaged and ready to learn.
What should I do to teach my dog to sit?
The lure and reward training
The lure and reward training is the most commonly accepted training method for making your dog sit, as well as learn other orders like ‘down’ and ‘lie.’ Even the most experienced dog owners should follow these simple steps when using this training method:
- Call your puppy and make them stand in front of you.
- Place a treat before their nose and hold it there for a moment or two.
- Start lifting the treat above their head and towards their rear.
- As your puppy follows the treat with their eyes, their rear slowly falls back on the ground.
- When you notice that your puppy’s already sitting, give them the treat as a reward and praise the smart puppy.
- Once your puppy learns to follow the treat and sit, you’ll have to place the lure in your other hand and hide it. This way, the puppy will be lured by the empty hand and instinctively sit down while getting the treat from your other hand. Your empty hand now becomes the signal for the order.
- After repeating this a number of times, you should also start saying the word ‘Sit’ to associate it with the action.
- ‘Repeating is the mother of knowledge,’ as the Romans and their well-trained Rottweilers would say. Exercise this command multiple times a day, and sitting still won’t be a problem in the future.
What might confuse your puppy, and what else can you do?
Don’t ever try to push your dog’s rear as it will confuse them and make the command even more complicated for them. Furthermore, the timing for giving the treat is crucial. Make sure that your dog is already on the ground when you display the treat because, by this point, your puppy may become a little inattentive and struggle to understand what you’re asking of them.
You could also try teaching the command in reverse. You can start by making your dog lay down and then slowly lift them into a sitting position. You can grab their attention by placing the treat before their nose and gradually lift it towards the back of your puppy. Everything else stays the same: for a successful sit – there’s a treat!
Making the ‘Sit’ an everyday habit
Exercise the new trick with your puppy daily and make it an integral part of their routine. In order to make sure your pup has truly mastered the craft of sitting, you can always reward them with a treat when they decide to sit voluntarily. This way, sitting becomes a habit.
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