Basic Commands Part 1 - Teach Your Dog to Sit

'Sit' is a great place to start when teaching your dog or puppy basic commands. It is an easy trick to master and can be useful in training your dog in other commands like drop, roll over and stay. So arm yourself with some tasty treats and let's get started.

Step 1

Find a space without many distractions so that your dog can focus. Show him a treat to get his interest.

Step 2

While your dog is focussed on the treat, hold it above his head so that he looks upward. Move the treat backwards, just behind his nose so that he begins to tilt his head back. Using a treat in this way known as 'luring'.

Step 3

Your dog will naturally try to get to the treat, and to do this from his current position he will need to put his bottom on the floor. As soon as this occurs you must 'capture' the behaviour. This is done by either using a clicker or a praise word (like 'yes') and giving him the treat.

Step 4

Repeat step 3 until your dog seems to understand what it is that you are wanting him to do. Once he understands, you can repeat the process but use the word 'sit' as you ask him to sit so that he will associate the action with the command.

Step 5

Continue to practice and over time you will find that you no longer need to 'lure' him into the sitting position, and he will respond just to the voice command.

Posted by Dr Teagan Lever

When Teagan's not busy sharing her knowledge of all things pets as Pet Circle's resident vet, she is the human companion of two intense English staffies and a three-legged cat named Steve.

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