Dog training basics: The sit command – Part 1

The sit command is one of the first commands you will want to teach your dog. Most other commands you will teach will start from sit. For instance; the stay command is usually given after the dog is in a sit position, heel is always started from a sit position, down in usually given from a sit.

While feeding your dog you want them to sit, so they are not in the way. When taking them outside you want them to sit, so you can attach the lead, and open the door. There are many more reasons for the sit command, and many more commands that will require your dog to know sit. So teaching your dog the “sit” command is a great place to start your training.

To begin the sit command place the pinch collar around your dogs neck and attach a 6 foot lead. Your dog will want to be on your left side, so it is best to always have him sit there. This will make other commands easier, because your dog will always be on the same side, it will less confusing for you and you them. Hold the leash in your right hand, feel free to shorten it by holding it in a loose loop. You will stand with your dog on your left side, and give him the sit command.

A command should not only include the “word” you use for the command, but also a specific “action” for that command. I use the command word “sit” at he same time I take my left hand (the one closest to the dog) and do a motion like I am “scooping up water”, this is my visual command. I then give my dog a correction if he/she did not sit.

A correction with a pinch collar is a downward jerk on the lead. This will be done with your left hand, while holding the lead in your right hand. A correction should be given immediately after the command is given, and each and every time. This repetition and consistency will teach your dog what is being asked.

You should then start walking with your dog, and give them the sit command again, respond according to what they do. When your dog sits praise him/her; get excited and pet them, use a happy voice and have fun with them. This is so important! This lets your dog know what he is suppose to be doing, and how happy it makes you when he/she does it. These steps will need to be repeated, but if done right your dog should be sitting on command within one training session.

Many times when an owner is not getting results, it is because they are doing something wrong. If this is happing to you make sure you are correcting, and rewarding immediately after the command is given. Timing is key to your success. Also make sure you are always giving the same command (word and action) each and every time.

Without repetition and consistency, your dog will get confused and not know exactly what you want. Make sure you are praising and having fun with them when they do something right! This is why they are going to want to do things right, and how they will learn what right is. Your consistency, repetition and praise is your part of the Team Work!

Training is not just about your dog doing what they are told, it is about bonding with your dog and making training a fun time between the two of you. This in turn makes the owner happy with their well behaved dog, and builds a stronger bond. Trained dogs are safer, healthier, and show less signs of aggression. Training or “working” your dog will create a happier dog and stronger bond between them and family.

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