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Teaching Your Dog to Sit


Teaching your dog to sit is one of the best ways to control his behavior, and should be the first command taught. While sitting is a comfortable, natural position for dogs, learning commands is not natural.


How to Begin...
Take your dog to a quiet place, where there are no natural distractions. A place where you are sure to get his full attention.

Have patience with your dog, and give him the benefit of the doubt.

The verbal command is simply "sit." As with most commands, do not use your dog's name before giving the command. (Only use your dog's name with commands that involve forward motion which we will get to later.)


Techniques...
The pushing technique is the basic training technique used in teaching a dog to respond to the "sit" command.

Holding his leash in your right hand, position your dog at your left (facing forward). Gently run the fingers on your left hand down your dog's spine to his hip joints. When you reach the two indentations at the bottom of his spine, give them a firm, but gentle squeeze and say "sit." At the same time push down with your left hand and pull up on the leash with your right hand. Stretch the sound of the command "sit" until your dog is sitting. If you offer the command too hard or fast, it will startle your dog. When your dog reaches a sitting position, offer enthusiastic praise. Repeat the process until the dog responds properly every time. Then try the command without pushing down on his hip joints. Simply say "sit" and pull up on the leash. Later, eliminate the pull-up on the leash and simply offer the voice command.

If after several sessions your dog continues to have difficulty with the pushing technique, employ the corrective jerk. Give the command "sit," and gently jerk the leash with your right hand, while you push down on the hip joints with your left hand. When he is seated, remember to offer praise.

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