How to teach your puppy to sit
The common thought when teaching a pet to sit is that you physically push the dog’s back side to the floor. However, forcing them to sit this way is not the most productive method. Not to mention it can be extremely harsh on your pet.
Instead, once you have gotten their attention on you; with treat in hand use your hand signal of choice and firmly give the command “Sit”. While doing so you will want to make sure to hold your treat containing hand directly above their head and move slightly toward their tail. While they watch your hand moving back, their natural tendency will be to look straight up to follow the motion with their eyes. When they cannot look back any further, naturally they will plant their rear end on the ground.
Of course, this will take repetition and patience from you and your pup! After they begin getting the concept, try holding the treat in your hand that is not giving your signal now or even behind your back. To up your dog’s skill level, after they have mastered the basic concept of “Sit”; try giving your command while you are sitting down or even lying down on the ground. Giving your command in various positions will spark your pet to think about the command itself and not just about the context.
It’s best to start out with tiny portions of treats sure to lock them in: bits of chicken are a house favorite of ours. Then, once your pet begins demonstrating the ability to repeat the trick you’re asking for you can move on to slightly less desirable treats. After a dog has built up a record of success with a specific trick, you can still reward them every so often when they’re not expecting it. This will reassure them that they’re on track and the occasional surprise of a treat will keep them performing at their best for you!
Have you taught your pet a particularly advanced or unique skill? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below! Happy training!