A great place to start with obedience training, is training your dog to sit on command. It is an easy command for your pup to master, and you will find that it is one of the most used commands.
Starting off with an easy command, such as “SIT” will get your dog off to a great start. Your puppy will build confidence and self esteem once they have mastered the command and reap the rewards.
This will make it easier for further, and often times, more difficult obedience commands. Not only will your dog have a command under his leash, but this is a wonderful command to help socialize your puppy.
Knowing how to sit on command, really helps to reinforce good behavior. For example, your dog jumps on your every time you come home from work. Now you can gain control over your dog, and enforce who is master, but saying “sit.”
You do not need to wait for obedience training class to begin if you want to get a head start on the sit command. Just remember to keep your home training sessions short. I recommend that you begin with five-minute lessons. Once you see they can tolerate this time frame, you can begin bumping it up one minute at a time.
All puppies sit on their own. However, they don’t know what “sit” means of that it is a good behavior. To begin you will want to watch your dog around the house. When you see them go to sit down or are already sitting, say the command “sit.” Then praise your dog. Soon your puppy will realize that what they are doing is a word called sitting, and it makes you pleased when they do this thing called “sit.”
This method takes a lot of repeating, but works very well if you are persistent. Remember, any time is a good time to practice. You don’t need to be at home for this method. Whether you are at the park, in the backyard, or at the vet’s office, continue to say “sit” when they sit (or are about to) and you will soon see that they have mastered this command. Also, don’t forget about the positive reinforcement, as this is what makes it fun and rewarding for your puppy.
If your puppy is a little older, or you have a full-grown dog then there is another method that you can try. Stand in front of your dog with a treat in your hand. Slowly raise the treat into the air, yet right near your dog’s nose.
By nature, as your dogs nose goes into the air, his bottom will lower and naturally sit on the ground. As soon as he sits, praise him and give him the treat. This approach does not work as well with puppies because they tend to jump a lot. If they are already trained not to jump, then definitely give this a try. If they still jump, take your hand away, and try again, this time with your hand closer to your dogs nose and not too far back over his head.
As with our first method, as soon as your dog places his bottom on the floor, or the moments before, say “sit.”
If neither of these ways work, you are going to want to move to the leash. First, stand next to your pup, facing the same way. Hold the lease tight and upwards. Gently press down on your dogs lower back and say “sit.” As soon as your dog sits, praise and reward him.
This way takes a little longer because you are helping your pup perform the command, but they will get the hang of it soon enough.
Your puppy might not pick up on any of these methods the first day, or even the first week, but keep on reinforcing the action and command, and he will get it. Once he has been performing the sit command for a while, you will want to start to phase out the treats. Giving your pet a treat every now and then is great, but 50 snacks a day is a bit on an overkill and not healthy for your dog or your budget.