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See Spot sit: How to train and reward your dog



Sitting is the most important command
If a dog sits reliably when requested, you can prevent and solve an almost endless list of behavioral problems. One of the biggest nuisances is a dog who jumps on people to say hello; even a tiny dog can scratch your legs and, of course, a larger dog could knock down a child or elderly person. So it’s important to teach him or her to sit and greet.

Also, a dog who’s rushed through the front door or drags you down the street when you take him for a walk is not only an annoyance but a hazard to himself and you. You can ask him to sit by your side to prevent him from getting into trouble or running into the road.

Teach your dog to sitIt’s important to take the time to prepare before you start teaching your dog (sort of like a schoolteacher does before beginning a lesson). The first step is to get yourself a treat pouch that contains plenty of snacks and his favorite treats to use as rewards.

It’s also important to keep the dog on a leash, and a 6-foot leash is a good length. Then figure out which approach is best to teaching your dog how to sit. A lot of this is based on his personality and temperament. We’ll go over three basic ways to teach your dog to sit.

Pulling dog’s collar
The first is a more old-fashioned approach, which is pulling up on the dog’s collar and pushing down on its rear. I don't recommend this for many reasons, including that it is not a safe method with all dogs, and it is not a way that children can teach dogs.

Lure/rewards trainingBy holding a bit of food in your hand like this (show), you can move your dog's head about (show). If you move your hand slightly up and back over your dog’s head, you can get him to sit. Say “Yes!” when he sits to let him know that was the right thing to do, and give him a treat. By repeating this many times in 3- to 5-minute training sessions throughout the day he’ll start to understand that your hand moving up and back is a cue to sit. At this point you can add the command “Sit” right as you start to move your hand so he will eventually learn to sit on a verbal cue and for the hand signal.

Capturing method (what you should do) This is the easiest and in most cases most effective way to teach “sit.” Just stand in front of your dog and don't say a word. He may jump, whine or bark, but ignore all that so he learns it doesn’t work. He will eventually sit, and when he does, say “Yes!” and give the treat.

Now try again. You'll find that with each repetition ,your dog will sit more quickly as he figures out that is what he has to do to get the treat. When you are confident he will sit automatically when you stand in front of him, you can say “Sit” right before he does so, so he learns to do it on command.

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