Dog Training Basics
When you get a puppy or adopt a rescue like I did, one of the first things you will probably ask is how to teach your dog to sit. “Sit” the one of the most fundamental of all dog tricks as it forms the base for many more. Plus a reliable sit on command is a very useful obedience behaviour to establish early.
I am not a professional trainer but I have worked with the best and I can share how I very easily taught even a slightly older impulsive rescue dog like my Kilo the Pug, using reward-based positive training methods.
Kilo is VERY food motivated so treats are his favorite reward. He also loves hugs and praise. He does not respond at all well to “no” or punishment.
I mainly lure him to do things to get a treat or occasionally shape his behaviour by rewarding him with a treat when he chooses to do something I want by himself.
Some people use a clicker to mark completion of behaviours and tricks when training, but I tend to just use words like yes and good boy with Kilo.
Kilo loves to sit as it is comfortable, simple and rewarding.
He can be quite reactive and anxious but sitting calms and distracts him on walks and in the house when guests arrive or if I am cooking.
3 Easy Steps to teach your dog to sit
- Start by kneeling down with your puppy standing in font of you and hold a yummy treat in front of their nose.
- Move the treat of towards their nose then over their head towards their back. This should cause the puppy to lift their nose, follow the treat and keep their head up as they drop their rear. If they jump up you may have the treat too high.
- As soon as their butt hits the floor say “sit” and give them a treat so they learn to associate the action with the command. We repeat this before breakfast, before dinner.
Be patient and keep it fun. You can use your hand very gently to guide their rear down if they really don’t get it but you should not need to.
Now I just use a hand signal and say “sit” from anywhere and Kilo knows exactly what to do. He gets a treat afterwards or a toy or a good boy and pats.
So there you have a very valuable basic behaviour to get you and your puppy started.
If you want to move on to more advanced tricks, check out How to Teach Your Dog To Sit Pretty.
Check out our post and video for ideas on 20 Easy Tricks to Teach Your Dog Featuring Kilo The Pug
Check out our review of good friend’s Larry Kay’s New Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever
Buy a copy through our Amazon Affiliate Link clicking below:
Remember, training your dog requires a lot of patience, if your dog doesn’t seem to get it at first don’t get mad. Keep positive. Keep training sessions short, just a few minutes a few times a day.
I usually have Kilo “Come” then “Sit” before his breakfast and dinner.