Teaching Your Dog How To Sit Can Be Fun

"Having a dog can become quite the nuisance if you haven't yet taught him some basic obedience commands. There aren't that many, but Sit and Down are must-haves. And it makes sense too. How else can you expect to control your dog if you can't make him stay put for 2 seconds.

Some people think only one is enough. Dogs will do things they don't want to do but unless you balance things out they won't put up with this kind of treatment for long. Sit is a fairly comfortable position in which a dog will naturally stay about 5 minutes.

Down is a much more comfortable position you see dogs in all the time, so he can stay there longer and not mind. When you want your dog to stay put for a long time you can use Down, otherwise use Sit. You also teach him Sit because most other commands start from the Sit position.

Getting started with the Sit command

First you focus his attention on you. This is easy if you have some treats (which you need anyway). There's a Watch Me command you can teach him as an all-purpose get his attention trick but that's outside the scope of the article.

Teaching your dog to Sit is fairly easy. You'll need to reserve 10-15 minutes every day. You'll be done before you know it. Begin by holding a treat in front of his nose. He'll try to reach it but don't let him. Next you need to raise the treat above his head.

You're essentially making him twist his head back, however to do this his knees must bend. This will result in him laying down in the Sit position. Now is time for his reward. Praise him lavishly and give him the treat. Now slowly start to add the command word ""Sit"" and then stop using the treat every time.

Let's move on to the more difficult Down command

This one will be a little harder. There are multiple ways to do this, some using the Sit position, but I feel that teaching a separate command is more effective. A Sit-Down combo might not work when you're in a rush.

Start with the dog to your left side, facing the same direction as you. Bend down and rest an arm on his shoulders. Don't push it down, you want him to feel comfortable with your hand. Place the treat in front of his nose and slowly move it down towards the ground.

In the meantime talk to him in a soft, soothing voice. If his chest drops but his back is still up move the treat more into his chest so he has to fall in order to reach it.

I assure you he'll be sitting Down in no time. This also has the benefit of building trust by assuring the dog you're not trying to dominate him. Feel free to check out the awesome alltypesofdogs site where you can find tons of information about dogs. Finally, expect some failures in the process, be patient and it will pay off."

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