How To Teach Your Puppy To Sit

How to teach your puppy to sit
Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

If you’re here because you want to know how to teach your puppy to sit, or are looking to train your puppy to understand basic commands, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to train your puppy to sit and how to start teaching your new friend basic command words.

Why is it important to teach your puppy to sit?

Training your puppy is an essential part of owning and raising a dog, the training process can be started at any age, however, is easiest when it’s started as soon as possible. Training your puppy the ‘Sit’ command will not only help build its confidence but will help strengthen the relationship between you both, and help kick start the process of creating a remarkable bond. Also, asking your dog to sit before crossing roads will make them safer, and when greeting people, they are less likely to jump up to them, so there are other social benefits too.

Regular command training also provides mental stimulus for your puppy and keeps them happy and engaged, so it’s great to see that you’re wanting to teach your puppy to sit, it’s a super basic one to start with.

How To Teach Your Puppy To Sit

You’ll need a special treat to reward your puppy during the training process, and as they make improvements towards sitting, you can reward them so they understand that they are doing a good job.

In time, once they’ve learned how to sit on command, they’ll keep doing as they trained, in the hope that they will be rewarded later down the line, or it will become a natural habit to sit when they hear the word.

1) Find a suitable place to train your puppy

This is an important step, you’ll need to find a safe and quiet place to start the training process, as your puppy will need to be focused without any distractions and have the headspace to start their training.

Teach your puppy how to sit in the garden
Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash

A quiet garden or an unoccupied room in the house is a good idea, as it’s safe and they are in a place that they are familiar with. If there are lots of distractions around them, they won’t be able to focus on their training and you won’t have much luck in making progress towards getting your puppy to sit.

2) Get rid of any distractions

Remove toys from their place of training and ensure that it’s just you and your puppy – otherwise, if there are other people around, they’ll quickly get distracted and it will make the training process difficult. 

This also includes any noises, such as traffic outside, noises of other dogs, squeaking, tapping, or any other sound that may alert your puppy’s attention.

3) Choose a command word that you’d like to teach your puppy

These steps don’t just apply to the command ‘Sit’, however, any other type of command that you plan to teach your puppy.

The command word is the focus word and you’ll need to make sure that the command is well-spoken, clear, and easy to understand for your puppy. The word should end in one or two vowels and shouldn’t be mixed with other words that you may use for other activities – because if you were to say that word out of context, once trained, the puppy may get confused, as they’ve been taught to respond.

As an example, if you trained your puppy to understand the word “walkies” before you go on a walk, and you were to say the word “walkies” to a friend or family member near your puppy, without any intention of walking your puppy, they may start to question why they aren’t going on a walk – and their confidence in that word will diminish over-time.

4) Get your puppies attention

Once you’re in a quiet place with your puppy, you’ll need to ensure you get your puppies attention and that they are focused on you. This can be done by simply holding up a treat to show what you’ve got for your puppy and this will immediately get their attention.

Once they are focused on you, they may try and jump up to get the treat or be very fidgety, especially if they are motivated by food, so you’ll need to make sure your hand has a firm grip on the treat to make sure they don’t grab it.

Once the puppy has calmed, you can start teaching your puppy how to sit.

5) Hold the treat above their nose and move it towards their back

Whilst holding your puppy’s treat, the best approach is to hold the treat above your puppy’s nose, and once the puppy puts their nose to the treat, move your hand up over their head and towards their back.

This action will encourage your puppy to follow the motion of the treat and in doing so, they will put their rear end onto the floor, resulting in them sitting.

Once they do sit, reward them and praise them with “good boy” or girl! Whatever you fancy. You just need to make sure that your praise word is said enthusiastically, as dogs react to their human’s tone of voice and they need to make sure that they’ve done a good job!

6) Repeat the process but say ‘Sit’

Repeat the process lots of times but as your puppy moves into the sitting position by moving your hand above their nose and towards their back, say your ‘Sit!’ command word before you reward them with the treat.

After doing this lots of times, your puppy will understand that “Sit” is associated with the action of sitting down. As they know they will be rewarded for doing this, they’ll keep wanting to do it, and in time, it will become a habit and they’ll do it with or without a treat being rewarded.

Training your puppy to sit will take time and it’s important to be patient throughout the process, but if you aren’t having much luck teaching your puppy to sit, you can help them by gently placing your hand on his romp and this will encourage them to move into the sitting position.

It’s super important to make sure you don’t push or apply pressure to the puppy’s back, as some breeds may have fragile spines, such as Daschunds, so be careful when trying to assist your furry friend.

7) Give them lots and lots of treats and praise

Reward your puppy as much as you can and don’t forget to switch out the treats with something new and tasty to keep them engaged, in time, they’ll learn to sit by your command. They’ll also be looking forward to the next awesome treat they receive and therefore, make them a happier pup!

8) Keep it consistent

Once they’ve got the hang of it, incorporate the sit command into their daily lives outside of the training area. 

This could include asking them to sit before receiving their meal, treat, or another type of reward. Keep it consistent as part of the puppy’s daily routine and this will help keep them engaged and excited for their next command, because who doesn’t love a tasty treat?

There you have it, that’s how straightforward it is to teach your puppy how to sit. Once your puppy has mastered “Sit” you can then move on to the next command. Best of luck!

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