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How To Teach Your Dog To Sit In Under Half An Hour

Updated on December 6, 2012

If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably got a new dog. Congratulations! So I assume you’ve tried telling him/her to sit, and are getting nothing but a blank (but oh-so cute and adorable) stare.

Or possibly an exasperated one.
Or possibly an exasperated one.

Well, don’t panic. The good news is that I’m going to teach you an incredibly simple technique to use when training your dog to sit, and it’s so effective that your dog should learn within half an hour! In fact, a lot of dogs get it within just a couple of minutes, and I’m sure your dog is one of the smarter ones.

...who thinks you're a simpleton.
...who thinks you're a simpleton.

Once you’ve got this simple technique down and your dog is sitting beautifully, don’t forget to check out my other hubs on different aspects of dog training; you’ll be a dog whisperer in no time. So, let’s get started.

Step One:

Get a doggy treat, preferably one big enough that you can hold onto tightly in your fist and still have a little bit sticking out.

Step Two:

Call the dog over (probably unnecessary based on experience; the sound of the treat bag opening will no doubt have resulted in your beloved pet circling you like a vulture around a dying Bedouin.) Crouch down or sit, and hold the food out towards the dog’s mouth, but DO NOT LET GO.

No matter what.
No matter what.

Step Three:

The dog will then try and worry it out of your hand, licking at it, chewing at it, even using its paws, until eventually it will sit its rear end down to be able to have a better go at it. THE SECOND IT DOES THAT, you very clearly and firmly say ‘Sit!’ and let go of the treat.

Step Four:

Repeat a few times.

Step Five:

Try saying ‘Sit!’ whilst holding the treat in the air. If the dog sits, MAKE SURE YOU GIVE THEM A TREAT IMMEDIATELY. However, if they stand up again before they get the treat, pull it away and say sit again, then try giving them the treat again. The rule is this: butt on the floor? Give them a treat, and lots of praise.

Dependant on positioning
Dependant on positioning

Now progress to step six. If the dog doesn’t sit with a treat being held in the air, go back to steps three and four.

Step Six:

Now the big test: doing it with no treat at all (that they can see.) Say sit, and if the butt goes down, again, IMMEDIATELY GIVE THEM THE HIDDEN TREAT THAT YOU HAD ALL ALONG (sucker dog!!) You’ve now cracked it, so do Step Six several more times and they’ll have it. Your dog will now sit on command! Just make sure that each time he does, once you’ve stopped the exercise, you tell him how good he is. Plus, if you’re so inclined, it’s a good idea to do Step Six again every now and then (to reinforce the behavior) and then you can just replace the treat with just praise and attention.

"Lousy praise and attention..."
"Lousy praise and attention..."

Now you and your pet have mastered the basics, why not have a look at some of my other dog training articles? I'll be writing plenty more in the months to come, so feel free to 'Follow' me to get them as they go up.

Or even better, check out my ebooks if you like my writing! These are available on the Kindle Store, readable on Kindle devices or the Kindle App for smartphone and tablet PCs. Click on the links below to find out more! :-)

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