Teach Your Dog to Sit in 5 Easy Steps
Is your dog trained to sit? People typically want to teach their dogs this classic behavior as their first lesson. It’s one of the most basic cues used by strangers to encourage your dog to greet them on the street. “Sit” is also a terrific way to train your dog's impulse control and stop undesirable behaviors like leaping up on people or rushing the door. The command can also aid in laying the foundation for commands like "stay" and other more complex ones. The goal is for your dog to link the word and action together.
The Biggest Mistake When Teaching the "Sit" Command
Avoid forcing your dog to sit down, even if they still won't sit on their own after several attempts. That's not how dogs learn. Avoid using punishment or yelling as well. Negative reinforcement rarely generates a response from dogs other than confusion.
What You'll Need to Teach the "Stay" Command Properly.
- A Quiet, Distraction-Free Space
- High-Value Treats
- Time (10-30 minutes daily)
- A Reliable E-Collar
How to Teach a Dog to Sit in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1: Select the right environment.
Avoid teaching commands at the dog park, for instance. Instead, pick a relaxing, distraction-free location where you have control. Every training session should be conducted "on a leash" to provide you control over your dog and to keep your dog's focus on you.
Step 2: Hold the treat.
To get your dog or puppy's attention, place a treat in your palm and move it in front of its mouth and nose. Allow them to nibble and sniff.
Step 3: Move the treat & say "sit."
Once your dog is focused on you, give the command, “sit,” while raising the treat slowly upward and a few inches behind your their head. Your puppy should start to back up before finally sitting due to this.
The treat can still be reached and sought by raising it merely a few inches. Your dog will instinctively gaze up because of you moving it up, resting their butt on the ground. If it doesn't work, try getting closer to your dog until you are directly above them, forcing them to look even higher. This act typically results in a sitting position.
Step 4: Praise your dog!
Praise your dog as soon as their bottom hits the floor. You should give your dog a treat to show them that this was the right move. Reinforce the command by saying “nice sit” or “good sit!” while awarding the treat. Your dog will hear the phrase "sit" and get more familiar with the command.
Step 5: Repeat the process.
In a relaxed setting where your dog can concentrate and learn, spend 10 to 15 minutes practicing the sit command. To keep track of the repetitions you have completed, count out your dog training treats in advance.
My Dog Won't Sit! What Do I Do?
What if your dog is unwilling to sit by themselves? If your dog struggles to sit alone, it can signify that they are hurt or uncomfortable in the position. If your vet has ruled out any underlying medical concerns, you can always use the luring method to control pain.
If your dog has trouble sitting due to pain, talk to your veterinarian about the positions that seem most comfortable to rest. Use an orthopedic dog bed or a nice yoga mat to train your dog. Instead of asking them to move around while you train, concentrate on simple exercises like touching a hand target. If you need your dog to remain immobile, remember that standing or lying down works just as well as the sit command in dog training.
Can I Use an E-Collar to Train My Dog?
We do not recommend teaching your dog basic obedience instructions like sit, stay, down, and come with a dog shock collar. However, suppose your dog understands the orders but responds irregularly, slowly, or less accurately than you would want, an e-collar can help them get better at it.
How to Train Your Dog to Sit Using an E-Collar
Step #1: Put the E-Collar on Your Dog
Before using stimulation on your dog, get them comfortable with wearing the e-collar first. You can do this by letting them wear the collar a few minutes at a time every day. Once your dog is used to wearing the e collar, you can start training.
Remember that the e collar must fit your dog correctly. The remote training e collar must fit snugly to enable contact points to make skin contact. Check carefully that it’s not on too loosely or too tightly. To check, two fingers should fit between the collar strap and the dog's skin. The side of the neck is where the receiver should be placed. This makes the ecollar will stay in place. This also ensures adequate and consistent stimulation is administered when the time comes.
Step #2: Find the Right Stim Level
Once your dog is comfortable with the collar and the receiver, you need to identify the appropriate stimulation level that generates a quick response.
Start at the lowest stimulation level. Increase the levels slowly until you see a reaction. Some signs pointing to a too-high stim level include:
- Head Jerking or Shaking
- Looking Away
- Tightness Around the Mouth
- Dilated Pupils
If you see these signs, immediately decrease the stim level and try again.
As the person who knows your pet best, observe their body language.
Step #3: Prepare for Positive Reinforcement
The stimulation from the remote training dog collar will be used to mark the desired behavior. This will be coupled with a reward to make it stick. So, prepare high-value treats for your dog.
Eventually, they will stop needing the dog shock collar and the treats to comply or behave.
Step #4: Introduce the Sit Command
Ask your dog to "sit" in a clear and authoritative tone. Couple the command with a hand signal, stim, vibration, or tone. Praise your dog once they comply and reward with a treat.
Always remember this process: "Tap + Command," "Yes!" and "Treat."
Thinking of getting a dog e-collar to assist with training your pet? Here are our top picks for the best e-collar for basic training:
Dogtra collars are top-notch. They are some of the best shock collars available in the market. The Dogtra 200C remote training collar is a simple, straightforward remote trainer that is one of the best shock collars for small dogs. It’s great for reinforcing basic obedience or starting outdoor off-leash training. The small receiver collar is tailor-fit for small necks without compromising on comfort.
Yes, another Dogtra ecollar takes the next spot on our list. The 280C is the big brother to the 200C. Best for dogs 10 pounds or larger, the ultra-compact transmitter on this system has 127 levels of static stimulation and a pager vibration option. The ½-mile range is more than adequate and can easily go from backyard to park without issues.
A PetsTEK list of best shock collars will never be complete without the Mini Educator ET-300. This highly popular remote trainer is a dog trainer’s dream. Our favorite feature is the customizability. It has a range of ½ mile, 100 levels of stimulation, vibration, and tone so you can pick what works best for your dog. Aesthetically, you can choose from three color options – yellow, black, and the Educator Zen 300. Not a fan of those colors at all? Well, you can purchase different colored remote skins to match your pet’s personality. How’s that for personalization?
Training your dog to sit need not be an exercise in futility. With the lots of patience, the right attitude, and tools, you'll have your beloved pet sitting in no time.