Before we begin teaching the dog to sit there are some important things for a correct work and to be calm:
Place – In the first exercises, we will look for a place that is calm, wide, with as few distractions as possible.
Reward – It is important to have a rewarding trigger that we know that our dogs love and do not receive on a daily basis.
Walk – it is important to take a short walk with the dog before the practice to release the pressure.
Mood – It is important to get calm and not stressed in time. Give your dog full attention and do not mess with other things while teaching the command.
So how do we teach the dog to sit down?
In the first stage, we will stand in front of the dog with a leash, holding it with a hand that is convenient for us to correct and guide the dog, and in the other hand we will show the dog the snack that he will needs to sit for him and let him taste a little. Take a little by hand, close it in the form of a fist when the snack inside, let the dog smell the hand and even reward him once or twice before making it difficult. If your dog prefers a game, show him the toy he works for enthusiastically, play with it a bit and put the toy back in the punch or into a hiding place that you can easily take out for a reward.
Now that the dog already knows that something is waiting for him he likes, stand in front of him with the snack with a closed hand and lift it a little over his head. Usually, the dog will sniff the hand and try to open it with his nose or with itching with his feet. After a few attempts, when you did not give up your hand is still located above the dog’s head, he will continue to try to find the right way and during this process will also try to sit down and understand how to get the tasty snack!? This is the situation we want to strengthen and therefore, as soon as the dog sits down we will reward him and encourage him. (Voice retribution no less important than a snack).
The first few times we will not use the “sit” command, but will help him understand that this is the action required in order to get the snack from us. For dogs who did not sit down and tried to keep their hands open or out of concentration, we would do the same thing just with a little help. The leash can be gently pulled upwards towards the hand with the snack. Once the dog raises its head upwards and is interested, a little pressure on his butt should help him sit down. When that happens, remember to give snack immediately.
In the second stage, after the dog sits down each time we give the snack, we will begin to combine the command that returns and only then we will be rewarded. That is, say the word returned with an empty hand from snack over the dog’s head and only after the dog sit down let the dog the snack until the dog learns to make the link between the reward and the command!
After a few days of practice, you can gradually reduce the amount of treats and reward for a few exercises when the rest of the time we will remember reward aloud: words of encouragement, caresses or anything your dog likes.
In the third stage, after the dog responds unequivocally to the command, try to practice the command while walking with the dog, areas where your dog has been fearful in the past, or where there are distractions. This will strengthen the command that will return perfectly, strengthen your connection and help your dog cope with fears and anxieties.