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Sitting is one command you don’t want to abandon in favor of others, which are more like party tricks! (“Play Dead”, anyone?).
How To Train A Puppy To Sit
Teaching your puppy to sit on command is a very important thing to do, and in fact, you could save your dog’s life if you have to pick him up when he’s off leash.
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We’ll touch more on the benefits of your dog learning to sit later, and go on to detail 3 easy-to-follow techniques to successfully teach your puppy to sit.
Since sitting is a natural thing your dog does all the time anyway (as opposed to saying “break” or “paw”), this is a great start to your training.
Simple sit training can help give you and your puppy the confidence you need to learn new things. It’s a pretty simple fact that if you get something right early on, you’re excited to try harder and more challenging things later. The same goes for your puppy.
“Sitting” is also a great building block for trust and mutual respect in the relationship between you and your new Labrador puppy. After you both have mastered “sit” and are excited by the success, you can move on to more complex commands, you with your chin up and the puppy with his tail high and wagging.
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Also, as mentioned earlier, the “sit” command is pretty much the most versatile and useful command your dog needs to know. Honestly, if you can only teach your dog one command and one command only, make it that one.
Why? When you need to control your puppy with one word, “sit” can take the place of many others like “down” or “stay”. If you have correctly taught your dog to listen to the command “sit”, you can ask him:
But in order to benefit from the “sit” command, you must first be able to teach your dog so well that there is no chance that he will ever disobey. Let’s take a look at some of the recommended ways in which you can achieve just that.
Puppies are puppies: rambunctious, easily distracted and have a very low tolerance for repetitive tasks. But they’re also eager to please you, which is something you can definitely use to your advantage, though you also have to keep things simple to begin with. so:
Ways To Train Your Puppy To Sit
When you start training your lab puppy to sit, try to choose a familiar place in your home that is relatively free of distractions such as toys, food, and other people or pets. It is important to show the puppy’s focus on you and what you want him to do.
Don’t worry, once your puppy has mastered sitting in that one area with a distraction, you can move on to more difficult areas and even deliberately try to distract your dog to make sure that when they receive the command “sit”, they
For puppies 10-12 weeks old, make sure to have very short training sessions. We talk for 3-5 minutes several times a day and no more.
Later, you can try 10-15 minutes and end the session early if you see signs of boredom or intent from your puppy.
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Do not raise your voice at the end for any reason – you are not asking a question, you are telling your puppy to do something.
Never shout! Dogs have much better hearing than we do, and yelling is usually seen as aggressive and scary. A low tone of voice (for example, muttering or whispering) can also be read as threatening.
If you’re not sure you’re using the right tone, practice or ask a trusted friend to judge how well you’re doing. You and your dog will benefit from it in the long run.
Your puppy wants to please you. And Labs being a working breed, they also have an inherent need to feel appreciated and that they have done a good job.
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So use plenty of praise and rewards. It’s very motivating and can turn what could be a chore into proud moments for your pup, and a fun bonding time for both of you.
Finally, try to end your sessions on a positive note, such as when your puppy has successfully completed the “sit” command.
If you always stop when the going gets tough, you’re likely to give your dog the idea that he can just quit his training by doing nothing or intentionally not doing what you ask.
Start with a lure, which is the easiest and best, then work your way down to the catch and then force if you’re not getting much grip on the lure.
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Step 1: Start with a handful of small treats in your pocket. Take one out and let your pup smell it. It should get their attention.
Step 2: Raise your hand so it’s just above the puppy’s forehead. Now, they have to look up and after the treat. It is important to do it right. If your hand is too low, your puppy will go back up instead. Too high, and they may jump to grab the treat.
Step 3: Slowly move your hand back so the puppy’s head tilts back. The idea is for them to sit alone to keep the treat in sight.
Step 4: As soon as you see your puppy’s bottom touch the floor, say “sit” and give him the treat. Timing is critical here. If you don’t give the command when they are just about to sit down, they may not understand what you are saying. Also, don’t give a reward if your puppy jumps right after sitting. You just want to give a treat when they sit, and keep sitting.
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Step 5: Repeat the above a few times, and when you’re ready, try the same hand motion without a treat so you can get your puppy off the idea of just following a treat.
Step 6: Ready for more? Stand further away from your puppy and do the same hand motion. Give a reward for sitting. You can even use the proper hand command for sitting, which is slowly raising your arm until it’s parallel to the floor, palm up.
If you use clicker training, you already know the idea behind capture, which is simply waiting for a behavior to occur naturally and rewarding it in time to get it again.
If you spy that your puppy is ready to sit, give him the command and a treat, and return to just watch quietly. At this point, your sharp lab is probably wondering what behavior they had a treat.
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You may see your puppy try many things to get your attention (and another treat). Ignore them until you catch them ready to sit again and repeat. Pretty quickly, your dog should learn to associate sitting with treats and rewards.
If luring or trapping just doesn’t seem like the solution to teaching your dog how to sit, try gentle physical coercion instead.
Now, it is not very pleasant to be physically forced into the pose, so if you use this training method, use it with care and compassion.
Start with your dog by your side, both of you facing the same direction. Place your right hand against your puppy’s chest, and hold your left hand just below his chest, above his knees.
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Gently push in and give the “sit” command the moment your dog’s bottom touches the floor. Hold them in place for a few seconds if you can, then release and give a treat.
Never push your dog’s back by the tail to force it to sit. Especially with puppies you run the risk of damaging the hip bones that are still developing. Follow the exact method above if you want to try this on your puppy.
You may have noticed that in each of the above “sitting” training methods, rewards play a huge role in the outcome and success rate of your sessions.
But once your labrador puppy sits well on command, you need to start incorporating rewards. If not, you risk a dog that will only sit when they know you have treats (and you can bet dogs always know if you have treats handy!). This is of course not an acceptable scenario.
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Try to combine commands if you can. For example, ask your dog to sit, lie down, and then sit again before you give him a treat. You are now rewarding more than one behavior at a time.
Next time, just don’t give a food treat. Give praise or a favorite toy instead so your dog learns to associate sitting with good things in general, not just treats.
The goal is for the prizes to be random. Sometimes it’s twice in a row, sometimes it’s only after ten sessions. This is the only way to drastically reduce the chance that your dog will decide that it is not worth the effort to sit.
Dogs are generally not very good at understanding that they need to perform a behavior almost wherever you say. Instead, they come to associate learned behavior