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A Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sit teaches your dog to put their hindquarters firmly on the ground.  This is a behavior that we will build on as time goes on… but don’t try these yet.

You can have your dog:

  • Sit to get attention
  • Sit when you stop walking
  • Sit after he comes to you
  • Sit when a car goes by
  • Sit when another person approaches him

Step One

  • Place a treat right in front of your dog’s nose.  He should be able to smell it and even lick at it a little
  • Move the treat up and over the dog’s head in an arc.
  • When the treat goes up your dog’s rear should go down.
  • DO NOT give any command.

Now this sounds super easy but you and your dog are going to have to work together a bit to get it right.  Here are some troubleshooting solutions for you to try out.

  • If your dog backs up the treat is most likely too low.
  • If your dog jumps up to get the treat, it is too high.
  • If your dog does neither, but still does not sit, try rewarding him for looking up and following the treat a few times.  Teach time you do this, expect him to look up slightly farther each time.  Remember your dog is guessing at exactly what you want him to do.  It will take a little time for him to figure out that there is something required for him to get the treat.
  • Practice this behavior until your dog is sitting consistently every time you move the treat up and over his head.

What not to do

  • Do Not push your dog’s tush down.  This teaches him nothing except that you will force him into positions.  You want him to learn how to think and get excited about learning new things.
  • DO NOT GIVE UP!  Little dogs in general seem harder to teach to sit than larger dogs.  You have less room to move the treat so it is in the “right” spot because they are smaller.  Long dogs like Corgis are also more difficult because they have such short legs compared to their body length.  Just be patient and keep trying.

Step 2

  • Repeat step one, but as your dog’s rear touches the ground say sit once.
  • Practice this behavior 25 times per day for at least a week.

Step 3

  • Say sit
  • If your dog sits, praise (A LOT) and treat your dog.
  • If your dog does not sit, do not say sit again.  Instead lure the treat up and over his head again.  All this means is that you have moved a little too quickly for your particular dog.

If you have problems with sit or questions, just leave me a comment.  We can talk it through and see how I can help.