Your puppy has finally arrived home, and you’re wondering if you should train it yourself or take it to a professional trainer.
Training your puppy may seem intimidating, but it is something you can do from home with a little bit of persistence and effort. The most important skill you need when training your puppy is patience, but before long, you will both enjoy the benefits of good behavior.
Training your puppy to sit is in the category of obedience training, and it is essential in enabling you to enjoy time with it at home and in public, around new people and other animals.
When should you start training?
Experts recommend training your puppy from as early as three weeks to eight weeks old.
Waiting to begin training your puppy when it is older may mean that you have to break some bad habits it had already formed, which normally will not be easy and take more time.
Teaching A Puppy To Sit
Why is it necessary to teach your puppy to sit?
Your pup will learn that to get any treats, he has to be calm, settled, and seated. This becomes default behavior, and it is simple to teach from your home.
It is also a meaningful way to establish a bond between the two of you.
Below is one of the most effective ways to train your puppy to sit.
- Find a quiet room or place, get a clicker, some treats, and the puppy. If you have no clicker, use words like “good” or “yes.” Hold the treat over the puppy’s head; this will make it automatically look up, back up, and then sit down to get a good look at the treat. When your puppy is seated, click or use the words and give it the treat.
- Repeat this about ten times. If it sits reliably, lure it into the sitting position, and just when he is about to sit again, say “sit!” Using the word “sit” acts as a command word – anytime you use it, your puppy knows what is expected of it.
- Without a treat, use the same motion and command it with the word “sit.” If it obeys, you have hit the jackpot! Reward it with more treats and take a break.
- Keep practicing using the hand motion. This now becomes a “hand signal” and with continued practice, you can fade the use of the hand signal and increase the use of the verbal cue command so that your pup gets used to it.
Perfecting Sitting Down
The aim is to make your puppy understand when to sit and when not to sit. With the following tips, you will be able to perfect this habit of sitting.
1. Don’t reward sitting at the wrong time.
Do not offer rewards to your puppy for sitting when not asked. If you do, it will begin to manipulate you for a treat by sitting.
Your puppy needs to know it will only get a treat when it obeys the command.
2. Practice daily.
Practice at least twice daily for short periods by asking your puppy to sit in distracting situations.
3. Practice playing and sitting.
You can practice playing and sitting by doing this: run around with the puppy as you squeak a toy, and then stop suddenly and ask it to sit.
When it obeys, reward it with a treat and let it know it did well.
4. Teach sitting for rewards.
Teach your puppy to sit anytime you provide it with something it likes. For instance, when it is meal time, ask it to sit while holding the food bowl – if it does it successfully, give it the food.
Another scenario is when it’s time for its walk. Ask it to sit and when it does, put on its leash and go out. Such practices will help it understand that to get what it likes, it must behave in a certain way.
The time for your puppy to sit will not only be when it is quiet.
Teaching it not to give in to distractions and obey is very important. As you train your puppy, start with low-level distractions and proceed to high-level distractions.
Examples Of Low-Level Distractions
- Have a member of the family walk in the room as you train it.
- Have its favorite toy in your hand as you teach it.
Examples Of Medium-Level Distractions
- Have the phone or doorbell ring during the command.
- Take a different position (like lying down) and ask it to sit.
- While holding food in your hand, ask it to sit.
Examples Of High-Level Distractions
- Train it to sit while there are people or other dogs nearby.
- Ask it to sit while you have guests.
- Have food on a table nearby and ask it to sit.
For visual insight, check out this excellent video:
Obedience training is necessary to create a peaceful, lasting bond between you and your puppy. Put in the effort, try to make the process fun, and your puppy will grow and become a wonderful member of the family.
Note that this isn’t the only way to train your puppy to sit. And some strategies will work better than others, but sometimes, it’ll be very difficult to train it on your own. In this case, you may need to seek professional help.
But professional dog trainers (who can also handle other puppy issues like biting) can be extremely expensive – something like $670 for 4 hours, or even more. Most people can’t afford this amount for just 3 hours of help.
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Best of luck in training your puppy!