It’s time to get that puppy sitting. While you’re busy training your dog to stop chewing on the furniture, why not teach them a few basic commands as well? Impressionable and clever by nature they’re already eager to learn. Their inquisitive and playful personalities make them the perfect students; quick to learn and fun to teach. They’ll earn rewards and learn some skills and the bonding time you’ll spend together will also help to make them happy and content. All you need are treats, a consistent routine and some good old fashioned patience.
To get your puppy sitting, you’ll need to find a good enough reward. First off, try using their dry food. Tightly hold a piece below your puppy’s nose and see if they’re interested. The chances are, they’ll start to lick your hand and maybe even nibble. Now move your hand slowly away and see if you can lure your puppy along for the ride. If you can get them to follow your hand (still with the food held tightly) around in a circle then great: your dry food will work as a reward. If they lose interest or barely pay attention then you’ll have to find a different, more appealing, treat and try the process again.
Once you’ve found a treat that works, you’ll have your puppy sitting in no time. First of all, resist the urge to add a verbal command. We’re doing this in stages to make things easy on your pup. The first part is all about practicing the movement itself, not obeying a specific command. Before we start, make sure your puppy is standing–not already sitting or in another position. Now, just like before, hold a treat in front of your puppy’s nose. Slowly lift your hand slightly up and move it back until your dog sits down. Be careful: if they jump to catch the food, it means you raised your hand too high. When they manage to sit, it’s time to release the treat and give them their reward.
Once you’ve got your puppy sitting and associating that action with rewards and praise, it’s nearly time to add a verbal command. Before this you’ll need to practice the sit manoeuvre several times a day until you’re happy that your furry friend has mastered the physical action. Then you’ll need to gradually increase the speed of the action over a few more days. The last thing you want is to add a verbal command before they’re comfortable with the manoeuvre itself. When you’re certain that they’ve blossomed into little sitting experts, start adding the command ‘Sit’ at the exact moment your puppy sits down–not before and not after. Dogs have a limited window of association between actions and commands and you need to be as precise as possible.
Now that your puppy’s sitting and linking that action with the word, ‘Sit’ and delicious rewards, it’s time to start reducing the treats. How you do this is up to you but we recommend a gentle weaning so that they don’t lose enthusiasm. Once you’ve got them parking their butts without expecting rewards, they’ll be sitting on command in no time at all. Don’t forget that while teaching your puppy to sit, you can also introduce other commands in much the same way. As with teaching anything, patience is always crucial. If you ever get frustrated, it’s time to take a break. Dogs are sensitive and know if you’re angry or irritated. Puppy sitting is one of many useful skills your pet can learn. Here at Doggy Day Care Cornwall, we are experienced in handling all breeds and ages. Get in contact today for more information.