Training your dog or puppy to sit is a good place to start with your training. It is one of the simplest, easiest commands for dogs to learn. It can be a really valuable behaviour for your dog to learn as it helps with teaching good manners and is useful for keeping your dog under control. Here’s how to teach your dog to sit.
How to Teach Your Dog to Sit?
- Find a quiet place to train your dog. If you don't have a clicker, simply say the word "yes" or "good" instead of clicking.
- Take a small treat and show it to your dog. Slowly and smoothly raise your hand above and over his head.
- Your dog will follow the treat with his head, trying to get at it.
- Then, take the treat to just behind his nose so that he has to move his head backwards. In order to reach the treat, your dog will put his bottom on the floor.
- As soon as your dog’s bottom touches the floor, press your clicker and give him the treat. Alternatively, say “yes” and then quickly give him his well-deserved treat.
- Repeat the steps above until your dog knows how to earn his treat and click.
- When your dog fully understands what is expected, it’s time to take away the food lure. At this stage, you should introduce a voice cue and hand signal.
- Say “sit” and raise your palm to your shoulder. Praise and reward your dog if he sits. If your dog doesn’t sit, repeat the hand signal.
- Once your dog has mastered the hand signal with voice cue, you can train him to respond just to the voice cue. Say “sit”, wait three seconds and then give the hand signal, praise and reward your dog when he sits.
- When your dog understands how to sit on cue, you can start to train him without a food lure. Treat only the faster sits whilst still recognising the slower sits with praise. This should result in your pet sitting as soon as you ask him to.
How to Choose the Best Dog Treats for Training Your Dog or Puppy?
According to American Kennel Club, rewarding your dog or puppy with the best dog treats for good behaviour is a fun, effective way to train. So which dog treat should you use for training your dog? Here are some tips on choosing the right dog treat.
- Keep treats small
Size matters, so think small! If you want to keep a training session moving along, you should look for dog treats that are easily swallowed, needing little chewing so you can reward with the mantra ‘quickly, little and often’. Our pets aren’t too concerned about the size of the treat, they are more impressed by the number they can get.
Keeping treats small means fewer calories consumed. It also means your dog won’t get full before the session is over.
- Soft and stinky treats
Soft treats are perfect for training because, compared to crunchy treats, they are easier and faster for dogs to eat.
Dogs love smelly treats. Some treats are designed to be enticing and delicious to the pet. A smellier treat would get your dog’s attention quicker than a less smelly treat.
Never use crunchy or chewy treats for training purposes. This is because waiting for your dog to finish chewing slows down training.
- Check ingredients
Be sure to read the labels on your dog’s treats. It’s important to avoid too many chemical-sounding ingredients, by-products, fillers, grain products or any allergens for your dog.
Best Dog Treats for Training
We’ve compiled the best dog treats for training below. Try these out and see how they work for your dog.
|Addiction Beef Meaty Bites Soft Dog Treats 4oz||Beef, Potatoes, Vegetable Glycerin, Natural Tocoperols, Lecithin and Rosemary Extract|
|NZ Chicken 50%, NZ Lamb 50%|
|Chicken, Potatoes, Vegetable Glycerin, Natural Tocoperols, Lecithin and Rosemary Extract|
|Salmon, Sweet Potato, Cod, Cane Sugar, Glycerin, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)|
What if My Dog isn’t Treat-Motivated?
Most dogs are willing to do anything for the chance at a tasty treat. However, some dogs just don’t find treats motivating.
Does your dog like toys? Cuddling? Verbal praise? Find out what your dog loves instead, and give those as rewards for training successes. In some cases, dogs value toys over treats. If that is the case, you should use play as a reward. Playing a short game of tug-of-war or chasing a ball can be a potent reward.
Knowing what motivates your pet creates a better training session, as he is more excited to work for his favourite reward.