Prerequisite: Loading the clicker. If you have not yet loaded the clicker, or have no clue what that means please click here.
The most basic and commonly known command for dogs is the “Sit” command. Teaching your dog is relatively easy, and most dogs can learn it no matter the age. If your dog has a physical difficulty with sit (such as arthritis, or physical build) consider teaching your dog to “Stand” or “Down” and use that in place of sit. Your dog doesn’t need to know sit to be a well mannered citizen, it just needs to know to stay in one place while you are busy doing something else.
To teach your dog, from the tiniest puppy to even an old dog, you can use the same technique. Take a tasty treat you know your dog would love to have, and drag the treat in a straight line over the dog’s head. The path should start at the tip of the nose, arch between his eyes, and head for between his ears. Your dog may at first step back to get the treat, rear up, or jiggle side to side in an attempt to get the treat. Eventually he will sit to try and get it. When he does, click and treat.
If you have tried several times and your dog will not sit this way, another method is to keep the clicker with you and in your hand when you have a reasonable stretch of time (TV time is great for this.) Watch your dog, and when he sits on his own, click and treat as soon as his butt hits the floor. Click and treat when ever you see him offering sit naturally, until he is offering it to try and enlist treats from you.
Either method, when your dog offers sit as soon as he sees the clicker, you can name the command. Ask for sit verbally, or use what ever cue you want to use in order to get a sit on command. Click and treat only when he sits after you signal for sit. Ignore him sitting off cue. When he sits 100% of the time on cue, you have successfully trained sit. Congratulations!
Printables to Help you Train
Pre-K worksheets for your “fur kids!” These free printables show you how to lure your dog to sit, gives you a place to track your training sessions, and then gives you a simple test to see if your pet is ready to move on.