One of the first, best lessons you can teach your new dog is how to sit. It’s easy to learn and a skill that will prove infinitely useful throughout your life together. When you want your dog to back off from a situation, wait a moment or take a break, having the dog sit fills the bill. 

With little patience, you’ll have your dog sitting in no time.

As with any training, wait until your dog is well rested and isn’t hungry. Fatigue and hunger will distract her from dog training. 

Get her attention by saying her name, followed by “Sit.” State it as a command, not as a question. Gently nudge her rear to the floor, pressing just above her tail. Say, “Good sit” and offer a dab of food. 

As an alternate means of teaching the “sit” command, you can catch her in the act when she happens to sit. Say the word and give the treat. It won’t take her long to associate sitting with both the word and a morsel of food and petting. 

You don’t have to offer a huge treat, like a whole dog biscuit. Dogs’ mouths are big; however, go by the animal’s body weight and size. A crumble of cheese the size of an M&M is fine. Eventually, you can stop offering the treats.

If your dog doesn’t learn how to sit right away, don’t worry. It may take a few sessions for her to pick up on the cues to sit and figure out that sitting pleases you.

Let your pet sitter or dog walker, and anyone else watching your dog know about your efforts so they can consistently reinforce your training. Besides, it’s fun to show off your pal’s new trick! 

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant