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Does Your Dog Really Know How to Sit

by Borderstan.com February 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm 0

From Rachel Jones. Email her at rjones[AT]borderstan.com. She is  she is the owner of K-9 Divine and a professional dog trainer. 

Rachel Jones is a dog trainer. (Courtesy Rachel Jones)

Rachel Jones is a professional dog trainer. (Courtesy Rachel Jones)

Every dog owner teaches his or her dog to sit. But can your dog sit when it counts: in the elevator, or when greeting children or other dogs? A dog that can sit in every possible context is better trained than a dog that has an incomplete mastery of 20 different tricks.

Borderstan is filled with people and dogs. Having a dog that is too friendly or hostile can be a public relations nightmare.

Neighbors are not amused when your nice Golden Retriever jumps on them in the elevator. Conversely, people are very impressed when your dog calmly sits in crowded areas. If you have limited time to train your dog, focus on getting him to do this one command very well.

To start, hold a treat on your dog’s nose and move it slightly over her head. Give her the treat when her butt hits the ground. Do this a few times in a row. Once you feel that you can reliably get her to sit, add the command. Say, “sit” and then lead her into a sit with the treat.

After practicing for a few days, try it without leading her with the treat. Once she can do it in the house, take it outside and practice in busy areas. Although it is very easy to teach your dog to sit in the house, you may need to practice for weeks or months to make the command reliable around distractions.

If your dog is sitting, he is not: jumping, lunging, biting or chewing. Make a list of your dog’s undesirable behaviors and train him to sit in those contexts. You will be amazed how impressed people are at your dog’s good behavior!

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