Training your puppy to sit
Getting your puppy to sit in your house where there is little to no distractions should be an easy task.
This is what you do: holding a treat in front of your puppies’ nose, slowly move it up and back towards his tail, the puppies’ natural movement should be to lower its back legs into the sit position.
Once the puppy is in this position, let it have the treat and say the word ‘sit’.
Repeat this teaching phase for a few sessions for a day or two and your puppy should be able to respond to your command to ‘sit’ within a week. Many treats, much repetition and praise and your dog will get this basic command very easily. You may need to hold your hand out with a close fist initially so your puppy associates the word with a hand gesture, but as he starts to understand the word he should respond readily to the command.
The difficulties start to arise when you move out of a low distraction area into a high distraction area without a gradual transition. Let me put this into perspective for you:
Imagine doing something basic like sipping on tea in your kitchen… easy right? Now imagine trying to do that same task in a night club with loud music, and people dancing and bouncing around. Virtually impossible without practice.
Once your dog has learned and understands the sit command inside your house with no distractions around, start practicing getting him to sit in your back garden, if you don’t have one practice outside the front door. This level of distraction is more than what it is inside, but it is not overwhelming for your pup.
He may be excited at first, so let him calm down. Once your puppy has calmed down and is more relaxed, get his attention and then give him the sit command.
If the puppy does not sit immediately, wait a few seconds and say ‘sit’ again. Don’t talk or say sit, sit, sit, sit. This will only confuse the puppy and possibly make it more excited. If you have to repeat yourself a third time your puppy may be too distracted and you should move to a quieter spot. Try practicing inside for longer or if you can, practice inside with the door open.
As your puppy gets better and better you need to slowly transition to more distracting environments.
These are the steps you needt to take to transition your puppy from sitting and listening to you inside your house to being able to sit for you in a park full of dogs.
Step 1: Sitting inside your house with no distractions.
Step 2: Sitting in the back garden or outside the front door.
Step 3: Take your dog to a quiet street and practice getting him to sit for you on the pavement.
Step 4: Sitting in a quiet corner of your local park, far away from any other distractions. The puppy should be able to see and hear the distractions but they should not be too distracting.