How to Leverage A Dog's SIT Skill for Better Behavior

Sit is often the first thing we teach our dogs, even though dogs rarely choose to Sit in natural environments. But in many cases, we stop short of actually making the Sit Skill useful.

Teach a Sticky Sit

Is your dog's Sit really just a bounce?! If your dog Sits for an instant before getting back up, it's not as useful as it could be. Here's how to teach your dog to Sit for longer periods of time.

  • Grab a handful of treats.

  • Ask your dog to Sit.

  • As soon as they Sit, feed your dog 3-5 treats in a row (one by one). Practice this 5-10 times in a row.

  • Next time, wait 1 second longer before delivering the food.

  • Continue adding longer wait times before delivering food.

  • If your dog gets up, no worries! Just go back to an easier step.

Use Sit As A Polite Replacement Behavior

Many times we ask our dogs NOT to do something, but it's much more efficient to teach them TO DO something. Instead of jumping on people, or being too up close and personal when greeting people, you can teach your dog to Sit politely instead.

Use Sit As A Waiting Behavior

If your dog leaps before looking you can use Sit as a waiting behavior. Great uses are at the front door, waiting before crossing the street, waiting before jumping out of the car, or waiting for permission to join you on the sofa.

Sit Isn't Always The Answer

Some dogs find Sitting to be uncomfortable or painful, or simply prefer not to Sit. Examples include senior dogs and dogs with orthopedic issues, muscle weakness, or arthritis. That's OK-- you can teach a dog to Stand Still the same way you teach Sit.

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