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Teaching Your Dog To Sit
Training your dog to sit is more about teaching self control than anything else. Sit is a command that can pretty much be paired with most other commands once it is perfected but, can essentially be one of the last commands you teach, especially to a hunting dog. If you think about it, you don’t want your pointer to “sit” at the end of a whoa command, so teaching him to sit first, might interfere with other commands you are attempting to teach. However, the order that the sit command is introduced isn’t really that important as long as you spend the time to train her.
Once you decide it is time to teach the sit command, it should be done in essentially the same manner that most other commands are taught with basically the same tools, like a lead or leash and a training collar or if you prefer, you can use the same method that you have already used to teach her any other commands successfully. Use what has worked for you and your dog in the past. Your success in training depends largely on what you are comfortable with.
You can certainly start training a well behaved dog to sit without a leash but, it is extremely helpful to use a leash if your dog is unruly during training or easily distracted. If your dog has anxiety issues, a leash can be used to refocus her attention on the subject at hand and help give her a sense of comfort. The training collar would basically be used to reinforce your commands.
To Begin The Training
First, if your dog has an e-collar it is best to go ahead and have it on her, it won’t be used at first but, it should be on her right from the start so as not to be a distraction later. To begin the training you will want to get down to her level then give the command, pull her front end up by her collar and push her back end down to the proper sitting position. As soon as her bottom hits the ground you should praise her but, not let her up. Even though this is a normal sitting position for her, it isn’t usually normal for her to sit when you are paying attention to her or praising her, so she might feel uncomfortable or excited while trying to learn what you want her to do. She might want to get up too quickly, it is important to make her stay in that position until you release her or tell her to get up.
Most dogs will catch on relatively quick and understand what you want them to do when you say sit. Once she’s understanding and for the most part is obeying the command, it is time to teach her to sit from the heeling position or while you are both walking. This is where the training collar can be put to good use, but, only after she understands the command. From the heeling position and she walking along beside you, say the command, if she stops and looks at you for affirmation or in question but doesn’t sit then, you should gently push down her back end. If she doesn’t immediately catch on then you use the training collar on a low-level to remind her to pay attention to you and to obey the command.
Consistency is Key
Teaching any dog, whether she’s a hunting dog, a hound or a family pet to sit can come in very handy. It can save you time and energy. Even though training your dog to sit seems rather simple it doesn’t happen overnight. It will take at least a week or two of consistent training to get your dog to sit on command. After she learns to sit, it is always important to continue the praise when she does any command without falter.