Teaching Your Dog To Sit/Not Jump

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Raising Your Pets, Dogs and Cats Naturally

Sit is a great behavior to teach all puppies and dogs right away. By teaching a reliable sit behavior, you will be able to ask your dog to sit his butt down instead of jumping. Once your dog understands the idea of sitting, you can ask your dog to offer a sit when they want something like attention, food, toy playing or just about anything else. In these lessons, I will teach you the various steps in teaching your dog to sit, and the various steps in teaching you to teach your dog to offer the sit behavior without being asked.

Grab a handful of rewards and keep your lessons short (no more than 5 minutes at a time). Advance through levels when your dog is mastering the session 5/5. At every new training session, go back a level when you start for the best success. If at any time your dog isn’t successful, repeat the level or go back a level to get success.

Level 1

  • Put the treat right to your dog’s nose and move your hand slowly in an arc above your dog’s head and back
  • As soon as his rump hits the floor say “YES!” and follow quickly with a treat. Repeat 5 times

Level 2

  • Remove the food lure from your hand
  • Make the same motion of luring your dog into a sit position
  • As soon as his rump hits the floor say “YES!” and treat (treat was in your opposite hand). Repeat 5 times

Level 3

  • Say your Sit cue just before you lure with your empty hand
  • As soon as his rump hits the floor say “YES!” and treat (treat was in your opposite hand). Repeat 5 times

Level 4

  • Do a rep of Level 3
  • Now, on your next trial, say your Sit cue, without your hand lure
  • As soon as your dog sits, say “YES!” and treat (treat was in your opposite hand). Repeat 5 times
  • Adding Distractions– when you are asking your dog to work on his sit behavior around distractions such as being outside, around guests or other dogs, you must start the training process over at Level 1 and rebuild. Just because your dog is performing his sit cue in the living room does not mean he can do the same behavior outside. He must learn this process just like he learned it in the living room.

Offering The Sit After you have practiced various lessons with your dog on the sit behavior, it’s time to teach your dog to read your mind! This is easier than it sounds. Do a round of Sit sessions. After, say, 3 sets, just smile at your dog, do not provide any luring or words. As soon as his butt hits the floor say “YES!” and give him a jackpot of treats. Quickly take a few playful steps away from your dog and stop and smile at him again. As soon as his butt hits the floor again, say “YES!” and treat. Repeat this for a total of 5 times.

You can vary the offered sit by doing the same process before other events that your dog wants to participate in. For example, if you are about ready to toss your dog’s ball during a game of fetch, hold the ball close to your chest, smile at your dog and wait. As soon as his butt hits the floor, toss the ball. If your dog jumps up at you and the ball, do not say anything, just wait for the correct behavior. This is part of the learning process. He will be learning that the “jumping up” behavior does NOT get him access to things he wants, but the “butt on the ground” behavior does – a very good life lesson for your puppy to learn.

Tip: Do not tell your dog to sit during these lessons; the point of the offered sit is that your dog is thinking through the process and realizing on his own that sit makes good things happen and jumping up does not.

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