The first step in instilling some discipline in
your puppy is to make her sit on command. The verbal command 'sit'
is very simple and can be taught to a pup of any breed within a
few weeks. Of course, much depends upon your persistence and patience.
Why the 'sit' command is one of the easiest commands to teach is
because of the natural construction of a dog's neck and spine which
makes it physically impossible for them to look upwards when standing.
In order for a dog to look up at something high it must assume the
sitting position. This fact is made use of while training a puppy
Training your puppy to sit
Let us follow the simple steps in training a puppy
to respond to the 'sit' command:
Stand in front of your puppy, holding a treat above
her nose but just a little beyond her reach. This is important.
If you hold it too high, she will tend to jump for it and if you
hold it too low, well, you'll find yourself without a treat!
Now, move the treat from above her nose towards
her the back of her head and continue to trace this path backwards
towards her tail. While doing so, keep calling your puppy's name,
followed by the 'sit' command in a clear and firm tone. For example,
"Rover, sit!" This will help to associate the word with
Most often than not, you will find that your puppy,
in trying to maintain eye contact with the treat, is forced to sit
down on her own. If you find your dog keeps backing up instead of
sitting down, train her against a wall, which will prevent her from
going in reverse indefinitely - she'll have no choice but to sit
after she backs into the wall.
When she ultimately sits, praise her immediately
by calling out 'good sit!' or 'yes!', and then offer her the treat.
In case your puppy just refuses to give in and does
everything but sit, hold the treat at the nose level and apply a
slight pressure on her rear end, pushing her gently down into sitting
position. At the same time, give a slight pull at her collar. This
will help her get the message of getting into a sitting position.
Praise as soon as her bottom hits the floor.
In all these attempts, if your puppy manages to
acquire a posture that even vaguely resembles a sitting position,
praise her abundantly and give her a treat. This will motivate her
to do better the next time. Dogs, like people, respond much better
to praise than punishment.
Don't let your puppy remain sitting forever. Without
your release command she will not know when to get up. And in the
absence of such a command, she may get confused. So, give her a
command like 'release' or 'okay' or 'thank you', to let her know
that she no longer has to stay in the sitting position.
Gradually, increase the duration of 'sit' commands
and reduce the frequency of treats. Once your puppy begins to sit
on your command for minutes at a time without a treat, she has mastered
the 'sit' command.
Training your dog to obey commands requires patience,
motivation and encouragement, not to mention a ready supply of treats!
The training sessions should be short but frequent and should be
repeated at regular intervals throughout the day. If you persevere,
you will find that the day is not far when your darling puppy grows
up into a 'responsible adult' and is praised by all for her immaculate