Teaching a dog to sit, everyone seems to know to ask it of their dogs, family and friends’ dogs, and even dogs that belong to someone they don’t know. Through the years, I have seen people use sit for a variety of things, but not so much for things that are useful.
Here at Kindred Spirits we always spend time teaching a dog to sit. In fact we pretty much ware out the sit command. Sit for supper. Sit for leashing. Sit at the door. Sit in the car, at the vet, upon greetings, for affection, for discipline, for medicine, for nail trims and ear cleanings, and even for emergencies.
So why do I see so many people underutilizing the sit command? I don’t have a clue. Perhaps it is because as people we tend to want to coo and pet dogs so much that reason goes out the window beyond “Can you sit? Can you sit for a cookie?”
Or maybe it’s because we feel bad because the dog has been locked up in a crate, yard, house, or pen all day. Maybe it’s because we don’t think our dog or anyone else’s dog could possibly be intelligent enough to understand a sit command unless it is attached to a dog treat. As if dogs are only intelligent enough to preform pet tricks.
Seriously, I am not sure.
What I am sure of is that we don’t give our canine friends enough credit. Most dogs I meet really do want to bond and obey their humans. They are as they say “eager to please.” So often we do not ask for more or give our dogs a chance to really work for us. Remember most breeds were developed to do specific tasks for man like moving livestock, protecting family or property, hunting, keeping vermin away from our homes or goods, searching and saving people. The list is long.
The point is; it is good to challenge your dog. Using something most every family dog has been taught, like sit, in a way our dogs can truly be tested is very healthy for them.
Try it. After you’ve spent time teaching your dog to sit for a treat or praise take it to another challenge. A simple one is to ask your dog to sit before you put the food bowl down. Say it once and if your dog gets up as you bend down stand back up. Repeating the pattern until the dog understands that if he or she stays in the sitting position the food bowl will be put down. Try not to repeat the command. Dogs are very intelligent and can understand this if we are patient enough to wait for them to try.
Sit is a wonderful command and easy to initially teach with food and your dog is capable of so much more than just sit for a cookie. Put them to work sitting and waiting, and you may just be pleasantly surprised at the difference in your dog’s behavior and how much easier the daily life with your dog can be!
For help training your dog visit us online today. www.kindredspiritsdogtraining.com
Kindred Spirits serves greater Nashville dog training clients by offering custom training programs catered specifically to fit each dog owner's lifestyle.
Led by dog training expert Jennie Jones, Kindred Spirits creates customized dog training programs for our clients and their dogs.
Our customized programs focus on energy education, real world exposure, customized commands, obedience training, and more.