Before bringing a new puppy into your house, you may have made every preparation you think that you need to. No doubt, you will have made sure that your pet is from a reputable dog breeder, and you will have bought lots of new toys and a comfortable dog basket. However, have you given much consideration to training your new dog?
There’s much more to it than watching a few episodes of Cesar Millan’s The Dog Whisperer. It takes time, patience and consistency in how you deal with your pet. One of the most important commands to teach your dog is to sit. Why is this so? Well, a puppy that is sitting down is more attentive and relaxed than one which is running around your room. He will pay more attention to you and, as such, training him will be that bit easier for you. A sitting puppy is easier to groom and examine, and it also enables you to put on his dog collar and lead without too much fuss. It can also be better for visitors to your house; rather than leaping all over your visitors, a calm, relaxed dog is easier for them to deal with, especially if they are nervous around dogs.
The key to teaching your puppy how to sit is to first get his attention. Make sure that he is on a lead to stop him wandering away from you, and attract his attention using a toy or a treat. Raise his reward slowly above his head – as he follows it, his bottom will go down. As soon as it touches the floor, give him his treat and praise him. However, don’t say the word ‘sit’ just yet.
Repeat this until your pet understands what is expected from him. Some dogs may take more time than others but, if you persevere, you’ll get there. Once he sits when you raise your hand, say ‘sit’ and give him his treat at the same time he assumes the position. In time, you can use the hand signal less and less as he will respond to the verbal command, and this is a solid foundation for further puppy training.