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Puppy Training Lesson 2 – Teach A Puppy To Sit
The method you will be learning here to teach your puppy to sit is known as the “lure and reward” method. You lure your puppy into a sitting position, then immediately reward her with a yummy treat. This is a very popular dog training technique because it is fast, effective, simple for you to do and very simple for your puppy to learn.
A great side-effect of the lure and reward method is that it allows a natural motion to become a visual cue – a form of sign language for your puppy. And this is so neat! Puppies are very visual and they often respond to body motions better than they will to sounds. You will need to keep this in mind, because sometimes it can work against you.
For example to your puppy, your voice may be saying one thing while your body language is saying the opposite. In canine communication, body language trumps verbal language each and every time.
Imagine being able to use hand signals as commands for your puppy when you are busy doing something else, or too far away for your dog to hear you. It’s definitely a skill worth teaching your puppy, and we will cover this in more detail later.
So let’s get on with the lesson. Make sure to read right through the lesson first, and then practice it with your puppy .
Lesson 2: Teaching A Puppy to Sit
- Load up your pocket or pouch with treats for rewards.
- Take your puppy to an area where there won’t be a lot of distractions.
- While your puppy is standing, put a treat in your hand, and move your hand to within an inch or so of your puppy’s nose. Make sure she smells the treat hidden in your hand and is focusing her attention on it.
- Move your hand slowly backward, about an inch over her head, between puppy’s ears and towards her tail. Keep your hand low over her head so she doesn’t try to leap up to get the treat.
- As your puppy watches your hand with the treat move just above her head.She will raise up her chin and her butt will drop down into a sitting position. When that happens, immediately give her the treat and say “Good!”
- Now move a few steps away. Get your puppy to stand and follow you.
- Repeat Steps 3, 4 and 5.
- Did you notice you haven’t actually told her to Sit as yet? Don’t start to use sit as a command until you can get her to sit consistently using the treats as above. Once you are positive she is going to sit properly, then you say the command “Sit” just a split second before you start to move your hand. When she sits, immediately reward her with the treat and reward her with a “Good!”
- Repeat this process five times, saying “Sit” just before she does so.
If your Puppy doesn’t do what you want:
If your puppy backs up instead of sitting down as you move your treat-filled hand over her head and toward her tail, position her so that she’s facing out of a corner and cannot back up without hitting the wall.
This Week’s Homework:
- Practice this lesson two or three times each day during the week. Make sure to vary the time of day and location.
- Do no more than five repetitions during each lesson. Reduce the number of repetitions as your puppy learns… eventually asking her to sit just once, two or three times a day. Puppies tend to learn to sit quickly, and repeating the lesson too often will only make them bored.
- After a few of days of successful “Sit” practice, start to focus a bit on your hand movement. As you move your treat-filled hand over your puppy’s head and toward her tail, begin to emphasize an upward sweep of your hand, less over her head, more in an upward curve toward your body. Don’t go too far with this just yet – we’ll continue working on it in next week’s lesson.
In Addition to Practicing This Lesson:
Reinforce Lesson 1 Teaching A Puppy Her Name. Continue teaching your puppy her name at various times throughout the week. Use a training area that is slightly more distracting than last week. Remember to say your puppy’s name only once, and wait for her to respond before giving the reward treats. And remember to have fun playing with your puppy! Don’t focus all your time together on puppy training. Spend lots of quality time just enjoying each other’s company. Once you have mastered this lesson, it’s is time to move on to puppy training lesson No 3:
Puppy Training Lesson 3: Teach a Puppy To Come When Called