Tuesday's Tip - Teaching your dog to sit

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Teaching your dog to sit on command is useful for a varity of situations like:
  1. Sitting when being greeted by a stranger.  This help to eliminate the unwanted behavior of the dog jumping on people when excited.
  2. Sitting before exiting through an opened door.  This helps to elimimate the dog's behavior of bolting through the door ahead of you.
  3. Sitting for an examination.  This helps for visits to the groomer and or vet's office. 
Stand near your dog, making sure you have his/her attention.  Hold a food treat, cut in pea size pieces, between your fingers.  Raise your fingers, holding the treat, to just above your dog's nose, so that he/she will need to raise his head to smell the treat.  Normally whenever a dog raises his head their butt will lower to the floor (head up = butt down).  When this happens say the word, "Sit" and give the treat.

Improtant Note:  If your dog stands instead of putting his butt on the floor, this normally means that you are holding the treat too high.  Try again, this time holding the treat slightly lower until your dog sits instead of standing.

Practice the above steps 5 - 10 times, while only saying the word, "sit" AFTER your dog sits not before.  Consistantly pairing the word (sit) with the dog's behavior of sitting will teach him/her what the word means, rather than saying the word and expecting him/her to know what you want. 

Now, after 5 - 10 practice runs, you can call your dog to you and give the command, "Sit".  If your dog sits, reward with a food treat and say good boy/girl.  If you dog does not sit, it is likely that he still doesn't understand the word.  Go back to steps 1 - 3 above and continue practicing until your dog understands.  Don't become discouraged - some dogs take a bit longer than others.  

Good luck and remember, "Perfct practice, perfect results"!

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