How To Teach A Puppy To Sit

Nov 08, 2023


Teaching your new puppy to sit is one of the most important milestones of getting a dog. As one of your dog's early cues, "sit" brings a vital sense of structure to the human-canine relationship. Whether this is your first dog or your twentieth, the question of when to teach your dog to sit is a question faced by every new puppy parent.


Maintaining a reliable schedule for your puppy while learning rules for the first time is imperative, and their mastery of the training won't happen overnight. Training a dog to be a good house pet takes four to six months. Your puppy needs you to commit to the entire training period because otherwise, how else will they learn?

Inconsistent or lapsed training for several days or weeks can undo your progress and may lead to stress for both you and the new puppy. You must maintain patience with your puppy and the process and always use positive reinforcement. Because building up to more advanced training cues takes time, "Sit" is a perfect place to start for many new puppy parents.


You can't teach an old dog new tricks

While the saying does not apply to a new puppy, younger puppies are more flexible and open to learning. Instilling rules and respect in your dog early is vital; a puppy training schedule will help you and your dog feel structured.

Generally, starting at a young age rather than later is more effective when training a puppy and will save new puppy parents a lot of frustration down the road. Most puppies can be sent to their forever homes at around eight weeks old, and this is also around the time that many puppies are ready to start training. You will find that your training skills are most effective with young puppies. 


Training Basics: how to teach a puppy to sit

The American Kennel Club recommends two main styles of puppy training sessions to ensure your pup learns to sit. Both puppy training tips include positive reinforcement in the form of food rewards. The best-known technique of these is called "luring." Luring is holding a treat in front of your pup as a lure and using verbal cues like "sit."

After practicing basic cues such as "Sit," the puppy starts associating the word "sit" with the sitting position and the food reward. When using the luring style of puppy training, you can reward your puppy the second they achieve a sitting position. Using this method, it is common to accompany the word "sit" with a hand signal. The appeal of the luring method is that you can keep training sessions short.

The second training program is called capturing. Like luring, capturing helps the puppy learn that obeying basic obedience cues comes with a reward. However, capturing is more complicated and may be part of a more elaborate puppy training schedule that teaches your puppy to learn new things, even as an adult dog. Instead of holding a treat out to your dog, hold the jar containing the treats. Having the container instead of a treat allows your puppy to infer whether or not a treat might be coming. When your puppy sits, give them their treat, but step away or move aside, so the puppy focuses and reorients itself relative to you. Cue your puppy to sit again. Give them another treat. 

Capturing forces your puppy to think, and because it feels more like a fun game than obedience training, it is an excellent opportunity to bond with your new dog. Game playing, especially around treats, are a great way to bring joy and comfort to your pup's life. The element of extra challenge also makes the capturing method a fun way to begin training other cues with older puppies who already know how to sit.

Regardless of how you teach your puppy to sit, positive reinforcement is vital to their success and yours. More importantly, negative reinforcement is likely to backfire. Patience during puppy training is essential. Do not yell at your puppy if they do not understand as quickly as you would like them to and, whatever you do, never physically force your puppy into the sitting position yourself. This can hurt or stress them and damage the trust you have worked so hard to create. Remember, dog training is a partnership between a human and a puppy. While you teach your puppy, you are also learning to understand them.


Why you should train your young puppy to sit

As we've discussed, teaching your puppy to sit instills order. Because of this, a dog who has had basic puppy training will be able to join you in more parts of your life. Nervous dogs may bark or run around, but telling them to sit shows your dog that you are calm in new situations. Training can prevent all behavioural issues and improve your and your pup's life. If given enough early socialization with other puppies, dogs who have had all their vaccinations make great companions on trips to the store, the park, and all over town. 


More complicated cues

"Sit" is one of the most basic dog training objectives, but it lays a foundation for other training routines. Leash training is also crucial if you plan to walk your puppy outside. Walks are profoundly beneficial for dogs, who crave exercise and a change of scenery no matter how large or small they are. You can build on your basic puppy training to include such cues as "Come" and "Stay."

Potty training your puppy is among the more advanced training routines. When we bring a puppy home, we frequently give them a designated potty spot inside the house. However, training your puppy to take their potty breaks outside is essential. When the time inevitably comes to teach your puppy to stop using the newspaper, many puppy owners are happy they built a basic training foundation first. Sitting and going potty outside should be rewarded with positive training techniques. It is essential to schedule the potty break to become part of your puppy's routine.

Puppy socialization can be another challenge for puppy parents, highlighting the importance of implementing essential puppy training tips early in a puppy's life. Whether you are planning on crate training or not, many dogs experience separation anxiety when they are left alone or when their owners are not present, even if you have other dogs. A favourite chew toy, dog bed, and adult dogs in the home may all help your puppy learn that you will always come home after being absent.


My puppy won't learn to sit. What can I do?

Some puppies are stubborn or have huge personalities that don't easily allow them to calm down or learn cues. If it seems like all your efforts are going right over your puppy's head, teaching your puppy to sit may be difficult without puppy training professionals. Whether you choose a puppy training class or a professional dog trainer, teaching your puppy to sit is essential, even if you don't train yourself.

A puppy class is a popular option for pet parents who want to be involved in the training process. Your puppy will meet other puppies of the same age, and professional dog trainers can give you feedback on your training skills. In a sense, both of you can learn quite a bit in a puppy class.

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