In an ideal world, everyone would spend a lot of time teaching their dogs many things. And I have many friends who do. But if you don’t have unlimited time to train your dog, or want more control NOW!, teach your dog to sit.
The sit is one of the easiest commands for your dog to learn and for you to teach. I won’t spend time here telling you how. There are many sites to do that. I want to share why I think it is the most essential command to master.
Everyone likes an obedient dog who sits when told. And it is so useful. Your dog jumps on you at feeding time? Tell him to sit before giving him his meal. Jumps up when you get his biscuit out? Have him sit. Jumps on you when you try to put his leash on? Sit! Are you getting the idea?
The sit command can be used to to interrupt and redirect many unwanted behaviors. Some other times you can use the sit to get control of your dog are, when someone comes to the door, when small children approach, when traffic is passing, when you are out on a walk and encounter someone you would like to have a conversation with. I’m sure you can think of many others.
My favorite use of the command is when we come across a cool photo op. See some great photos I took of Zekie, using the sit command on a walk around our property. Training With Zekie. Just position your dog in front of the really awesome plant, building, etc. and snap your picture! It is trickier to get three dogs to do it like in my photo here, but still not all that hard. Ideally your dog should hold the sit, until he is given a release command. This is something to build up to. I use the word “ok” to release my dogs from whatever command they are doing.
Teaching your dog to sit, or to perform any other requests, lets them learn so much more than the command itself. They learn to pay attention to you and that they are not free to do what they want all the time. It helps to form a bond between you and your dog. Over time, you and your dog will forge a closer relationship when you work together.
You will become a team. Who doesn’t want that?