Dog Command "Sit" Training. Leading a Dog on a Dog Leash
Training a Dog to Sit
Every dog, even the one bred by people, keeps characteristics of primeval ancestors. Judging by those characteristics we can understand that dog’s ancestor is a wolf. It means, that a dog as well as a wolf is a pack animal.
That’s why any dog implicitly obeys the leader of the pack, and that’s exactly what it wants to see in the owner. A dog wants its owner to be the leader that teaches to apply its inborn abilities. Without such a leader a dog feels uneasy and embarrassed, especially a young dog. So it’s very important for every dog to go through the training and to become a representative of a new fantasy dog breed.
Of course, not all our dogs may perform the same functions. For example, you cannot make a guard dog out of York, or a good hunter out of Doberman Pinscher. Still the basis of obedience are important for each dog breed without exception, and are the fundamentals for any dog speciality.
In this article we are going to talk about training grown up dogs. However, it’s better to start dog training since the first months. Sometimes starting with the age of 2-3 months. A puppy has a quick reaction, attentiveness, and wish to learning. Note that dog training should be held in the form of a game, and it should never become a compulsion or drilling, what’s even worse. This refers to grown-up dogs too.
Modern dog training is a collaboration, a dialog between an animal and a person. However, you should demand concentration and accuracy in performing exercises from a puppy or a grown-up dog. Remember, that a puppy is a child, whom you shouldn’t overload. We remind you that it’s better to start dog training program in the early age, like elementary school of dog education. A dog will master the basis of obedience and will be able to move to “secondary school”, that is to learn special skills of higher level.
Leading a Dog on a Dog Leash and “Sit!” Command
For performing this exercise a dog should walk on the left from the owner and its shoulder should be on his knee level. A dog should sit down every time the owner stops, and follow him when he walks, either with usual, slow, or fast pacing. Important is that this exercise is not the same as walking with a dog lead. During walking a dog has enough freedom to sniff around, turn round, etc. During leading a dog should completely concentrate on the owner.
You need a dog collar and a dog lead with a length not less than 1.5 m. for performing this exercise. For puppies or small breed dogs chamois or nylon dog collars are used instead of buckle collars. Remember that it’s better not to use short dog leads or leads with a handle for such exercises, as they prevent a dog from learning commands, and as a result teach it to break away.
You should choose a place without any distracting factors for the first dog training lessons.
A dog should stand on the left side from you, but the dog lead should be in your right hand. Give a command “Heel!” and walk with your usual tempo, emphasizing your pace with appropriate arm movements to give a dog the feeling of the rhythm. Your left hand is free for correcting dog’s movements and stroking it. If a dog turns aside, give the command “Heel!” and make it move closer to you.
If a dog doesn’t obey, stroke your pet. It’s enough for the first trainings. They should last not more that 5-10 minutes. A dog will learn to walk correctly very soon, as it will know that you will praise it for this. After several trainings start to hit the dog collar, holding the dog lead in the right hard. Strokes should imply invitation for a dog to be attentive, but not forcing. As soon as a dog learns to walk along a straight line well, start to make turnings and change the direction. The most important on this level is to train a dog to make a complete turn around itself.
Give the command “Heel!” one step before changing direction, to draw dog’s attention and to prepare it to the turn. When a dog learns to walk with a usual pace, train to change it, moving to slow or fast one. Do not confuse a dog with sharp tempo changes. You may jog a little bit trot, then walk with a usual pace, then move slower, etc. You need at least a month to achieve ideal results in such dog leading. At the same time a dog should get other skills.
A dog should sit down as soon as the owner stops. So, first you need to perform “Sit!” command. During the exercise of dog leading, you should stop, pat the dog and command to sit. At the same time raise the dog’s head with the help of the dog lead which you hold in the right hand, with your left hand press on the pet’s croup slightly inviting it to sit down. Pay attention that you need to invite the dog, not to force. Too heavy pressing will make the dog raise the head. As a result there will a game “Who is stronger?” and there will be no effect of the exercise.
When the dog sits down, keep it in this position for a few seconds, then praise and pat. Command “Sit!” is a very easy exercise. The most common way to achieve immediate results is to give the command and simultaneously to hold dog’s favourite treat above its head. But we do not recommend you to use this method. As the dog will get used to sitting down every time it sees that the owner holds food.
A treat is used to make a dog stand on the back feet in the alerted position while preparing a dog to the exhibition. If a dog gets used to this command only with a treat, it will be quite hard to retrain it. A dog shouldn’t associate a treat in your hands with the demand to sit down. It should perform your commands, not earn treats. After that you can move to combining two commands, saying “Sit!” by each stop while walking. Later a dog will associate a stop with a necessity to sit don’t, so you will not need to say “Sit!”.
Useful products for dog training "Sit" command: