Sit can be a great problem solver – your pit bull can’t jump if he’s sitting, they can’t rush the door if they’re sitting, in fact there’s not much trouble they can get in to while sitting!
- With your dog standing in front of you, put a treat right in front of his nose and pull it slowly up over his head and towards his tail in an arc. As soon as his rump hits the ground, mark and give him that treat!
- After two or three successful sits with a treat in your hand, go through the same motion without a treat. Repeat 10+ times.
- Once she is sitting with the empty hand signal, start saying “sit” and then giving the hand signal. This will teach her that the word and the hand signal mean the same thing, and then you have the option of using either one. Repeat 10+ times.
- Start to ask for longer sits by holding off the reward for a second or two, then three or four, etc.
- Add in distractions, like jumping up and down, walking around, having someone else walk through the room, etc. Remember, if anything is too hard for your dog, back up a step and make it easier for a while.
Sit is also a good way to teach polite greetings, although you can do this same routine with your dog standing still instead. Whichever is easier for you! *This ONLY works if your dog WANTS to say hi to a person. If they are nervous around people, do not follow this procedure.”
- Have someone who will say hi to your dog, and is good at following directions, about 20 feet from you and your dog. Ask your dog to sit, and reward him for sitting.
- The person should start to walk towards you and your dog. The second the dog stands up or jumps, the person should turn and walk back to where they started. *Do not get frustrated!* The more mistakes your dog makes, the faster she will learn the cause and effect of sitting versus jumping.
- When the person is close enough to say hi, you can either have them pet your dog or just say hello verbally – whichever your dog is more comfortable with. Again, if they jump or do anything else inappropriate, the person should *immediately* turn and walk away.
Practice with many different people, and try to never let your dog say hi if they aren’t behaving!
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