There is no doubt the "sit" command, and its extension the "sit-stay," is probably the most useful skill you can teach your dog. Whether you are waiting at a crowded corner traffic light or are entertaining a visitor leery of dogs, you will thank yourself, and your dog, for taking the time to master it. Even the young puppy will be eager to "work" if the reward is tempting enough.
Start by using a small food treat to lure the dog to point his nose up (toward the treat), so that he naturally lowers his haunches to a sitting position. As soon as he sits, give him the food. Repeat this, adding the word "sit." If your dog is trying to jump at the food, it is probably being held too high. Once this exercise is learned, introduce "sit" at the start and try holding the food at your waist. Sitting dogs can easily be taught to hold the position by delaying the reward, first by just one second, and eventually for longer periods.

Finally, once your dog is successful at waiting for the treat, begin to take a single step to one side and back, followed by a reward. If your dog moves, you have probably asked him to do too much, too soon. Back up in your training program to a very short stay. The key to successful training is patience and a positive attitude. Scolding and physical force will only turn your dog off to the fun of these exercises. Short sessions once or twice daily, at times when your dog is enthusiastic and attentive, will soon have him sitting like the pros.

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