Teach your puppy to sit is one of the first things you’ll have to train your furry friend. For many dog lovers, the easiest way to do so is to give the puppy yummy treats. For many dog lovers, the easiest way to do so is to give the puppy yummy treats. But did you know that you can teach your puppy to sit even without a treat or rewards?
Why teach your puppy to sit?
Sit is one of the first words that your puppy will hear from you. It is, after all, one of the first few commands that dog trainers or owners teach their puppies. There are three reasons why you should train your puppy how to sit:
- It gives you and your dog a common language. Because ‘sit’ is one of the first few words you’ll be teaching your dog, it becomes a building block of a universal language that you and your dog will have. Your puppy will eventually realize that the words you utter are relevant to him.
- It teaches him a way to beg for his needs. Your puppy will learn that you will pat his head if he sits nicely.
- It trains you. As the first trainer of your puppy, you will pick up valuable lessons once you have mastered the basic ‘sit’ command.
Why train your puppy to sit without treats?
As we’ve mentioned, training your puppy to sit is the first step in teaching canine obedience. It is so easy that you should not rely on treats or lure to do so. You can save those treats later on for more complicated commands.
There’s also the practicality aspect to it. You don’t want to be carrying around a bag full of treats for the rest of your puppy’s life just to get him to respond to your commands, right? Food or treats should occasionally be given to your puppy, especially after he learns a new trick or follows a new command.
Two ways to train your puppy to sit without treats
There are two proven ways to teach your puppy to sit without giving him yummy treats. One of these tricks is to play with him.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- Bring one of his favorite toys in a quiet place where he won’t be distracted. For purposes of discussion, let’s say your puppy loves to play with a ball. You can opt to play fetch with him.
- Stop when you have the ball in your control. Put it over his head to get his attention.
- Say ‘sit!’ Utter the command while keeping the ball over his head.
- Your puppy won’t likely sit the first time you utter that word—that’s alright. Now slowly move the ball to the back of your puppy’s body. Keep the toy high and over his head. Your puppy would automatically sit so that he won’t fall over.
- Instead of giving him a treat, reinforce his behavior by giving him the ball. Your puppy will eventually associate the reward with the sit command.
- Grab the toy from him and play fetch again. Repeat the command to sit after you have stopped and held the ball over his head again.
The other way to train your puppy to sit without treats is by giving him a command. Here’s how to do it:
- Stand in front of your puppy in a quiet and distraction-free place.
- Say ‘sit’ in a loving, gentle manner. As in the first method, you can’t expect your pup to follow you but give him enough time to understand what you mean.
- You can wait for your pup to sit down. If he’s still not doing so after several minutes, assist him. Gently push his bottom as you utter the word ‘sit’ again.
- Praise him after sitting, whether it was on his own action or after you assisted him. It’s up to you what kind of verbal praise to use although many dogs love hearing ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl.’ You may also gently massage his ear to show your approval.
- Continue practicing. Repeat the process to reinforce positive behavior. Don’t forget to reward him by giving him verbal praise each time he follows your command.
Important Things to Remember When Training Your Pup to Sit
When training your pup to sit, remember these important things:
- Speak clearly. It’s a bit obvious but keep in mind that puppies don’t speak our language. It is thus essential to give clear Use just one word when giving commands to your pup so that it will be easier for him to hear or recognize it.
- Keep the training short. Just like our babies and children, puppies have short attention spans. They get tired very quickly, too. You might want to set a goal for a training session, like having your dog follow your command two consecutive times. If he achieves it, then stop and let your pup rest.
- Don’t shout or scold your puppy. No matter how difficult training him may be, don’t shout or scold your pet. Doing so will only frighten him. It could also cause him to be aggressive; something you don’t want in your pet.
As you have learned, teaching a puppy to sit without treats is easy. The ‘sit’ command is one of the first things that puppies will learn in their young lives. It is very basic and straightforward that you don’t have to waste precious food treats when training your puppy to sit.
There are basically two ways to teach your pup to sit without treat—the playtime method and the voice command method. Regardless of the method, remember that you should speak clearly. Moreover, you should be patient with your puppy especially if it is the first time for him to be trained.
Instead of treats, reinforce the positive behavior by praising him. You can also touch or pat his head to acknowledge him.