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How to Train Your Dog to Sit and Stay

Please refer to How to Train your Dog to Walk on a Leash, before reading too far into this particular article.  Dog Training is a step by step process and in order to get your dog to sit and stay we first must achieve your dog walking nicely on a leash.  Like training your dog to walk on a leash, you want to start any new training with a choker and then move to the prong collar.  You want to make sure to have your good leash control, and you should begin to play the game of follow the leader. Eventually, you will come to a place where you stop and the dog stops right there beside you, this is when you can begin to teach the dog how to sit.

When training a puppy, it is important to understand that we must first TEACH the puppy what each command means.  Therefore, when your puppy stops right next to you, you are going to tell them to sit and then gently push their bottom to the floor, helping them into the sit position.  At first, you want to be very patient with the puppy, don’t get frustrated or raise your voice, dogs don’t respond to that type of behavior.  Simply insist that the dog sit a little bit more than they are willing to resist.  You can begin to apply a little bit of pressure with the choker and the leash in addition to pushing on the puppy’s bottom end to help them sit.

When training an older dog, about 12 months or older, they typically understand all basic commands (such a sit, stay and lay down) so we should expect a lot more out of them than a four-month-old-puppy.  You can begin easy with your dog at first pushing his bottom with your hand, but a lot of times just standing tall and pulling straight up on the leash with the choker on will cause the older dog to sit rather quickly.  You want to work with the puppy in about 15-20 minute sessions, spend the first 5-10 minutes just playing follow the leader and then the last 5-10 minutes working on teaching the dog to sit.

Once you know that your puppy understands what sit means than we can begin working on the stay.  The key to being successful in getting your dog to stay is being prepared for them not to stay and having a quick and effective response to them getting up from the sit position.  It is the same correction every time.  You are going to pull straight up on the leash and tell the dog to “No, bad. Sit, stay” and continue to apply pressure until the dog sits. If working with the prong collar you want to make sure you have a nice loose leash before pulling the leash up, therefore a correction is given.  Once the dog sits it is an immediate praise “Good dog! Now sit, stay.”

Again, you want to have just small increments of success.  Start by having the dog stay for 10 seconds while you stand right next to them, ready to tug is they get up.  Then begin to move away from the dog, you want to do this by feeding leash through your hands, keeping it loose, always in a position to pull up quickly if the dog gets up.  Next, try to have the dog stay for minutes at a time, first while you’re standing right there and then while you move away.  Finally, start with things quiet, no one around, and then slowly begins to increase the distractions. Follow these instructions and have your dog sitting in no time!

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