Why teach sit?

Sit is often the first behavior taught in basic obedience classes, and for a good reason! It is an essential command and is a go-to behavior to ensure good manners and safety when interacting with your dog. When sitting, a dog’s hind legs and rear are on the floor while their front legs are straight. The dog is stationary and asked to remain in the same position until released or asked to do something else. 

Working on sit helps your dog practice stillness by ignoring distractions, and keeps your dog’s focus on you. 

Most dogs have learned sit to a certain level of proficiency. Companion training will work with your dog to not only repeat this behavior multiple times until it becomes second nature, but also  form a strong association between the word “sit” and the behavior in your dog’s mind. 

How does Companion teach sit?

Companion teaches sit in three distinctive phases that reflect the best practice in dog training: acquisition, pairing, and stimulus control.

Acquisition

is the introductory part of the sit lesson. At first, Companion will remain silent and wait for your dog to naturally sit. As soon as your dog sits, Companion will say “yes”, and reward your dog with a treat. After a few repetitions, your dog will start understanding that sitting will get him a treat, and will start sitting more and more. This is when we start introducing the verbal cue.

Pairing

is the next step in learning “sit”. By now, your dog understands that sitting will get him a treat, but we want to get him to understand the word “sit”. The Companion, using state of the art sensors and measurements, predicts when your dog will offer the behavior. Right before your dog offers the behavior, Companion will say “sit”, and as soon as your dog sits, Companion will say “yes” and reward your dog with a treat.

Stimulus Control

is the last step in this lesson. Now that your dog has learned to associate the word “sit” with sitting, we want to make sure your dog can respond to the command, and sit down when you ask him to. At this point in training, Companion will say the command “sit”. If your dog responds within a few seconds, Companion will say “yes” and reward your dog with a treat. Companion will then reward your dog for responding faster and in a more precise manner to the command.

How to practice sit at home?

Practice at home to get the best out of Companion training.

1. Set up

Take a small handful of treats in your pocket or your treat pouch. 

Sit down with your dog in a quiet, familiar room with your dog and make sure he doesn’t need to go potty

2. Give the cue

Get your dog’s attention by calling his name or make a noise, then say “sit”, and wait up to 2 seconds for your dog to perform the behavior.

3. Reinforce or lure

If he sits, immediately say “yes” and give a treat. 

If your dog doesn’t sit after 2 secs, do not repeat the cue. Instead, bring a treat to his nose, and raise your hand to lure him into a sit position. Say “yes” and give a treat when he sits.

4. Repeat

Repeat until your dog sits consistently 5 times in a row without needing to lure, then finish the training session.

Next time, make your luring gesture less obvious, and phase it out until your dog responds to your verbal cue.

Keep it short. If your dog doesn’t reach 5 successful sits within 10 minutes, finish the session and try again tomorrow.

Tips

Need more pointers to practice sit at home? Explore our tips!

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