There’s a reason why dog owners first teach their dogs how to sit before anything else. It’s a trick that is not hard to teach, and dogs can easily learn the command. But there’s more to this simple command than keeping the dog in a sitting position. If you can teach your dog to sit before he gets whatever he wants, you can make him learn a great deal of other exercises.
You’ll teach him teamwork and the value of cooperating. Another common term for the sit command is – No Free Lunch. It works not just to keep your pet in place, but it’s also extremely effective for over reactive and forceful dogs.
Test Your Dog’s Sitting Skills
No Free Lunch is for dogs, who are already familiar with the sit command. If your dog knows the command, but has not mastered it yet, you can still continue with the training and improve his sitting skills as you go along. By now, you probably have your own verbal cues in communicating with your dog.
In most cases, dog owners say, “good boy/girl” as a verbal reward when their dogs make the right choice. When dogs are uncooperative, they may say – “not good” or simply “no”. The first time you ask your dog to sit and he does not, tell him “not good,” and walk away without giving him the treat.
Try again after a few minutes, and reward him when he cooperates. Release him after giving the treat.
Keep Calm and Go Easy on the Treats
It’s important to keep your composure while training your dog. Do not be forceful, hostile, or angry no matter how frustrating your session unfolds. Shouting at your dog or forcing him to sit will not teach him the command. He must learn that being uncooperative will keep him from getting his desired food or objects.
Most dogs don’t really learn to stop a negative behavior just because you’re shouting. It will only confuse him or strain your relationship with him. You should also stop dispensing treats too generously. When dogs are used to getting what they want, it will soon loses meaning to them. They know they can have their treats any time they want, so why should they cooperate?
Only Reward Properly Executed Commands
Use a handful of treats that are most desirable to your pet. Show your dog the prized treat and then request him to sit. When he obeys and remains seated for a few seconds, give him the treat, and release him. If he obeys, but is barking or wiggling, don’t give him the treat.
In the first session, you taught him that obedience to the sit command grants him a treat. But this time, you’re teaching him that only a calm and polite sit will be rewarded.
Make Him Sit for Other Activities
Now that your dog has learn to sit for the most ‘desirable’ treats, you can begin teaching him to stay calm and polite during meals. If he doesn’t stay calm, take back his meal and walk away. Never give in to his begging if he’s not cooperating. Try again after a few minutes until he sits calmly.
You can incorporate the No Free Lunch exercise to other activities, such as when you’re hooking his leash before a walk, when he’s too excited to jump on the car or bed. Improve your dog’s self-control by using the activities that interest him the most.