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 "The Sit Command: the Most Important Thing your Dog Will..." 
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Post "The Sit Command: the Most Important Thing your Dog Will..."
The Sit Command: the Most Important Thing your Dog Will Ever Learn
by: Sebastian Fawne

I'm in the dog field. No, I'm not a trainer or a breeder. I take dog playgroups. So I guess you could say I play with dogs for a living.

There are two dogs in my morning group that are absolutely obsessed with tennis balls. All Buddy and Gracie want me to do is throw a ball for them to fetch. Land or water, rain or shine; it doesn't matter. Throw it, throw it, throw it!!!

Neither one of them wants to compete with the other. Everything is great if I have a ball for each of them. But if I only have one ball and they have to share, that's when we run into trouble. That's also how I learned the power of the Almighty Sit.

If Buddy drops the ball, Gracie immediately lunges for it. But then she won't let it go because she knows Buddy will steal it back. Buddy on the other hand, is very reluctant to drop it if he sees Gracie lurking, ready go pounce.

In the past, I tried to restrain Gracie by holding onto her collar so that Buddy wouldn't feel threatened. But if you've ever tried to hold back a dog whose entire reason for existing at that moment in time is to get a tennis ball, it ain't easy!

Then I had a thought. "Sit!" I told Gracie. Lo and behold, she sat! And Buddy dropped the ball without Gracing lunging after it.

Almost all dogs you meet have learned the sit command as one of their first lessons. It is so ingrained in their minds, they'll sit in almost any situation, if told to do so firmly.

It does more than just plant them in a stationary position. It changes their mind frame. One second they're totally focused on what they want to do. But the next, they're alert. They're paying attention to you. You are now their focus of attention, not the ball.

I have a friend who also takes dog playgroups. She had a golden retriever in her group who started to go after other dogs randomly. I saw her get really frustrated at him when he did this and scream his name, but to no avail.

Then one time as he started to chase a dog, she very firmly told him to sit. And he did.

Always remember the power of Sit. If you're trying to get your dog to stop jumping up on you, to stop barking out the window at an animal, or most any other behavior you don't want, don't be frustrated and by all means, don't yell at him. It will only excite him more.

Instead calm yourself and tell him to sit. I've had the best response when I have a treat ready to reward compliance. You'll be amazed how quickly it takes your dog to a different state of mind.

If your dog resumes his bad behavior after the sit, tell him to sit again. Just keep doing it, making him sit for longer and longer periods before giving a reward. Be patient and stay relaxed.

So the next time your dog has you pulling your hair out and you're at the end of your rope, try telling him to sit. You'll be amazed at the results.

About The Author
Sebastian loves dogs and has two of his own. He also enjoys riding a bike. His website about bicycle tail lights is all about them, including information on Cateye lights at
The author invites you to visit:

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Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:39 am
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