Teaching your Shih Tzu the command “sit” and the proper response is likely to be the first thing he is taught. Puppies can begin being trained on how to sit as soon as he is comfortable and adjusted to his new home. The command “sit” is a very important lesson to teach your dog and will come in handy many times.
• Everytime your puppy sits on his own, try to remember to say the command “sit”. It may sound silly, but this will teach the dog to connect the command with the action and will help him learn what the command means quicker and more easily in training.
• Keep a treat handy that your puppy likes. Just remember to have it cut into pieces small and easy enough for him to swallow.
• Be sure to stay close to your puppy. A good idea is to sit on the floor beside him so that you and your puppy are on the same level and you are not towering over him, which can be intimidating or threatening. Being close to your dog also allows you to reward him with treats more quickly, which is important to the training process.
• Using the treat, slowly move it over your puppy’s head. Your puppy will smell the treat and his nose will follow the scent. If you are holding the treat in the right place (above and behind your dog’s snout), it will be much easier for your puppy to sit to get his nose closer to the treat.
• As soon as the puppy’s bottom hits the floor say “sit” and give him a small treat. The timing on this is very important to his training - the dog must associate the action with the command and doing the action in accordance with the word as something being worthy of a reward.
• Do not only reward your puppy with the treat, but with praise as well. Show him (with your body language) and tell him how proud of him you are and how happy with him you are.
• Repeat these exercises 3-5 times. Anymore than that and it might get boring for your puppy.
• Once you have worked this exercise for a while, the next step is to work on getting him to sit while you are standing. Also, another step forward is to see if you can get him to react to simply the command “sit” without the treat tricking him into doing it. Be sure to sing his praises when he does it. You should never react in a disappointed manner when training.
This exercise should be pretty easily picked up by your puppy. In a couple days, he should be responding to the command “sit”. You have the option of taking it a step further by getting your dog to sit next to you, which will come in handy for his “heel” training.
To go even further, you should begin working on the sit exercise in different and new situations. The ideal goal is that your dog should be willing to sit for you in any situation, no matter how tempting outside distractions are. Try to always work on the sit command in new situations, which is practicing to get your dog to always listen to your commands, no matter where you are or what is going on.
Not only will teaching your dog how to sit come in handy, but it will also strength your bond with your puppy. Your puppy wants to please you and make you happy and enjoys bonding with you- at training or at play. Training will help him to learn his name and help him to learn to listen to you as his master. The puppy will be confident in himself and his owner and will love being your dog.