The technique of “sitting up” is simple to teach to tiny dogs, but it should be avoided in the teaching of large dogs since it is difficult for them to maintain their balance.

Sitting up is one of the first tricks to teach, and it serves as a foundation for many subsequent dog tricks. Prepare some goodies as a reward and place your dog on his haunches in a corner, where he cannot tumble backward or sideways and has very little or no space to lose his balance.

Keep him from pitching forward by placing one hand under his chin and the reward above his nose with the other, and repeating “sit up” distinctly and deliberately. Do not have him sit for extended periods of time at a time; instead, repeat the lesson repeatedly and lavish him with praise and rewards.

During his first lesson, he will rely heavily on your hand to keep him in position, but as he gains control of the balancing muscles and understands what you want, he will rely less and less on your hand to keep him in position, and you can gradually render him less assistance until you only have to keep one hand in position two or three inches from his neck or chin to prevent him from pitching forward; later on, you can gradually render him less assistance until you only have to keep one hand in position

He will sit up well after you set him up with constant practice; then, after he has been well schooled at this and can maintain his position easily, practice him against chair legs, cushions, or other objects that provide him with less and less assistance, until he learns to maintain his balance and sits up without anything to lean against.

The words “sit up” have been imprinted on his mind by frequent repetition throughout these lessons, and now comes the final lesson to teach him to sit up as soon as he hears them, and the chances are that if he has been diligently drilled, all you have to do is call him out in the room, show him a treat, hold it up a suitable distance from the floor, say “sit up,” and he will do so, when the treat should be given while he is still in

The only requirement for perfection is to drill him numerous times a day until he sits up at the word without being rewarded; this can be done after he has obeyed.

You’ve now laid the groundwork for a variety of different tricks. You may teach him to beg by moving your hand up and down directly in front of his paws, which he will imitate. He can also be taught to salute by raising one paw to the side of his head, to carry a wooden pipe in his mouth, and to wear a cap or other articles of clothing on his head.

Do not try to get a dog to wear too many things at once while teaching him to submit to being dressed up; start with a cap and after he gets used to that, you can add a coat and gradually introduce the other clothing items.

Enjoy teaching your dog how to “sit up” and, most importantly, have fun while doing so!


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