Sitting up is a very easy trick to teach to small dogs, but this isn’t something that you want to train a bigger dog to do given that larger animals can have a hard time maintaining their balance. Training a dog to sit up is one of the very first tricks that you should teach him given that it sets the stage for teaching a number of other dog tips. To train your dog to sit up, get a few treats ready for rewards and then put your dog in the corner on his haunches so that he can’t fall sideways or backward and has little room for losing his balance.
You can put your hand under your dog’s chin to keep him from falling forward and then use your other hand to hold a treat just above your pet’s nose while you deliberately and distinctly say the words “sit up”. Try not to make your pet sit up for any extended period of time – just repeat this lesson often and give out plenty of praise, treats and other rewards for getting the trick right.
During the very first lesson, your pet is going to need quite a bit of support from your hand to ensure that he doesn’t go pitching forward, but as greater control is gained in the balancing muscles and your dog develops a better understanding of what you want, he will gradually become less dependent upon this support to maintain his position and you can slowly offer less and less assistance until you only need to keep a single hand several inches away from his chin or neck just in case he falls forward; and later, you can remove your hand entirely and just hold the treat above your pet’s head.
With regular practice your dog will start sitting up long after you have set him up, and then he can be sat with his back against the wall solely for back support, and after your dog has been trained with this level of support and can easily maintain an upright position, try practicing against the legs of a chair, with cushions, and with other objects that gradually decrease assistance until your dog is finally able to sit up and maintain his balance without leaning on anything.
You have to impress the words “sit up” on your dog’s mind all throughout each of these lessons and then the final lesson will be to teach your dog to sit up as soon as you say these words, and if you’ve been diligently drilling him, odds are – you’ll only have to call out his name, flash a treat, hold the treat at a sufficient height and then say, “sit up”, and your dog will do just that, upon which you should hand over the treat while he’s still in the upright position.
They only way to perfect the trick is to practice daily until your dog is able to sit up on command and without being shown any treat that will be passed on after the command has been obeyed.
Now you have the perfect foundation for more complex tricks. You can wave your hand up and down right between your pet’s paws to teach him how to beg so that he moves his paws in unison with your hands. You can even teach your dog how to salute by bringing a single paw up near the side of his head or how to wear a cap, hold a pipe in his mouth, or wear other items.
When teaching dogs to submit to dressing up it’s best to avoid trying to get them to wear too many things at one time – try having him put on a cap and after he adjusts to this, you can put a coat on him and then gradually start introducing other items of clothing.
Have fun teaching your do this sit up trick.