Rescue dogs are special guys. If your rescue dog is old enough to have been with any family for an extended period of time, he may already know the word or the command 'sit'. However, you should remember with rescue dogs, your little guy may have been in scary situations, abusive situations, or in homes where he was neglected and never trained. This might mean your rescue dog does not know such a simple command as 'sit'. Some rescue dogs are emotionally traumatized, and though they may have known commands in their past, they need to build trust with their new families and need to be retaught tricks they used to know. But with a lot of patience, love, and understanding and some delicious treats, you can teach your rescue dog not only to sit but also how to be a great pet. Offering your rescue pet a safe and healthy home will create a happy world for him to live where he will want to learn and thrive with you.
Training your rescue dog to sit is not much different from training a young puppy to sit. However, if you have a rescue dog who has an abusive past, he may be fearful or apprehensive about your hand hovering over his head. Be cautious with rescue dogs, especially those whose past you are not familiar with, when it comes to putting your hands near their heads or faces because they may have come from an abusive past. One method includes gently pushing down on your dog's bottom to put him in a sit position instead of hovering treats over your dog's head. If your dog has been beaten or abused in any way, this may be a better method than one that may include your dog believing he may be struck by your hand. With time, patience, love, and understanding for the nuances that come with the rescue--and some tasty treats--your rescue dog can learn to sit on command.
All you really need to teach your rescue dog to sit are some delicious treats and a little bit of time for some short training sessions. Keep these sessions brief and watch your movements, so you are not scaring your dog with fast-paced, quick motions.