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Your Golden Retriever puppy is a bundle of loving, energetic joy. But all that happiness and energy can quickly become exhausting, frustrating, and even dangerous as your puppy grows into an adult dog. That’s why training your Golden puppy to sit is so crucial to her well-being-- and yours--and needs to be implemented as soon as possible.
What are the benefits of training your Golden Retriever puppy to sit? You will teach your puppy that she needs to listen to you as well as a variety of other essential skills. These skills include sitting when greeting people instead of jumping up, sitting and waiting for food and treats, sitting and letting you walk out the door first, and safety skills such as sitting before crossing a road.
The following training plans will take some time, consistency, and patience with your pup, but the end results will be more than worth it.
The 'sit' command is one of the best skills with which to begin training your puppy. It offers a gentle way to start the puppy training process. Your Golden puppy will not only develop self-confidence, making for a happier, healthier dog, but she will also bond more strongly with you. Your puppy will learn that responding to your commands means positive attention, lots of fun, and a fair amount of treats.
Training for the 'sit' skill should be done with your puppy’s youth and lack of attention span in mind. A Golden Retriever puppy will throw her heart into what you’re asking her to do, but will also be readily distracted because she’s still a baby and still learning what you want from her. Patience, consistency, and a positive tone are a must to create a nurturing, successful training environment for your puppy.
Find a quiet place with few distractions to start training your puppy. Diversions can be incorporated into these methods when your puppy becomes more skilled and in need of new challenges. Have a few high-quality treats available to use as a lure and a reward.
Make sure you deliver all commands to your puppy in a quiet yet firm voice. All of the following training sessions should be approached in a positive, fun tone, and completed in short increments. Because your Golden puppy has a short attention span, make sure you stop training before your dog gets bored. With time, patience, and consistency, your Golden Retriever puppy will learn to sit in a matter of weeks.
The Capture Method
Wait quietly and watch your puppy
Staying quiet and calm, watch your puppy until she sits down of her own accord.
Immediately praise and reward
The instant your puppy sits on the ground, give her a treat and praise her.
Ignore puppy begging
At this point, your puppy might jump up or whine or bark to get more treats. Quietly ignore her as you don't want to reward her for these behaviors.
Wait and watch again
Again, while remaining quiet and calm, watch your puppy until she sits down on her own. Then treat her and praise her.
Incorporate the 'sit' command
Begin to add the 'sit' command every time your puppy sits down. With a few days of practice, your Golden puppy will quickly learn that sitting brings happiness and tasty rewards.
The Food Lure Method
Hold a treat in front of the puppy's nose
Take one high-quality treat and hold it in front of your puppy's nose so she can see it. Don't let her lunge toward it or eat it.
Raise and follow
Lift the treat up over the puppy's head so she has to look up to follow the path of the treat.
Let the sit happen naturally
Your Golden puppy will naturally sit back on the ground in order to follow the treat.
Command and reward
As soon as your puppy's behind touches the floor, give the command "sit." Then praise the dog and give her the treat. If the puppy bounces up, have her sit back down before rewarding her.
Replace treats with a hand signal
Once your puppy understands the 'sit' command, begin to switch out the treats with a hand signal at the same time you give the command. Lay your hand flat, palm up, and raise your hand when you say "sit."
The Gentle Tap Method
Place your puppy to your left
Have your pup stand on your left side facing the same direction as you.
Tuck and slide
Take your left hand and gently tuck it under your puppy's bottom. Take your right hand and place it on the dog's chest, then carefully slide her forward.
Gently place your puppy in a seated position
Push up and back with your right hand and gently place the puppy in a sitting position. Do not push down hard on your dog's back or hips as you can damage her health and her relationship with you.
Sit and hold
As soon as your puppy's behind touches the floor, say "sit," and hold her there for one to two seconds.
Praise and reward
Once your puppy has held the sitting position for a couple seconds, praise her and give her a treat.
Written by Erin Cain
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 02/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021