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Your Greyhound is the gentle and kind companion you’ve been longing for and is the perfect family pet. He is eager to please you and because of this, he will be relatively easy to train. He is overly affectionate and friendly, which means that he wants to greet passers-by when out on a walk. This isn’t always ideal, especially if those people don’t like dogs. It’s important that your Greyhound learns to sit in certain situations like this so that you can stop him in his tracks.
Learning to sit will also be a foundation for a whole host of obedience commands. By teaching him to sit, you are teaching him manners and respect, which are priceless traits for a dog to have. He will need to learn that you are the pack leader and for this to happen, he has to believe you are in charge.
It’s important that you train your Greyhound to be obedient to you as he has the innate behaviors of a hunter. When he catches a scent, it is only natural for him to want to run after it. It is also important that he learns to sit and wait patiently at the side of a road or before you put his food down.
If he is a youngster, he should pick up the training quickly as he will be enthusiastic and receptive to training. You should start to see results in a couple of days. If your Greyhound is slightly older, then you may need a little longer for him to get the hang of it. Try repeating the training at different times of day and vary the location so that he does not get bored. Due to Greyhounds' conformation, you may not want to make him hold the sitting position for too long as this can be uncomfortable for them.
Before training can begin, you will need will need to gather a plentiful supply of your dog's favorite treats. Practice training for around 10 minutes twice a day. You should avoid for long periods of time in one go as this will become tedious for your greyhound and he will lose interest very quickly. It is also best to spread training out over a period of days and a variety of settings which will help him to remember it better. With repetition and patience, he will be sitting on cue in no time!
The Guiding Method
Start your training in a quiet space with as little distractions as possible. You want his full attention to be on learning his new trick.
Position your Greyhound in front of you and kneel down so that you are on his level. If he starts to get excited and try to come towards you for attention, gently push him away and in a low and assertive voice use a vocal command such as ‘no’ or ‘back’.
Once your dog is settled, its time to use the verbal command, ‘sit’. Say it in a loud and clear voice so that the dog pays attention to it. Reach back and gently push his bottom down to the floor as you say it.
Try not to be too forceful pushing his bottom to the floor as you don’t want to hurt him. If at first he doesn’t sit down, take your hand off him and repeat step 3 again. With repetition, his bottom should eventually hit the floor.
As soon as his bottom hits the floor and he has held the position for a couple of seconds, be sure to give him lots of praise and a treat. Practice this around 5 times then let him have a break and come back to training later.
The Clicker Method
Clickers are a popular method of communication for dog training and are very effective if used correctly. It is easy to use, simply give a click whenever your Greyhound has performed a behavior correctly and follow the click with a treat.
Get on his level
Kneel down in front of him and hold up a treat above his head so that you have his full attention. In the other hand hold the clicker.
Give the vocal command ‘sit’ in a loud and clear voice.
As soon as his bottom hits the floor and he is in a seated position, give a click and then let him have the reward he has been longing for. You must make sure you give him the reward within a few seconds so that he starts to associate the click with a reward.
Praise and repeat
Make sure he gets lots of praise for performing well and never punish him if he doesn’t pick it up right away. Keep practicing a few times and he should get the hang of it within a week.
The Treat Overhead Method
Start off by having your Greyhound standing in front of you, facing towards you. You now need to kneel down in front of him to make yourself more his height.
Have a treat in hand and make sure he sees it. This way his attention will be focused on your hand.
Once his full attention is focused on your hand, give the vocal command, ‘sit’ in a clear voice. Give the instruction just once, you want him to react the first time, every time.
After you have given the command to ‘sit', you can start to move your hand back over his head and towards his bum. If you do this slowly enough, he will be left with no choice but to sit as his head follows the treat.
As soon as his bum hits the ground, let him have the treat. Be sure to give him lots of verbal and physical praise such as saying ‘good boy’ and stroking him. You need to reward him each time to start with so that it motivates him to repeat the behavior.
You will need to repeat this training a few times a day in different settings so that he doesn’t just associate it with one place. Slowly you can reduce the number of treats you are using when he starts to get the hang of it.
By Lola Hobbs
Published: 02/19/2018, edited: 01/08/2021