How to Train a Havanese to Sit

Easy
1-2 Weeks
General

Introduction

Your Havanese puppy is so soft and cuddly. You are probably very excited to have him in your home, and he is excited to be in your life. Playtime is fun and rewarding and your Havanese is probably learning the ropes, such as when to expect meals and where it is appropriate to go potty. Now it’s time to work on basic obedience training as well. 

Training a Havanese to sit sets your pup up for basic obedience training and fun tricks to come. It is likely you will ask him to sit before he does most of the other tricks he will learn in his lifetime. Basic obedience training will include 'sit', 'down', 'come', 'stay', and to 'heel' or at least having leash manners. So, before you teach your Havanese any of these other basic obedience commands start with a 'sit' position first. Training to sit is the easiest of all the commands. Starting here will also train your Havanese what to expect with other training to come. 

Defining Tasks

Training your Havanese to sit will require some repetitive training sessions. You will basically be putting him in in position where he wants to sit and then rewarding him for doing so. Over a few sessions, this kind of positive reward-based training will condition him to understand the action of sitting down with your command or your hand signal and the reward which follows. You can teach a Havanese to sit at any age, however, the earlier you start with basic obedience training, the easier it will be to teach your Havanese other tricks as well. 

Most other commands will start with a sit position, so be sure to train this one first. Some dogs, especially smaller dogs, are conditioned to sitting because they just happen to be sitting and eventually connect the word "sit" with the reward for the action. Training this command is more about conditioning than other fun tricks your Havanese will learn in the years ahead. 

Getting Started

To train your Havanese to sit, be sure to have some tasty treats on hand. Also be sure to schedule some distraction-free training time with your dog. Training him to sit builds a foundation for other tricks as well so if you plan to train your Havanese anything else, start with the sit position and command first.

The Sit for Treat Method

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Step
1
Attention
Get your Havanese’s attention by giving him a treat. Hold another treat in your hand and let him see it.
Step
2
Treat
Hold the second treat to your dog's nose. Let him sniff it and give him a moment to let the idea that he could earn it sink in.
Step
3
Overhead
Move the treat slightly over your pup's head. Your Havanese will likely tip his chin up to try to follow the treat and as the treat goes over his eyes, he will likely sit down.
Step
4
Command
Give your Havanese the command to sit as he sits, using the word "sit". As soon as his bottom touches the floor, give him the treat.
Step
5
Repeat
Put your Havanese in a standing position again and repeat these steps several times. Be sure you are using the word "sit" to get your dog to sit as he lifts his head up and automatically puts his bottom down.
Step
6
Treat
Be sure you are giving your Havanese a treat every time he manages to put himself in a sitting position by following the treat up and over his head.
Step
7
Practice
Keep practicing. At some point, stop using the treat to lure your Havanese into the 'sit 'position. Your dog should be used to hearing the word "sit" and should begin to sit on command. Be sure to reward him each time he is successful. If he needs practice with the treat lure, go back to that and practice more.
Recommend training method?

The Sit Guide Method

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Step
1
Position
Sit in front of your Havanese and give him love and affection and a treat.
Step
2
Hand placement
While petting your pup, use one hand to pet his back close to his tail and the other hand to pet his chest.
Step
3
Command to sit
Have your Havanese get used to hearing the command "sit" as you gently guide him into a sitting position while petting. Say the word "sit" and gently push on his bottom and hold his chest in place at the same time with the other hand, putting him into a sitting position
Step
4
Treat
Let go of both his chest and his bottom and give him a treat with some verbal praise such as "good boy".
Step
5
Repeat
Repeat these motions, gently putting your Havanese in a sitting position simply by petting him and gently pushing on his bottom while holding his chest and keeping the front half of him in place. Be sure to say the word "sit" and give him a treat when he is successful.
Step
6
Practice
Continue to practice with your Havanese, only move to a point where you are not gently pushing down his bottom but rather only petting him or touching him and using the word "sit". Over time, you should be able to take your hands completely off of your dog and ask him to sit and expect him to put himself in this position alone. Be sure to offer him a treat once he's there.
Recommend training method?

The Signal Method

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Step
1
Position
Stand in front of your Havanese and hold a treat in your hand. Let him see and sniff a second treat to get and maintain his attention.
Step
2
Hand position
Hold the treat in the palm of your hand and place your hand palm up in front of your Havanese over his nose. This is the signal to ask your Havanese to sit.
Step
3
Move your hand
If your Havanese doesn't automatically sit when he sees the treat in your hand hovering over his head, move your hand over his head and eyes, guiding him back and into a sitting position. You do not need to touch your dog, curiosity will put him in this position on its own.
Step
4
Sit
As soon as your Havanese is in the sitting position and give him the treat and lots of verbal praise.
Step
5
Practice
Practice this several times. With lots of practice you should be able to just hold your hand up over your dog's nose with your palm facing up and your Havanese should know the expectation is that he sit.
Step
6
Rewards
Be sure you reward your Havanese every single time he puts himself in the sitting position. This will remind him to do well the next time you hold your hand palm facing upm asking him to sit.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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