Training

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2 min read

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How to Train a Labrador Puppy to Sit

Training

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2 min read

|

1

Comments

How to Train a Labrador Puppy to Sit
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon1-2 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

You have brought a Labrador puppy into your home and life is getting exciting. Bringing a new puppy home is fun, rewarding, entertaining, and exhausting. But as soon as you bring your puppy home, you will want to start some basic obedience training. A great trick to start with is to teach your Labrador puppy to sit. Training your puppy to sit will be simple. Because it's such an easy trick, your Lab will be eager because he will be rewarded quickly. 

This high energy and reward-based training will set up all of your future training sessions with your puppy on a positive note. Training your Labrador puppy to sit starts the foundation for basic obedience training. You will ask your Lab to sit more times in his life than probably anything else. Much of his future training will start in a 'sit' position. 

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Defining Tasks

Training your Labrador puppy to sit only requires that you have his attention for a few minutes. His attention span is going to be short. So, keep your training sessions short but schedule them several times throughout the day. Training your Labrador puppy to sit often becomes a battle of wills and patience. As you patiently wait, your Labrador puppy will get bored and eventually sit down. This is the action you will mark with a reward and positive reinforcement. Because this training is rewards based with positive behaviors marked, your puppy will be motivated and want to do well. Each time you ask him to sit and he does so, be prepared to reward him. Work on getting 'sit' down before moving on to any other training. 

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Getting Started

To train your Labrador puppy to sit all you're going to need are treats, patience, and some scheduled time for training. Set aside some of this training time without distractions. You want to have your Lab puppy’s full attention early on. Because he's a puppy, you will only get so much of his attention at a time, so keep these obedience training sessions short but repeat them often.

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The Trick for Treat Method

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1

Start with play

Play a bit with your Labrador puppy. He is high energy and loves playtime, especially if he gets to play with you. Be sure to give him some tasty treats while you are playing together.

2

Follow the treat

While you have your puppy’s attention, hold a treat up over his nose. Hold his attention by keeping the treat still. Your puppy should be looking at the treat. If you move it left or right, his nose should follow.

3

Move the treat

Still holding the treat up high above his head, get your Labrador to follow the treat as you move it above his head but back slowly toward the back of his head.

4

Follow to sit

As your puppy moves his head to follow the treat, he will likely have his chin pointed high up and won’t take the risk of falling over, so he will automatically sit on his bottom.

5

Sit

As soon as your puppy sits in an effort to follow the treat moving over his head, say the word "sit" and give him the treat.

6

Repeat

Keep repeating this until your Lab can sit without the lure of the treat but rather just by command.

7

Reward

Be sure to reward your puppy each time he is successful and sits when you ask him to. Practice this every day, several times a day. Even as you get into more difficult training, your Labrador should know to sit before any other command given.

The Sit and Click Method

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Prepare

If you plan to clicker train your Labrador puppy, you should know it is an effective positive behavior reward-based training. Be prepared to click train your Labrador puppy to sit on command with a clicker and high-value treats. These treats should be small and rewarding.

2

Show a treat

Show your Labrador puppy a treat to get his attention. You’ll want to be in a distraction-free environment to do this training.

3

Sniff the treat

Let your puppy sniff the treat by holding it in your hand in front of his nose. If you have an eager Lab pup, he might try to eat the treat. If he tries this, keep it in your closed hand.

4

To 'sit'

Hold the treat up over your Labrador’s nose and slowly move it over the back of his head. Your pup should follow the treat with his nose up and back as well. As the treat gets above his head he’ll back up and sit down.

5

Treat

Once your puppy is in a sitting position, say the word "sit" and click and treat.

6

Repeat

Practice this several times. Over time, you should just say the command "sit" and expect your Labrador puppy to sit. Be sure you are rewarding his positive behaviors with a click and treat each time he sits.

The Hand Signal Method

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1

Stand

Stand in front of your Lab puppy. Show him a treat. This will hold his attention and prepare him to earn the treat.

2

Hand signal

Hold your hand up over his head palm facing up. This is the hand signal for sit.

3

Move your hand

Your puppy might sit just while waiting for your hand to do some trick of its own, but it’s more likely he will stand and watch your hand. Slowly move your hand behind your Labrador puppy’s head.

4

Sitting

As your puppy’s eyes follow your hand, say the command "sit" and watch your puppy sit down.

5

Reward

As soon as his bottom touches the floor, give him a "good boy" and a treat. Immediately repeat and practice several times. Over time, he will be conditioned to sitting when you give him the hand signal.

By Stephanie Plummer

Published: 02/20/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Yuki

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Labrador Retriever

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8 Weeks

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How do we train him? Every time i get the treat above his head go make him sit, he tries to eat the treat every time and also he is really dominant, he is really possesive and bites us

March 1, 2022

Yuki's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vidit, First, I would try using a longer treat, big enough that a small end can stick out of your hand without pup biting your hand as much. Hold the rest of it in your hand with only your knuckles visible to pup and fingers tucked in. Hold the treat close enough that pup can nibble and lick the end pointing out while you move your hand slowly for pup to follow while licking, until pup has to sit in order to keep licking the moving treat. This is often easier if you practice with pup's back to a wall in the corner so pup can't back up when you move your hand. If you are still struggling doing the above, then check out the article I have linked below and either the Pressure method or Capture method for teaching Sit instead of using treat luring. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

March 1, 2022


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