Difficulty: Easy Prerequisite: None Items Needed: Clicker, Treats
With your clicker ready, wait for your dog to sit on his own. This part of the training session is fun for dogs, it's like a game to them. They have to figure out what to do in order to get the treat. They might spin around, lay down, come up and nudge you—whatever he does, just ignore him until he sits. When he does this immediately click and treat. The first treat should be a generous one, enough to get him motivated for more.
Keep on waiting until he sits again. Whenever he sits, click and treat. By this time it is normal for a dog to get frustrated since he often can't remember why he got the treat the first time and doesn't understand why he isn't getting one now (see Teaching Trouble below).
Keep clicking and treating when he sits. Soon a light will come on in the little guy's brain: "If I sit, I'll get a treat!" He'll start doing it more. When your dog gets to this stage of the training process, start saying the word "Sit" whenever you click. This will reinforce the command with his action.
Then, tell your dog to sit—he should do it right away. As soon as he does, give him a jackpot and a good petting for a job well done.
Step 1: Wait until he sits down on his own. Click and treat. Step 2: Repeat several times. Step 3: Say Sit as soon as he sits. Click and treat. Step 4: Repeat several times. Step 5: Say Sit. If he sits, click and give him a jackpot. If he does not, return to Step 4.
This was the very first trick we taught Caspian. We were so anxious to begin training him, we had barely gotten him home before we were clicking and treating. Our poor dog was so tired, he had been on a flight all day just to get to us, but he had enough energy to try this trick a few minutes before falling asleep. We had no trouble teaching Caspian this command. He was obediently sitting within just a few minutes.
He doesn't know what to do! Be patient with him if he starts barking or whining. Ignore the behavior and wait. You sometimes have to be very patient when clicker training your dog. If your dog gets frustrated, wait until he sits, click and treat well, and take a break. It is better to have short productive training sessions with lots of breaks than long unfruitful sessions.
Tip: "It could take several training sessions for you to perfect a trick. Make sure you don't wear your dog out, give him plenty of breaks. Always end on a good note and you will never go wrong."