Most owners are able to teach their dog to obey the “sit” command. However, teaching him to sit and teaching him to keep sitting without popping back up is quite another thing indeed. The key is to be more persistent in insisting that he remain sitting than he is in popping back up. Of course you have to keep placing him back into the sit position every single time he breaks his sit, but pushing on his hindquarters to do that can be detrimental to his bones and joints. This is especially true in growing pups whose hips and hind legs are not fully developed.
Good news! There is a way to put your dog back into the sit without harming him. There is a ticklish, sensitive spot on either side of the base of your dog’s tail. It is useful to find this spot on your dog so that you can use it in teaching the “sit” command. This will prevent you from being tempted to push on his hindquarters to force him into a sit, a practice that can be injurious to his hips, back, and legs.
1) Find this spot on your dog by holding his collar with your right hand with him standing at your left side.
2) Now reach down with your left hand and put your index and middle fingertips on either side of the base of his tail just above the point of his hip bone. Touch very, very lightly. Gently move your fingers up and down just a tiny bit and watch your dog’s reaction. It may be in a slightly different place on each dog. When you see him tuck his rear end down just a little, you have found the spot.
You will use this when you give your dog the command to sit and he doesn’t comply within two seconds. You will then pull up on his collar with your right hand and put your left index and middle fingertips on this spot gently to make him tuck his rear end. With his weight thrown backward by the upward pull on his collar and his hips tucked under by the tickle at the base of his tail, he will go easily into a sitting position without the necessity for any downward pressure on his hips. He will learn that he must comply with your command to “Sit”. If he breaks the sit before you release him, you will silently, without repeating the command, return him to the sit position as above, thus teaching him that “Sit” really means “Sit until I release you.” Keep repeating this procedure as long as he keeps breaking his sit until he finally understands that “Sit!” means SIT until I tell you otherwise. Then you have really taught your dog the sit command.
If you are in the habit of pushing on your dog’s back or hips to get him to sit, train yourself out of this habit by using the above method consistently.
Article submitted by: © Nancy A Bowles (Biography & Additional Information)