Training A Puppy To 'Sit!' 

Our puppy training tips will help you teach your Cocker good manners. Training a puppy to 'Sit'! on command is easy with our step-by-step guide.

How To Train A Puppy To 'Sit'! 

Before you begin training a puppy, it's best to find a quiet spot, away from distractions, otherwise you'll achieve nothing.

Beautiful blue roan cocker spaniel undergoing puppy obedience training
  1. Say your puppy's name and, when he comes over to you, use the 'Watch!' commandto get his full attention.

  2. Take a treat and hold it between your finger and thumb.

  3. Move your hand towards your puppy's nose, treat between your fingers, palm facing towards him.

  4. As your Cocker moves to sniff the treat, lift your hand higher, and slightly back above his head and towards his tail.

    Don't lift your hand too far over his head though, otherwise he will try to turn around to get at the treat.

  5. And don't lift your hand too high over his head as he will try to jump up or 'beg' for the treat.

  6. As your hand moves over your puppy's head, his nose should follow the treat.

    When he does this he will lift his head upwards and slightly backwards and, in doing so, his bottom will automatically move towards the floor and he will naturally end up in a sitting position.

  7. Timing is important here. Just as your puppy's bottom touches the floor, say the command word, 'Sit', let him have the treat, and praise your puppy with the words, 'Sit, good boy sit!'

The movement of your hand towards your puppy's nose will eventually serve as a visual 'sit' command for him during subsequent puppy training sessions.

Repeat this training exercises between 5 and 10 times each day for a week until he's sitting the instant you use the command word.

Puppy Training Tips To Help Get It Right! 

When training a puppy, it's important to remember that the rewards, praise and treat, need to be given very quickly so that he can associate his actions with the rewards.

I recommend you reinforce puppy obedience training exercises whenever you get the opportunity, for example  before:

  • feeding him,
  • answering the door,
  • petting him,
  • giving him his favourite toy,
  • before putting your puppy on his lead.

When you feel your Cocker Spaniel puppy has mastered the 'Sit' command, try using the verbal and visual commands separately, to see if he understands.

Don't worry if he doesn't get it right. Try again and if he still gets it wrong, leave it for a little while and try again later. Stay upbeat and don't let him see you're disappointed.

When training your puppy, it's important that you don't offer him a treat every time he sits, otherwise this will teach him to follow commands only when food is offered.

Instead, occasionally reward your puppy with extra praise and a stroke or a gentle scratch under the chin.

When it's time to remove treats altogether, keep rewarding your puppy with praise and affection when he gets it right. This will act as positive reinforcement instead of the treats.

Don't worry, your praise and affection will be enough of a reward for your puppy.

When training your puppy, don't be tempted to move on too quickly. Wait until you're certain that he's learned each lesson. He should be able to follow either verbal or visual commands, and without the presence of a treat.

Once your Cocker learns a command, but then decides not to follow it, (as they do!) don't repeat the command word over and over again. This will only serve to teach him that he doesn't need to act on the first command. He'll believe it's okay to sit on the third or fourth or even fifth command!

You'll find more general puppy training tips or more puppy obedience training here.

Training A Puppy To 'Stand' When You Ask Him To

Don't forget to continue to reinforce all puppy obedience training lessons at every opportunity!

When your puppy has mastered the 'Sit' command, he'll be ready to advance his puppy training and move on to training a puppy to 'Stand' on command.

Golden cocker spaniel puppy being trained to 'Stand' on command.

» » Training A Puppy To 'Sit!'

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