Monday, May 9, 2011



"Taking a seat" is something quite different than just "sitting". If you invited a visitor into your home, and you told him to "take a seat" as you pointed to your couch, you would expect that he would sit down and stay politely seated while you engaged in conversation. You might offer him a piece of candy from the dish on your coffee table, and your guest would say thank you as he took the candy, while still remaining seated.

However, if a visitor to your home was asked to take a seat and he simply sat quickly on the couch, grabbed a candy from the dish, popped up and then started to wander off, instead of staying seated and engaging in conversation with you, you would think he was pretty rude, right?

Yet we tolerate this behavior from our dogs all the time. Just a quick sit and pop-up for a treat is not an acceptable behavior for a dog when we ask them to sit. Is the dog being taught a "sit" or is he being taught a "sit, treat, pop-up"? From this point forward, when you tell your dog to "sit" think of it as asking him to "take a seat".

Taking a seat (remaining in the sit position) is essentially the same as a sit-stay, but it is not necessary to add the verbal word "stay" if you teach the dog that sit means sit until I give permission for you to get up. If you do wish to use a verbal command in addition to saying "sit", consider using the word “wait” for the sit-stay, reserving the word “stay” to mean remaining in a down-stay position. This way your dog does not get confused by the use of “stay” for both sit and down. Dogs often lay down on the sit-stay or sit up on the down-stay, because the same hand signal and same word is being used for both exercises. Better to simply say "wait" or repeat "sit" if you feel the need to say something to remind your dog that he should remain seated.

If you would like to read this entire article which includes instructions on how to get your dog to understand "take a seat", please visit Melanie Schlaginhaufen's dog training blog, and read the article at this link:
Sit Means Take a Seat!

1 comment:

  1. Good point you have here. In dog training, owner's superiority plays a crucial role. Besides, a harmonious pet-owner relationship should also begin in the dog's obedience.