Behavior and Training

How To Teach Your Lab To Sit

For most Labrador Retrievers, teaching “sit” isn’t difficult because they have a problem being in the actual position. The hard part with a Lab is getting them to sit still, especially if they are under the age of 5 (and I’ve known some 12-year-olds that still had trouble!). If you have struggled with getting your Lab to sit, don’t worry, you are not alone. Here is an easy and effective way to teach your Lab how to sit on the first cue, every time.


Capturing The Behavior

You are going to use a form of training called “capturing.” This is when you wait for your Lab to offer what you want and then you mark it (with a click or a verbal word such as “yes” or “good”) and then reward. Capturing is a great way to train because it makes your Lab use their brain to figure out what you want. Labs are smart and like a job, so use that mind! Plus, behaviors taught through capturing are much stronger than those taught using other methods.
To capture your Labrador performing a sit, have your reward (toys, treats, etc.) ready and your clicker, if you use one. You can keep your Lab on leash at first to keep him from wandering. Now, just stand still and wait. Most dogs will eventually sit when you ignore them long enough. As soon as his bottom hits the floor, mark and reward. Toss the reward away so your dog has to get up to get...

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