Sit, anywhere and everywhere.

Sit - to rest with the body supported by the buttocks or thighs.

Sit, typically the first formal behavior put on cue.  Most of us teach our dogs to sit.  Strangers may even walk up to you out of nowhere and ask your dog to sit.  Weird yes.  So does your dog sit?  Do they sit when you ask? 

Sit is one of the most useful things that you can teach your dog.  The sit position is important for many reasons.  One being that it gets your dog to control their emotions.  If they understand the way to get things they want is to sit, then the "sit" becomes a default behavior.  Once they learn it, they've got it.  That is if you continue to use this highly effect behavior request.  

Of course like everything else, sit depends on the dog.  I have always used the verbal request more often on dogs who are pushy or lacking in manners.  Dogs who are bouncing everywhere can benefit from knowing how to sit when asked.  Using sit when a dog gets highly aroused helps them to get a grip.  When Elsa has friends over, she tends to get a bit (under exaggeration) overexcited.   She is like a whirling dervish so I will ask her to sit.  Basically saying "take a breath and get a hold of yourself girl."  

Some dogs don't sit.  I know that many rescue greyhounds simply cannot sit; or at least not comfortably.  I don't know when it happened for us, but Luke stopped sitting.  He just didn't sit anymore.  He went from standing to laying down all the time.  As dogs age, so do their bodies.  Sitting can be a painful procedure so Luke was never asked to sit in his golden years.  If I really needed him to be stationary then we went right to "down."  

Canines who have bad hips may be in the same boat as an aging dog.  Sitting can be a painful ordeal for them so be mindful of your dogs hips if they don't have a great set.  

I have taught puppies as young as 6 weeks of age how to sit; and I regularly ask 7 week puppies to sit when I am temperament testing. There are a couple of good ways to teach sit and a couple of really bad ways.  Luring is by far the quickest and easiest method of teaching a puppy or dog to sit.  By holding food at their face and moving it up over their head they follow the food and naturally go into a sit.  

One of the worst methods is to push them into a sit.  It is still used by those die-hard conventional trainers.  Within the action is several issues.  One, when you physically manipulate a dog, they don't learn on their own.  And, even more importantly, you are putting pressure on their hips.  You push, they push back until you get into a struggle over hip position; with the hips themselves being under pressure.  

There are a few must have behaviors with our dogs. 

Sit?  Do you?