Once you have successfully taught your dog to do a standard sit you can now move on to the more advance version of the ‘Sit’ and that is teaching your dog to sit on command at a distance.
Begin by clipping your leash to your dog’s collar. Be sure that your dog’s collar is snug enough so that they cannot slip out of it should they pull backwards. Once that is done, you can then secure your leash to a stationary object such as a doorknob, heavy chair, string the leash through a door (then close). You want to find somewhere that you can attach your leash to so that your dog cannot get back to you, as some dogs will try to follow you so that they can sit right next to you. By preventing them from being able to get back to you, you will start the advance sit by introducing distance.
Start this training exercise by initially standing directly in front of your dog. Give them the normal ‘Sit’ command. And give your dog praise and a treat once they do the sit. Repeat this 3 times successfully and then take 3-5 steps back from your starting position. Give your dog the ‘Sit’ command again. And praise your dog and give them the treat upon successfully doing it. Repeat 3 times and then take 3-5 more steps back from your second position.
I suggest going no further back than that for at least the first 3-5 days of them learning this. The reason is that you want to give your dog time to practice and repeat so that it becomes embedded in their memory. Too often people will keep going further back and further back until their dog fails at what their dog is being taught (which allows the dog to start developing bad habits in a simple sit). Instead, lets build on success and not failure. And always end on a good note.
If your dog is having a hard time as you get further back – that’s ok. That just means they are not ready for that amount of distance between you and them. Take a few steps closer and practice that for a little longer.
Having a long distance ‘Sit’ command is a great training block especially for when you want to move into more advance obedience training. So have fun with this and so will they. Your dog will learn quicker if they enjoy what they are doing.