While there are numerous behaviors that a dog can learn, very few are as important as a ’sit’. Apart from using this command to establish the human as the alpha, there a numerous other benefits too.

When a dog is in the ’sit’ position, it is more attentive and has its eyes on you, which makes it easier to follow other commands. Though the dog might wag its tail, a ’sit’ position ensures that he is stationary and focusing only on you.

While training to ’sit’ can be easy or difficult depending on various factors like training style, breed or the individual, most dogs will learn this in a short period of time.

As with any other training, try to make the most of the dog’s spontaneous behaviour to issue the command, so that is will be easier for the dog to associate the command with the desired behaviour. Make sure to issue a unique voice command or hand gesture or both and never forget to praise lavishly on completion of the desired behavior.

Though at first the dog might not relate the praise to the expected behaviour, with repetition it will learn to associate the two in time.

To train the dog to ’sit’, issue the unique command while standing in front of the dog and wait for the expected behaviour. While some might catch up with just one or two tries, some might take ten or more repetitions. But some will not get it without further help from you.

In such case, encourage the slow learner with a favorite toy or treat. Hold the treat or toy above and a little behind his forehead where it is visible to the dog. When the dog naturally looks up and stretches to reach, move the treat slowly towards its tail. Carry out this training near a couch as some dogs tend to move back as you move the treat.

Now, as the dog starts to sit, issue the unique command and on completion praise the dog and present the treat. Apart from voice commands and hand gestures you can also make use of a ‘clicker’ which is a device made of plastic and metal to create a ‘click-clackąø±’sound that a dog can associate with a particular behaviour. The sound is crystal clear and can be heard over long distances, even amidst moderate noise distractions.

For more stubborn dogs, execute the command and simultaneously give a push near his tail as you raise his chin. On completion praise the dog even if the move was forced by you. While pushing and raising take care to be very gentle.

Once again, patience and repetition are the only sure-fire ways to solicit any desired behaviour from your dog.

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Whether with an intention to breed or for other reasons, some dogs are not neutered or spayed, which is removal of male and female reproductive organs respectively. These dogs are ruled by nature’s hormones and respond differently than other dogs that are not surgically altered.

Male dogs that have normal levels of testosterone have the tendency to take on the role of alpha and when left with a female in heat they are prone to disregard commands. Their tendency to lick increases and they will gently wrestle with the female and try to mount. If isolated from the female, they become agitated, start breathing rapidly and will abstain from food even for two or more days. Most often they also refuse to drink water for prolonged periods of time.

Similarly, females that are unaltered will have their menstrual cycle roughly two times a year. During that time which is about three weeks, females who are otherwise timid will show a marked tendency to wander and eagerly welcomes the attention of any strange dog.

While soliciting desired behaviour during these periods becomes very difficult, it can be done with a little effort and patience. Your established status as the alpha will be a great help at these times. Even keyed-up males will follow you to some extent.

Unneutered males generally exhibit forceful behaviour and would try their best to exert their dominance, especially in their initial years. This can be countered by staying firm and not giving up your status as the alpha. There are several methods to achieve this without being harsh.

Distracting techniques with a favorite toy like a short rope or a ball can help to create an amicable ambience for both the dog and the trainer. Make sure that you are in control even while playing in handing out or taking away the toy. Issue commands in a firm but gentle voice to remind that you are in charge, always.

These unaltered assertive males will try to pull while leash training or walking. Be prepared by keeping a few inches of the leash behind you and when the dog tries to pull forward, exert a firm tug to the right and not backwards and issue a firm command ‘heel’. These directions are when the dog walks to your right with you holding the leash in your left hand. Change directions according to your situation. Never pull back the leash as it will result in bruising. You goal is to discourage them and not to punish.

Unaltered dogs demand more patience and extra effort from their trainer. On the other hand, these dogs are fearless and ready to take on challenges which are useful qualities for certain people.

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