Are you having problems teaching your Golden Retriever to sit?
Then you might be looking for some useful training tricks to make your job a whole lot easier!
Fortunately, I’ve got your back with these 8 step-by-step instructions on how to train a Golden Retriever to sit.
How to Train a Golden Retriever to Sit in 8 Steps
People often think that since Golden Retrievers are so mellow and charming, they don’t need any training.
However, all dogs can become unruly and hard to manage without early training and socialization.
So, teaching your Golden to sit is an excellent place to start since it’s an easy one.
Most dogs master the command quickly, but it still depends on your Golden Retriever’s personality and the methods you use.
To make it easy for you, I’m going to walk you through the training process and show you some basic dog training tips.
Related: House Breaking Your Golden Retriever
#1 Consider the Benefits of the Sit Command
Let’s start by learning why you should train your Golden Retriever to sit. If you’re not convinced of the benefits of the command, you might not put much effort into teaching it.
For starters, many other basic commands require your Golden Retriever to know how to sit, for example, “Down,” “Stay,” and “Come.”
Furthermore, sit is handy when you want your Golden Retriever to greet people calmly and not jump on them.
You can also use it to make your Golden Retriever wait patiently for their meals/treats or stop them before they cross a busy road.
#2 Pick Time and Location
Before you get to training your Golden Retriever to sit, you have to find a suitable training place.
Dogs have a short attention span and get easily distracted. So, you’re not going to have much success if you can’t get your Golden Retriever to focus.
You need a quiet room with no distractions or heavy traffic. You want to have your dog’s attention on you and only you.
Let your family members know that you’re training the dog so that they don’t disturb your lessons.
Besides a place, you should also pick the right time for training. It should be convenient for both of you.
If you’re training your Golden Retriever when you’re tired or in a hurry, you won’t achieve much. The same goes if your dog is exhausted, too hungry, or in a bad mood.
Ideally, you want training to be part of your dog’s daily routine, so think about when the most convenient time is.
#3 Gather Your Training Equipment
To train your Golden Retriever to sit, you’re going to need a couple of training tools. Don’t worry. It’s nothing hard to find.
For starters, your need high-value treats to stimulate your dog to obey your commands. It should be something that you’re going to use only for training.
Otherwise, the treats are going to lose their value.
Have the treats ready in your hands. You don’t want to rummage through your pockets when it’s time to reward your Golden Retriever.
Besides food, you might get a clicker to mark the behavior you want.
Dogs learn to connect the clicker’s sound with the action and the rewards, which makes training easy.
#4 Lure Your Golden Retriever into Position
Once you’ve selected a suitable room and have prepared the treat, you’re ready to teach your Golden Retriever to sit using positive reinforcement.
What you’re going to do is lure your dog into position and reward them with a treat. Dogs tend to repeat a behavior when they get rewarded for it:
- Get a tasty treat and bring it to your Golden Retriever’s nose. You want your dog to understand that there’s a reward.
- Place the food over your Golden Retriever’s head so that your dog has to raise their head to track its movement. Make sure that the treat is far enough so that your dog can’t reach it.
- Move the reward toward your dog’s back or move it upward/downward.
- Eventually, your dog will sit to observe the movements of the treat.
- When your Golden Retriever’s bottom hits the floor, say, “SIT,” and give them the treat while they’re still sitting on the floor.
- Keep practicing.
#5 Capture the Behavior
Usually, luring works for Golden Retrievers. But if you don’t have much success with it, you can try another method called capturing the behavior. It’s very simple:
- Observe your dog and wait for them to sit.
- When your Golden Retriever sits, you say “Sit” and mark the behavior with a clicker.
- Then you offer a treat as a reward.
After you repeat this exercise several days in a row, your Golden Retriever will understand that they get tasty food when they sit.
#6 Phase Out the Treats
Once you get your Golden Retriever to sit on command, you have to work on phasing out the treats and adding distractions.
You want your dog to obey your orders no matter what’s happening around them and to do it without expecting food all the time.
So, instead of rewarding your dog every time they follow your command, you do it every other time and continue to practice.
If your Golden Retriever does well, you can work on slowly decreasing the number of treats.
It’s important that you still reward your dog for a job well done. For Golden Retrievers, attention and approval are almost as big a treat as food.
So, make sure that you always tell your dog that they’ve done a marvelous job and be enthusiastic about it.
#7 End On a Positive
As I already mentioned, dogs don’t have a big attention span. They get bored quickly if they have to do the same thing repeatedly.
Not to mention that you’ll also get bored and put less effort into training.
So, plan short sessions.
- For Golden Retriever puppies, several five-minute sessions a day are enough.
- For adults, you can increase the time to 10-15 minutes two times a day.
Moreover, always end training on a positive note. You want your Golden Retriever to look forward to these lessons, not to feel that they’re failing you.
They’ll be far more eager to learn if you stop training while they’re having fun.
#8 Learn The Don’ts of Golden Retriever Training
Finally, we have to talk about the big don’ts for dog training your Golden Retriever.
For starters, you shouldn’t lose your temper because training should be fun for your Golden Retriever. It shouldn’t be something they fear or something that makes them anxious.
That’s how your dog will feel if you tend to shout and yell during your training sessions.
In addition to this, you have to be consistent during training and use the same command word.
If you alternate between several verbal cues, your Golden Retriever will be so confused that they will stop responding.
Furthermore, avoid using force to make your Golden Retriever sit. You might gently push your Golden Retriever above the rear leg area to get them from standing to sitting.
But you’d be teaching them that they get rewarded when you make them sit, so use it as a last resort.
As you can see, it’s easy to teach your Golden Retriever how to sit. Some Golden Retrievers might need a few days, but others might take a few weeks until they master the command.
Just be patient and make sure that you’ve got lots of training treats at hand.