Sitting is a basic obedience command that every Chihuahua needs to know and obey. Unfortunately, many owners overlook the importance of teaching this command, and as such they lose their position of dominant leader in the house. If a Chihuahua believes they are at the top of dominance totem pole, they may bark, bite act in a general manner that's not acceptable for your family. Not only is this type of behavior a nuisance, but it can also create a dangerous situation for those living inside the home. You can prevent this, however, by teaching your Chihuahua basic obedience commands starting with sit.
You'll need to first pick up some treats before you start the training process. As you may already know, treats are a valuable training tool and can be used to teach a Chihuahua a variety of commands, one of which is how to sit. It's recommended that you avoid soft, fake-bacon treats or sausage links, as these may contribute to obesity and tooth decay. Instead, pick up a box of small milk bones from your local pet store. These are healthier and actually work to clean the tartar off your Chihuahua's teeth. Depending on the brand and size, you should be able to purchase a box for only $2-$5, which is a small price to pay for such a powerful training tool.
Create a Distraction-Free Zone
In addition to picking up some treats, you'll also need to find a distraction-free zone to train your Chihuahua in. Things like other dogs, loud music, people jogging or even the television being on can make the process much more difficult for the both of you. Like most dogs, Chihuahuas have a short attention span, and it's your responsibility to make sure there's nothing around them that's going to direct their attention away from your training efforts. This doesn't necessarily mean you "can't" train a Chihuahua with other distractions around, but it's certain to make the process more difficult.
So, where's the best distraction-free area to train a Chihuahua how to sit? Some owners may try to do it outside where they can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, but it's usually best to keep your training sessions indoors. There's far less distractions inside and training a Chihuahua how to sit requires a very minimal amount of room; therefore, somewhere inside the house is preferred over outdoors. Just make sure the curtains are closed and the television/stereo is turned off.
How To Teach a Chihuahua To Sit:
- Take your Chihuahua to a distraction-free area of the house, such as the kitchen or living room.
- Stand directly in front of your Chihuahua and get their attention by saying their name.
- While you're standing in front of them, place a treat in your hand, bend down and hold in front of their nose. The smell of the treat alone should instantly grab their attention and have them fixated on the mysterious object in your hand.
- The trick to teaching a Chihuahua how to sit is to hold the treat in front of their nose and slowly move it up and back towards their tail. As you perform this movement, continue saying "sit."
- Even though your Chihuahua probably doesn't know or understand what sit means, their bottom will naturally go towards the floor in a sitting position as they observe the treat going behind them. As you constantly speak the word "sit," they will begin to associate the command with the action.
- Once your Chihuahua successfully sits on command, be sure to reward them with a treat, followed by lots of praise and petting.
Things To Remember When Teaching a Chihuahua To Sit
If your Chihuahua isn't catching on and learning the sit command immediately, don't force them to continue training. Ideally, you should keep your training sessions to no longer than 15 minutes. Since teaching a Chihuahua how to sit is a pretty basic, you can get a lot of practice done in those 15 minutes. It's not uncommon for bored or tired Chihuahuas to start playing or get distracted more easily when they owners force them to train for long periods of time. As a result, this can make training more difficult, so keep your session short.
One of the key things to remember when teaching a Chihuahua to sit is to ALWAYS give them a treat when they obey your command. Even after they've caught on and are sitting on command each time you say the word, you should still reward them. Once you start slacking and forgetting to give them a treat, they may grow tired of sitting on command.