Teaching Your Rottweiler To Sit
Training your Rottweiler to sit does not have to be a chore for you or your pet. Training can infact be fun, too! I wanted to focus on how to teach your Rottie the first command necessary when training. It is important when preparing your training sessions to make sure you have a reward system for your Rottweiler. They will need some incentive to perform the commands you ask of them.
Choosing a Reward System
The first type of reward system, which is always a fail safe, is the treat system. Use treats to reward your dog for a job well done. You can use pieces of their food, cheese, or meat. Stay away from human food like pretzels or potato chips, because these snacks are not healthy for your dog.
The second type of reward system you can try is the toy system. This is the one I personally recommend because the Rottweiler is notoriously known for becoming overweight. When your Rottweiler has performed the command for you, immediately reward them with a toy. This makes your Rottweiler think of training as a game.
The third type of reward system, which I generally will move onto once the dog has an understanding of the command you have taught them, is the praise system. When your dog has performed the command, immediately pat them on the head or scratch them behind the ears. This will let them know that you are happy with their performance.
Teaching “Sit” Using the Treat Method
This should be the first command you teach your dog. Many of the other commands you teach your dog later will require the dog to be in the “sit” position anyhow. Plus, teaching your dog to sit from an early age will make feeding time, clipping their nails, and simple grooming much easier for you to accomplish.
First, make sure you are in a quiet and comfortable environment with few distractions. You always want to make sure your dog is focused on you. You should show your dog that you have a treat for them to get them interested and focused on you. It is also important to use a friendly tone when saying your commands.
Next, you simply say, “sit.” While you say “sit” you will also want to move your hand which is holding the treat above their nose and head, so their nose lifts up to follow your hand. This will set them off balance, and their behind will sit on the floor. If they do not put their behind on the floor, encourage it with your other hand by gently and firmly pushing on their rear. When they have completed the task, immediately give them the food you have in your hand. And of course, repeat process!
Using the Toy System to Teach “Sit”
This system will be used exactly like the previous one, only this time you will be using a toy. I recommend this method over the treat method so that you do not accidentally overfeed your dog in the process of training.
First show the dog their toy to get their full attention. Then say, “sit,” and position the hand with the toy in it above their nose and head so they sit, and when they have completed the command, immediately give them the toy. This will turn training into playtime for your dog, and they will love you for it.
Advanced Training for “Sit”
Once you have mastered sit command in a controlled environment, try taking your dog into a new environment. This could be the back yard, the park, a friends house, or another room in the house.
Simply continue your training using either a toy or treats. Once your Rottweiler seems to have a grasp on the concept of “sit” in a new environment, you can begin using the “praise” reward system instead.
This is for advanced “sitters.” This is where you stop using the treats and toys to reward your dog for a job well done and you simply give them a pat on the head, or a scratch behind the ears as a reward.
Hand Signals for “Sit”
If you have already taught your dog to sit by using your voice, now you can begin to teach them hand signals. This is where you use your hands to command the dog instead of your voice.
The signal for “sit” is very simple. Remember your previous training skills with the toy and treat, and position your hand (with the toy or treat in it) over the dogs head. This is the signal for “sit.” So simply have your arm outstretched in front of you with your palm facing down. I like to have my index finger pointed downwards towards the floor with my hand in a fist. When teaching this, you can use your voice commands as well until you can simply get them to do so with just the hand gestures.
Immediately give the dog the treat or toy when they sit. Using hand signals is a great way to get your dog to focus on you. This way they will always be looking at your hands for the signals, and not looking around the room or yard, potentially becoming distracted.
Remember to always immediately reward your Rottweiler after every time they “sit” on command with either a treat, a toy, or a pat on the head. And remember, training is not completed overnight. It is an ongoing process that you must work on every day, or they will forget the commands you have taught them. And patience is the key to success, so keep calm and be patient!