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Teach your dog to sit until you say “OK”

Does your dog sit on command, but then jump up seconds later? Does it seem like he has no attention span? If this sounds like your dog, then it is important to teach him the “OK” command.

Many dogs know the word sit, but they will not remain in that position. When teaching your dog commands, it is very important to teach him to stay in that position until you decide he can get up and move. This is different than teaching the word “stay,” because you shouldn’t have to tell your dog to stay every time you tell him to sit. He should know to sit until you say “OK.”

The easiest way to teach this is to have your dog sit for a few seconds, then say “OK” when you want him to move around again. When he gets up, give him lots of praise. Really make a big deal out of this, like your dog just won you the lottery or something. If this is no challenge, increase the time 30 seconds, a minute and so on. Work up to five minutes or more. You could practice this while you are watching TV, making dinner, etc. If your dog pops up before he’s release, just tell him “No!” and put him back in the sit position. If it’s too hard for him at first, then just work on short amounts of time so he can be successful.

I tell my dog to stay only when I am going to physically leave where I am. If I am sitting at a picnic bench and want my dog to lie down beside me, I tell him “down.” I do not tell him to stay, because he assumes he is supposed to stay until I say “OK.” If I were going to walk from the bench to the car or a trash can, then I would give him the stay command. Just like any other command, when I do tell my dog to stay, he is expected to stay until I say “OK.”

Other phrases or words work just fine too. I’ve heard people use “You’re free!” “All done!” or “All right!” The words aren’t as important as what you are training your dog to do.

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Breed profile: German shepherd