Getting your corgi to sit is one of the most common dog training skills – and one of the most important.
Young corgi puppies can start learning simple commands as early as 7–8 weeks of age, so this is definitely one to jump onto.
The SIT command lets you keep your dog behaved and under control.
This is critical when you are outside and around strangers, or other dogs. It can also be useful when stopping to look or a map, or waiting for the lights to change at the intersection!
Here is the BEST way to train your corgi to sit on command using a simple STEP BY STEP guide.
1. Find a safe space for training and grab your corgi’s favourite treat
The first thing to do when training your corgi to sit is making sure you have the right space for training.
You need to set aside time in a room that is free of distractions. This may be your living room – without their toys – or simply in your own backyard.
Next, you want to have a pack of their favourite treats handy. These will be used to encourage your corgi to follow commands.
2. Hold a treat in front of your corgi
What you’re going to do is use the treats a bit like a fishing lure.
To start, hold the treat in your hand and put it in front of their nose. Get them to pay attention with their eyes. You can reward them at this stage – as even paying attention can be tricky, especially if your corgi is still young.
3. Slowly lift the treat up over your corgi’s head
Your first action is to slowly begin lifting the treat in your hand up. Watch as their eyes begin to follow your hand.
Move your hand in a gently swooping motion (like an arc) starting from near their nose to above their head. This will encourage your corgi to look up, and force their fluffy butt towards the ground.
Make sure you don’t do this too quickly, otherwise you may be encouraging your corgi to jump. Also, don’t push them into position or force them to sit their butt to the floor. This can be stressful for your corgi.
When they have put their butt on the ground, give them their treat. Make sure you continue to reward them when they take the right action. That is an important part of training.
4. Add the SIT command
At this stage, you can begin to introduce the SIT command.
As your corgi is placing their butt on the ground, say the command: SIT. Then give them the treat.
This will associate the SIT command with the action of sitting – and is one of the fundamentals of training your corgi.
Make sure you are saying the action as they are sitting. Saying it too early or too late can confuse the dog and make them associate the command with the wrong action. This is how you get dogs that associate SIT with eating or licking your hand.
If you’ve made it to this step, congratulations! You have a sitting corgi. But we’re not done yet.
5. Increase the duration of your corgi’s sit
Once your corgi has placed their butt down on command, you can encourage them to sit for longer.
By increasing the time they sit, you will reinforce what the action is, and what command triggers it.
This pattern recognition (like in humans) will take time for your corgi to master.
A longer sit time also helps make it safer for them when you take them into the great outdoors. After all, a one second sit is not going to be all that useful when there’s danger above.
6. Increase the challenge for your corgi
You should now introduce your corgi to circumstances that are more likely to happen when you take them on adventures.
This means changing where you are standing. It is unlikely that you will be staring at your dog every time you want them to sit.
Try at a great distance, from the side, from behind, anything to mix it up. That way, no matter where they are, they will be able to listen and follow the command.
You can also begin to introduce distractions like toys and other people. This will force them to pay attention to the command in order to be rewarded.
Once that have gotten the hang of it, you can slowly reduce the number of treats you give them. For example, go from rewarding them every time they sit to every other time, then every third, and so on.
By the end of this stage, you should be able to get them to follow your command from wherever you are, without needing to give them treats for following direction.
7. Take your corgi’s training outside into the great outdoors
Now that your corgi has this under control, you can take them outside and try the command in field.
An enclosed space free of distractions is a good first outing. This may be the local dog park, or a fenced-in nature reserve. Once they’ve had some exposure, you can take them on bigger adventures.
Be careful taking them around the city – and very careful if off leash – if you aren’t positive your dog has mastered their commands. It is not only for their safety, but the safety and comfort of others.
Final thoughts on how to train your corgi to sit
These are the steps you need to follow to ensure your corgi knows how to sit. This will be very useful for your corgi to know – and very useful for you too as your corgi begins to grow and play.
From experience, we have found some puppies learn much quicker than other puppies – and that’s just nature at work. Patience is ready important, so don’t be quick to use harsh words of your little learner.
With a lot of practice and patience your dog will start to obey their verbal command, and you’ll have your own SITTING DOG!
Here are a few more skills you can teach your corgi.