The goal of this guide is to explain how to train a Labradoodle to sit while you are able to walk away without the dog following you.
Labradoodles are very smart dogs, and training them to sit is a very basic exercise they can learn in just a handful of steps.
Training a Labradoodle to sit is an extremely practical exercise, especially when you are around traffic or when meeting strangers while out walking.
It’s also a nice thing that the dog is able to be still if you have to check it in any way or just want it to wait while you are emptying the car of groceries and/or the kids.
Training a Labradoodle puppy or adult to sit is fairly easy, but being able to do it at a distance takes a bit more time and has to be done in small phases.
Start by practicing in undisturbed areas and gradually making the surroundings more interesting.
Always train in shorter periods, especially if it’s a puppy.
And always end an exercise with a successful experience!
Before starting this exercise, I would recommend reading my guide on 11 Important Ground Rules for Labradoodle Training, as it gives a good insight into the basics behind training any dog.
Right on to the guide on how to train a Labradoodle to sit.
Start training in familiar surroundings where you can train without being disturbed all the time.
It is preferable that you do this without having the dog on a leash, but it can also be done with a leash. Just make sure you are using a long training leash.
Keep a handful or your dogs’ favorite treats in your pocket.
Say your Labradoodles name, and when the dog looks at you and gives you its’ full attention, praise it and show the dog that you have a treat in your hand.
Close your hand around the treat and hold your hand out straight above the dogs’ head at a distance of around 1 foot, which should be just out of the reach of your Labradoodle.
Keep your hand completely still and don’t say anything.
Your Labradoodle will probably try and jump to your hand and start licking it.
It might also start moving backward or several other different things in trying to get to the treat, before finally sitting on its’ behind.
As soon as the dog sits you praise it by saying “good boy/girl” and then you can give it the treat from your hand.
It’s ok if the dog then decides to eat the treat while standing.
Move a bit to one side or the other, and repeat the exercise.
Remember to keep totally quiet and holding your hand perfectly still.
Praise and reward the dog every time it sits, and your Labradoodle will quickly discover what is required for it to get a treat, and will usually sit down as soon as it notices you raising your hand above its’ head.
Praise and reward the dog every single time it does the as it’s supposed to.
Try doing this exercise in several different places around your house and/or in your garden.
Also remember that it is important that you finish the exercise with a success, and take several breaks while training.
If your dog is starting to lose its’ focus, move quickly away from the dog and then try again.
When the dog then once again sits, give it a treat, and end the training session for the day.
Repeat the process from the first step.
When you are 100% absolutely certain that your dog will sit as soon as you raise your hand above its’ head, it’s time to introduce the “Sit” command.
Start by saying the command at the exact moment your Labradoodle is starting to sit down.
Remember to praise and give it a treat when your dog sits.
While the dog is still sitting calmly, you then say “Free” and step away from your dog.
Labradoodles are very visually orientated, and perhaps consider using a hand signal of your choice together with the “Sit” command.
Perhaps practice that showing your arm turned with the palm of your hand pointing in the air means “Sit”.
This is how you could do that: Keep your hand above the dog’s head, and say the “Sit” command.
While your dog is sitting down, you turn the palm of your hand so that it points upwards and then bend your arm a little.
Praise your dog when it sits.
Continue practicing this, and eventually, the dog will be able to sit just by looking at your arm.
You can also just say “Sit”, or you can combine the usage of your hand signal with the “Sit” command.
Remember to practice and maintain all 3 signals, if you want to be able to use them at a later time.
Always finish by saying the “Free” command.
You can continue to train the “Sit” exercise either by using the voice command or your hand signal in your house or garden, and then
When your Labradoodle fully understands this exercise, you can try and expanding the amount of time the dog sits, or your distance to the dog.
When trying to do that, there are these following rules you should follow:
Practice in calm and familiar areas.
The amount of time or distance between you and your Labradoodle should be expanded slowly.
Always walk back to the dog, and don’t start calling for it.
Remember to reward the dog with treats when it’s still sitting, and not until you’ve used the “Free” command.
Only increase the time and/or distance very slowly if it’s a puppy you’re training.
And if it’s a youngster or grown dog just do it slowly.
Here’s how you should do it if you want to increase the time your dog should be sitting:
Keep standing by your dog, then give it your chosen signal to “Sit”.
Speak to your dog in a calm but praising voice while it’s sitting.
Give your dog a treat while it continues to sit, and then when it’s been sitting for 10-15 seconds say the “Free” command.
You can then play a bit with your dog, so it’s not all work but also fun, before going back to the training again.
Stay with your dog while slowly increasing the amount of time you want the dog to sit.
If your dog stands up just say “No!” and use your preferred “Sit” signal again.
Don’t yell at the dog.
Perhaps there’s just too many distractions around it or you’re pushing the limits for how long your dog can sit at this point in the training.
Remember to take breaks and to end on a success.
When you want to increase the distance between you and your dog:
Give your dog the signal to sit.
Speak in a calm and praising voice while taking one step back.
Keep eye-contact with your dog while still talking to it in a praising voice, you can use the “Good boy/girl” command.
Return to your dog and praise and reward it with a treat while it’s still sitting.
Always finish with the “Free” command.
You shouldn’t practice increasing both the distance and amount of time together until your Labradoodle is experienced in both parts of the training.
Now is the time where you can start introducing disturbing elements if your dog is really experienced in following your “Sit” command.
If it’s still only a puppy, take it slowly and only use minor disturbances.
At this point, a lot of people will be tempted to call their dog when they have distanced themselves from it during the sitting practice.
Only do this very rarely!
At this point and time of the training, the exercise is all about getting your dog to stay in
If you’re working with a youngster or an adult dog you could also try and go into hiding.
But only do that when your dog is extremely experienced in this exercise.
Start by just going behind a bush, where you can still see your dog, for just a few seconds.
Then return to the dog and praise and reward it.
This is an exercise you should do very slowly.
And again, remember to never yell at your dog while it’s in this learning phase.
If you want to spice up the training a bit, try doing it while you are sitting in a chair or perhaps laying on the floor.
You can also do it while your dog is standing on a table or any kind of platform.
Making it fun and interesting for the dog is key in getting any kind of training to work.
When your Labradoodle is an expert in this exercise, it’s time to practice sitting while at a distance.
Meaning that you can get your dog to “Sit” while you are standing some distance away from it.
As this is the final and hardest step in this exercise, don’t expect a puppy to be able to understand this as fast as an older and more experienced dog.
But here is how you could practice this exercise:
Do this exercise without a leash in a spot where there are no disturbances.
Bring a piece of the dogs’ toys like a ball or anything that the dog is particularly fond of.
When your dog is about 10 feet away from you, speak its’ name, your goal is to just get the dog to look at you, not to come running to you.
When the dog looks at you, show it the ball/toy and throw it to the dog or just beside it.
Praise your dog and play a bit with it.
Repeat this several times throwing the item at different distances from the dog.
But always throw the item towards your dog.
The point of this is that you want the dog to look at you while it’s standing and awaiting what your next move is.
When you notice that the dog is waiting at a distance, say its’ name and the “Sit” command, while also showing your preferred hand signal.
As soon as the dog sits throw the item to it, then praise your dog and say “Free”.
When your Labradoodle understands the message, say “Good boy/girl” as soon as it sits.
Wait a few seconds, and only then walk to your dog or throw the item towards it as a reward.
Remember to use the “Free” command after you’ve praised it.
It’s a good idea to only stay about 10 feet from the dog at the beginning of this exercise, and as soon as it has mastered that part, you can gradually increase the distance and the number of noises/disturbances around it.
Always remember that the praising and rewarding should only happen while your dog is at a distance, either by throwing the reward or by walking towards it and giving it the treat.
This was my little guide on how to train a Labradoodle to sit, and it’s how I’ve done it for the past 25 years.
And now that I have a Labradoodle I can safely say it’s one of the easiest dogs to train I’ve ever had.
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