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Greyhounds CAN sit


Greyhounds are amongst the most athletic of all dog breeds, their anatomy is built for movement and our experience shows that they can sit. In most cases they simply have not been taught to. We see many who sit naturally so it is just a matter of teaching them to do so on request. There are the occasional few who will not sit simply because they choose not to or maybe they have an injury or ailment that prevents them.



When sharing our tips with others we have one rule: never touch them or push them into a sit position, they need to want to sit and enjoy the reward for doing so.

We use a combination of processes that best suit each dogs personality and mannerisms.

We teach them all 'touch' first as this helps us lure or direct them to their bed or mat so that we can teach them 'on your bed'. 

They are more likely to sit or down on a comfortable bed to begin with and over time we swap the bed for a blanket and then with practice they will sit on any surface. Working through these steps can take time but some dogs pick this up in just minutes.



We look for, praise and reward good behaviour and this is the same when teaching our dogs 'sit' or 'down', we watch for natural skills and when we see or catch them in the sit or down position we add a cue word and reward them. So if we see them randomly sitting on their bed we say 'sit' and give them a reward.

Another example, if they are hanging around while we are preparing food we simply ignore them and soon they will give up and lie down, that's when we immediately say 'down' and give them a reward. They quickly realise they receive a reward for having manners and waiting patiently.



We use 'down' more in our home. It's more comfortable for them to retain down for a longer period and a good basis if we want to work on 'stay'. 

From the sit position, using a tasty treat we lure the dog's nose down towards the floor, then out along the floor in front of them, they should follow the treat into the down position. As they reach the down position we say 'yes' and reward them with the treat.



To date we have had around 40 greyhounds foster or adopt  in our home, of these about half either sat naturally or learnt 'sit' very easily. We are more inclined to work on 'down' as it suits our house hold better and the success rate of them learning 'down' in the sometimes short time we have together is extremely high.



For us personally in a multi dog home teaching our dogs and foster dogs manners, particularly around food is very helpful to keep them safe and feeling at ease with each other.

Learning new skills is a form of enrichment that builds our relationship with them too. 

Sitting is also a form of communication, another way they can indicate that they would like to go outside or really would like a piece of that food you are eating or maybe just some attention and loves.

We also might like to teach an over exuberant dog to sit and be calm when meeting people or other dogs rather than jumping on them.



It can be beneficial to use a training mat that is separate to their bed. This leaves their bed as a safe sanctuary for them.

By using a training mat they will associate the mat with the learnt behaviour which is really handy if you want to go out and about together, you can take the mat with you. It will be something familiar for them in a strange place which helps them to feel safe and relax. 

By only using the mat during training helps them to know what is expected of them too. 

Don't forget to add a release cue like 'free' at the end of each training session.



Once a dog has mastered 'on your bed' or if you have a dog who lays on a bed it becomes quite simple to lure them up into a sit position with a super tasty treat. We might offer a reward and cue 'yes' as they start to raise up in the beginning of the process so that we are breaking the process down into small achievable steps.

When they do reach the sit position we can keep them in the position for longer by giving them more treats.

Some dogs may find sitting unfamiliar or uncomfortable so instant praise for any short sit in the early days and regular practice should improve their ability to hold the sit for longer.

Anytime they lose concentration or don't seem to understand we revert to 'touch' so each training session ends positively. 



Some will sit squarely while others sit to one side or hip. We think either is ok if the dog finds it easier or more comfortable. The same goes for down, some dogs will choose the sphinx pose and others flop to one side, again we think whichever pose they choose is fine as long as they are comfortable and relaxed. 

For someone new to greyhounds you may be surprised to see the 'air' or space between butt and floor when a greyhound is in the sphinx pose, this is quite normal :)



We share lots of training videos on our social pages here is the link: facebook page 

Also check out the 123 Sit Guide

Good luck and remember to have fun!

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