getting a spaniel to sit

Getting a spaniel to sit

This is the easiest way to train a spaniel to sit.

Spaniel training is not difficult but you do need to be consistent and follow a process to make it easy for you and your dog.

In this article we will show you the best, easiest and most successful way that we have found to get a spaniel to sit.

In fact this will work with any dog.

paw care for spaniels

Training a spaniel starts with ‘sit‘ or ‘hup‘. Whichever word you use is up to you.

I prefer ‘Hup’ as it is easier to say quickly (rather than sit) and, when you are out with your spaniel, walking up game with dog dog hunting in front of you, you may need to ‘spit’ the command out rapidly. So for me it’s ‘hup’. 

It also prevents any confusion for the retrievers that may be around as they are generally told to ‘sit’.

getting a spaniel to sit

With dog training, as we’ll see in other posts, we are looking at progression, and one lesson and action generally leads onto another, just as with children and their development, our spaniel will grow and as he develops the lessons will become more advanced and we’ll see how the basics contribute.

We always take our time and understand that, as with people, not all dogs are equal. Spaniels have different personalities and we’ll take our time and proceed with care.

So, the basic building block for spaniel training is the command to sit down and from this everything else grows.

spaniel command sit

Easiest way to train a spaniel puppy to sit

We introduce this command in conjunction with a hand signal from the very first day that our puppy is with us.  

Don’t worry. It’s easy and we are not going to alarm him. In the past we’ve probably seen or heard of ‘dog trainers’ pushing a dog’s bottom to the ground or yanking the dog backwards on a lead until his butt touches the deck – all while yelling ‘sit’ or whatever.  Well – none of that rubbish here. We rarely, if ever, need to get physical with a dog, and certainly not with a puppy.

So….the secret is this. It’s really simple and you’ll be successful straight away as we will introduce the command in a pleasurable situation – meal times.

Just you and the puppy when training

Take the puppy’s meal to him, do it by yourself and don’t have other people there, or cats or other dogs – no distractions.

Stand upright in front of your spaniel and in a low clear voice command ‘hup’ or ‘sit; whichever you prefer, and, at the same time, raise your other hand, palm facing outwards, towards him.

Now – he won’t have a clue as to what you mean or want him to do. He won’t understand. Don’t panic.

The puppy will probably run around, jump up etc and generally get frustrated at not getting his food.

Just wait a few moments and, I tell you, he’ll sit down to think about it.

The moment his bottom touches the floor, put the dish in front of him so he can eat.

Some ‘trainers’ say that you should make the puppy wait until you tell him to eat – but I ask this, why make it more difficult and what’s the point of doing that?

So. Keep it simple.

I’ll have a short video on my Youtube channel soon showing this technique in action.

Our objective is getting a spaniel to sit down when told and to finally associate the raised hand signal with the action of sitting.

From now on every time you feed your puppy (or give him a treat ) you will always get him to sit down before he gets the food.


Dogs are intelligent and most dogs and puppies will get the idea quickly and within a few days. 

One word of caution. 

When you are successful with this, it can be tempting to keep telling the puppy to sit. Avoid doing this as, every time you give a dog a command you are also giving him the opportunity to ignore you, and, if you overdo any aspect of his training, you can make him bored and more tempted to disobey.

Try to prevent any problems from occurring by not overdoing things.

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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