I have a now 14 week old pup. I got her from a very good breeder and she has a fantastic pedigree. She will be my bird dog no trials or anything like that. Now my question is why is my trainer telling me not to teach her to sit? He will be doing her gundog training next year but I asked him if there was anything I should not teach her while she is with me and he said no sit but gave me no detail asto why?
I train sit with all my dogs as I show in obedience while also doing field work with some of my dogs. My dogs are also shown in the conformation ring. Both the conformation and field folks will always tell you not to teach sit as your dog will sit when you don't want them to for the reasons that pixie mentioned. So, if I listened to the conformation and field folks I would not also have an obedience champion. If you socialize your dog properly, train them well, and build their confidence then I know you can train sit and still have a dog that does fine in both conformation and field. Thankfully the guy I work with for field work agrees with me. If a dog is sitting because of pressure, then IMHO you are progressing the dog too fast in whatever venue. The dog is unsure and confused so they sit when you put pressure on them. My boy's reaction to pressure in the field is he comes back to the handler (and he was trained to sit from an early age). All that is telling me as a trainer is he is unsure of what he is being asked to do and I need to back up and slow down. Age and maturity also play a role in this game as well.
There was a dog last weekend in the conformation ring that is a field dog and has never been taught sit. I have seen her before and the first time in the conformation ring every time the handler slowed down the dog wanted to sit (remember I said this dog had never been taught sit). This dog was under allot of pressure in that conformation ring, and didn't know what was being asked of her. This weekend she was much better, but she still had a tendency to want to sit when the judge walked toward her for exam. The problem here is that this dog has never been trained to show in conformation. Someone just decided that she could walk into the the ring and be fine, and with some dogs you can do that, but with most a little training and preparation will prevent this kind of thing in the first place.
Another thing that I do is I have a different collar and leash for each thing I train. It is like changing your uniform for whatever sport you are competing in. My dogs know their uniforms and what they will be doing as soon as I get the collars out.