Training Sit on Command to Your Dog

Starting out training or retraining older dog that doesn’t know any commands

Dog sitting on command after training.

Sitting is one of the first basic training commands to train a dog to do. Having them learn this will help with jumping, being overly eager to get something, and can help with when they want to run away. So let’s do some training sit commands!

The main idea is for the dog to understand what you want when you tell them to “Sit”. Yelling at them saying “Sit” without having them understand what you want them to do, will just sound like you are punishing them for something.

Before Training Sit

Before you even start training, you’ll want to tire out your dog by going for a walk or playing. The dog will focus better afterwards than being hyper and distracted by everything. Also, make sure they haven’t eaten yet. You want them hungry for the treats you will be giving!

First, you’ll need treats to entice your dog to do what you want. I like to give pea sized treats so they aren’t filling up too quickly and decide to leave when they are full.

Now let’s start training sit!

You’ll want your dog standing up on the floor. You can’t teach them “sit” if they are already sitting! If they are sitting, entice them with a treat by slowly letting them sniff it and pull it towards you. They should want to walk towards you.

Up On All Fours

Owner is training by having dog standing with treat in hand ready to direct dog into sitting.

After they are on all fours, now you’ll hold the treat up to where they have to kinda stretch their neck to sniff the treat. If you have shorter dog, you can start training on your knees. (Once the dog understands what “sit” means, you can stand up and do the command.)

Nose To The Air

Owner is in second part of training by holding treat over dog's nose and directing their hand back.

Here comes the tricky part!! You’ll want their nose to stay attached to your hand with the treat over their nose while you move your hand towards them. You’ll go over their head with their nose up to make them want to sit by themselves. Some dogs will just start to back up. Have them come back to you and try again by slowing down your hand with the treat towards them. Make them really want the treat!

Butt Touches Ground

As soon as the dog is sitting, you give them a treat and say 'Sit'.

As soon as their butt touches the ground, say “Sit” once with a happy tone and lots of praise. And of coarse the treat!! You’ll want to do this repeatedly a couple times so the dog knows what you want them to do. Making sure to any say “sit” once. If you start saying more than that, the dog will get confused if they’re suppose to sit after you say it once or a couple times. The more you say “sit” the less it means to them and your just starting to sound like a snake!!

Training sessions should last around 15 minutes at first. Puppies usually have a small attention span before they start getting cranky! Older dogs may have the same problem and just start to ignore you. Make sure you are making the training fun and keeping the dog happy. If you yourself are getting agitated, be sure to end the session on a happy note!! You don’t want your dog to associate you being agitated to training! They won’t want to learn anything because they’ll be fearful!

Clicker Training

If you are doing clicker training, you can do all the same steps with clicking when their butt touches the ground and saying “Sit”. Slowly take treats away and just use the clicker with saying “Sit”.

Now your dog knows how to sit!! Training is a lifetime commitment. You’ll have to remind them again and again during their life what “Sit” means.


Training Sit With Frankie & Chloe

“I sit if you give me something to eat!”

Training Frankie was pretty easy. Always wanted food especially if it was in your hand! He caught right on what to do. He would even bark if you didn’t give him something right away to eat!

“I have my pajamas on. Can we go to bed?”

With Chloe, we noticed her butt doesn’t touch the ground! It was a little harder since she would jump from a sitting position. I think she’s part kangaroo!! Now she knows to drop her bottom if she wants something from us. She’ll come and sit right in front of us with puppy dog eyes. This usually means she wants her treat ball!!

Published by Dogwuvr

My love of animals started when I volunteered at a humane society. From there I wanted to teach people how to take care of their precious pets and get the word out about adopting. I went to Animal Behavior College and got my Dog Obedience Certification. I have been working in veterinary clinics and give people information about dogs.

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