Basic education

Teach your Dog to Sit Step by Step

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 26, 2017
Teach your Dog to Sit Step by Step

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It's definitely best to start training your dog when they are still a puppy. Stimulating their intelligence and skills will help you further down the line when they are an adult, since your dog will be well behaved and obedient for many years. You can start teaching your dog to be obedient when they are 2-6 months old - never forcing them - with training sessions of 10-15 minutes.

Even if your dog is an adult, you'll still be able to teach them to sit down; it is a very simple command that you'll quickly achieve if you have a handful of dog snacks or treats nearby. You'll also need to be patient, since you'll need to repeat it various times so that it remembers it.

This AnimalWised article is a step by step guide for you to teach your dog to sit.

You may also be interested in: How to Train Your Cat to Give their Paw
Steps to follow:

It's very important to use positive reinforcement when training a dog. This method not only gives earlier and better results; it actually makes the dog enjoy its training, which is of key importance.

The first step to teach your dog to sit through positive reinforcement, then, will be to get hold of snacks or treats for dogs, which you can find in any pet store. Choose the ones that you know your dog likes, as long as they're small in size.

Let your dog sniff the treats and offer one - now it's time to start!

Teach your Dog to Sit Step by Step - Step 1

Once your dog has tried a treat for motivation, you can begin to teach it to sit down. Grab another snack and keep it grasped in your fist, allowing your dog to sniff it but without letting them have it. By doing so, you'll have managed to capture your dog's attention, and it'll be waiting to receive their treat.

With the treat still clenched in your fist, start moving your arm above the dog as if you were tracing an imaginary line running from their nose to their tail.

Teach your Dog to Sit Step by Step - Step 2

Keep advancing your fist, with the dog's gaze fixed upon the treat. The dog will gradually start sitting down as a result of the linear movement. Once the dog sits down, reward them with treats, kind words and strokes - anything goes to make it feel loved!

Teach your Dog to Sit Step by Step - Step 3

By getting your dog to sit down you've passed the first test, but the most difficult phase is yet to come. Namely, having the persistence to get it to associate the word "sit" with the physical interpretation. By doing this, you'll be able to tell your dog to sit without using hand gestures.

To get your dog to follow this order, you must be patient and practice every day. You'll need to repeat the same process a few more times, incorporating the word sit before moving your hands.

  • Example: "Tarzan, sit" > Hand movement > Reward
Teach your Dog to Sit Step by Step - Step 4

If you have tips on how to teach a dog to sit, please share them in the comments section.

If you want to read similar articles to Teach your Dog to Sit Step by Step, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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1 comment
Jessica P
Be firm and then use your happy voice. Because you want them to listen not play :) try and vary voice and motion when training a command because dogs are visual and use their eyes and ears not their words!

My dachshund spaniel chihuahua retriever mix would not sit down at 9 months on command and I lost hope but remembered she’s still a small breed puppy and they can be more like me going with the wind marching to their own drum more than the big dogs etc so we tried again and she’s learning slowly but surely. Now when I do a little march in place along with the command she sits! The train me treats are helping too.
If you’ve got a pet supplies plus near you I highly recommend them!
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Teach your Dog to Sit Step by Step