How to Teach Your Dog to Sit – Steps To Train Your Dog the Sit Command

Training a dog to do anything is difficult and takes a lot of patience.  It is always recommended to start your dog training with sitting and below we will show your some simple techniques to help you teach your dog to sit.  This is one of the more important and most rewarding behaviours for a dog to have.

By teach your dog to sit they then become more controlled.  A great example of this is when your walking your dog in the street and you want to cross the road.  Your dog will learn to sit at the curb until told to cross OR when you have guests they will sit instead of jumping up.  One of the greatest dog trainers is Cesar Milan and he provides regular training advice and new and improved ways to keep your dogs trained and obedient.

Six Steps: Teach Your Dog to Sit

  1. Treats are always the main step to any dog training.  Whilst your dog stands, hold a treat near to its nose so it can smell and see the treat.
  2. Using the same treat, move your hand in a arc shape over your dogs head.  This will naturally make your dog follow you movements as all they want is the treat.  As they move the head to follow the treat, they will sit down to do this.  Immediately reward your dog as they are in the seated position.
  3. Most importantly is practice and patience.  Continue these small practices in short but often sessions.
  4. Your dog will quickly realise that they are getting a treat as the bum touches the ground.  This will start to make them sit for longer periods of time.  As they do this, its now time to introduce the word “sit” as they move their bums.  If you do this too soon your dog could get confused and think the command is for something different.
  5. Again, practice is the most important part of this so continue point 4 in short and often sessions
  6. Once you are comfortable that the small training session has ended, then use a keyword they can recognise.  “OKAY” is often a simple but effective one to use.

Alternate Techniques to Teach Your Dog to Sit

Training your dog to sit in the house is one thing but training them to sit outside is a different training session altogether.  With so many more distractions just how do you keep your dog focussed.  Below are some alternate techniques that will help teach your dog to sit and they are 100% successful.

#1 – Similar to the above technique, the off the lead technique is a simple yet effective one.  Simply use a treat whilst your dog is stood in front of you.  Hold the treat near to your dogs nose and move over his head, keeping just an inch or two away from your dog.  Whilst your dog is following the treat they will naturally sit back and place the bum on the ground.  Give them the treat and completely over do it with praise.

Whilst moving the treat around your dogs head they may jump or back away.  This means you are too far away from his nose and they will not understand.  Continue the technique regular and often until your dog unde

rstands what is happening.  Again, like before, then you can introduce the “Sit” command.  Over time then your dog will start to sit on command without waving treats around the face.

how to teach your dog to sit


#2 -Finally, you could use a lead to train your dog although this is a quicker method by using a gentle push on the dog.


Whilst you and your dog face the same way, as if to start walking, hold the lead above your dogs head.  Once in position, gently press your dogs back and say “Sit”.  Your dog should react to the pushing down motion and sit down.  Once they do, reward and praise.  After just a few days your dog will start to sit on command and will understand what you require them to do.   This is great when out walking and you get to a road you need to cross as your dog will sit on command and wait for you to start crossing before running into the road.

Rules When Teach Your Dog To Sit: Remember To;

  • Training sessions for any dog training should be short, regular and often.  Anything too long can quickly lose your dogs interest.  5 minutes at a time should be more than enough.
  • No structure to your training is required.  Unlike babies, routine is not something dogs will rely on when training.
  • Consistency is key.  Always before meals you should get your dog to sit or when guests come round.  Keeping consistency this way will quickly make dogs realise this is what they should do all the time.
  • Reward Reward Reward.  Everytime your dog does what you ask.  Reward.
  • Clear, Precise, Commands will help your dog understand exactly what you are asking of them
  • Any training for your dog should be fun
  • Being consistent and repeating your self regularly when teaching your dog to sit will help your dog learn.  Dont ecpect your dog to understand immediately what you are asking. Be patient and relax.
  • Overtime, fade out the rewards.  Your dog should learn to sit without a treat.  Treating your dog occasionally after being trained is fine as this shows they are still your best friend and that are doing what you ask.
  • First time you start to teach your dog to sit, try and keep clear of distractions.  TV’s, Toys, Food, anything that will defer your dogs attention from you.  Once you and your dog have mastered the sit command in this controlled environment thats when you should look at trying to introduce distractions.  If your dog can continue to listen to your command whilst things are happening, then you have mastered it.  You should also attempt to increase the length of time you ask your dog to sit for.   This too becomes a great challenge.

Teaching Your Dog to Sit: Summary

Overall, as dog owners, we know training our dog to do anything can be very difficult.  Teaching your dog to sit is one that is extremely rewarding when complete.  Being patient and consistent in your approach will ensure your dog is also aware of his expectations.  Treats are great initially when training but slowly reduce the treats as the training continues.  And finally, praise your dog each and every time they do what  you ask them to do.

Please feel free to share your dog training experiences, especially when you have started to teach your dog to sit.