How to Train Dogs to Sit


Dog sitting down
David-58 / Flickr

Canine owners like you would surely love for their furry canine pet to comprehend and follow the instruction to sit their bottoms down. When you’re dog knows how to sit, managing its behavior and actions will be much easier.

If you’re looking for ways on how to train a dog to sit, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on for suggestions on how to teach your canine pet to sit on command.

Why Should You Bother Training Your Dog to Sit?

Investing time in training your dog to sit on cue reaps you a lot of good benefits.

  1. Knowing when to sit stops your dog from misbehaving. Sometimes, dogs just need guidance. At times, they get stirred up. And they need their owners to help them calm down. In this case, command your dog to sit so you can break the negative act or behavior.
  2. Making your dog sit instills order at mealtimes. Dogs can get overly happy and excited when it’s time to eat. Make them sit to calm them down. This way, you can also prepare the food and the dish without interruption. You also keep yourself safe from accidentally slipping or stepping on your pet’s paws.
  3. Knowing how and when to sit teaches your dog to focus. Isn’t it true with people? That sitting helps you stay focused and attentive? Like when you’re talking to someone. Fidgeting, turning, and looking around can make you lose important details in a conversation. You also fail to see some important reactions in the face of whoever you’re talking to. Well, it’s pretty much the same with dogs. When you make them sit, they get to focus more. And they become more attentive to you and their environment.
Tristan Martin / Flickr

What Are Simple Steps to Train Your Dog to Sit?

The most effective ways are often the simplest ones. Here are simple steps to get your canine pet sitting on command.

  1. Gently push its bottom downwards to a sitting position. Remember to support the hind legs if you need to. You don’t want your dog to fear and feel like it’s about to fall or slip. It might not welcome you to do that again the next time around.
  2. When you get to move your dog to a sitting position, look at it, and say, “Sit.”
  3. Do this multiple times in a day. When you see it walking around, go near, and do the training exercise.
  4. You may feel some resistance or hesitation at first. Just reassure your pet that there’s nothing wrong and that it’s okay.
  5. As you feel your pet dog easing into the sitting position, reward it with some treats.
  6. This training exercise is also effective during mealtime. Don’t feed your dog until it assumes the sitting position.
  7. Pat your pet dog each time it obeys the command. Let it know what a good job it has done.
  8. This training exercise is also great to do before you give your pet some full-on loving. Keep repeating the exercise and once your dog sits down, give it a full rub, hug, and sweet talking.
Dog training class
Guenther Lutz / Flickr

Principles to Remember When Training Your Dog to Sit

Make it easier and quicker for your dog to learn by doing the following:

  1. Do it often in a day, especially at the beginning stages of the training.
  2. Make it fun and relaxed. Don’t force your dog. And don’t punish it for not understanding what it needs to do.
  3. Don’t yell. Keep training times peaceful. Else, your pet will be distressed and less open to learning the command.
  4. Use the same signal or command. Some use words. Others use signals. And some others use sounds for commands.
  5. Don’t overuse rewards. Don’t spoil your pet. Don’t reward it with treats each time you make it sit. Space your incentives.
Training a dog to sit
Guenther Lutz / Flickr

When to Hire a Dog Trainer

There are times when it’s more prudent to hire a professional to handle obedience training for your dog. Professionals can help tame your pet and make it more open to following its owner. Here are situations where you’re better of getting one:

  • You just adopted a rescue dog and you don’t know anything about its background.
  • You have an adult dog that is resistant to any form of training.
  • You are a new pet owner who’s not confident about training your dog.
  • The dog has some aggressive behavior and you haven’t figured out why.

Final Thoughts

Training a dog to sit may be easy. But it can also be difficult, especially when you have an adult dog or a rescue dog who didn’t grow up with you. Just be patient. And be consistent with the exercise. Use the same signals or commands. Praise it for a job well done. And reward your dog with treats, hugs, and kisses. Happy training!


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