Teach your dog to sit in three easy steps

Jun 22, 2021 A Dog’s Life

‘Sit’ is one of the easiest and quickest behaviors you can teach your dog. It’s the first stepping stone to a well mannered pooch and the precursor to many other behaviors and tricks.

In this blog post, dog trainer Carla Strydom from Canine Planet shares how to teach ‘sit’ in three easy steps using the ‘lure and reward’ technique.

Start off by using some of your dog’s favourite treats. High value treats such as chicken, viennas or cheese will work very well.

Step 1: Position yourself

Position yourself so that you’re in front of your dog and they are directly facing you, hold a treat in your right hand if you are right handed and in your left hand if you are left handed. Make sure your dog is standing up.

Step 2: Show that treat

Show your dog you’ve got a treat, then hold it in front of her nose and slowly move the treat over the top of her head. As your dog looks up at the treat, she’ll tip back into a ‘sit’. It’s perfectly fine to let your dog nibble at the treat for the first few attempts to keep her interested.

Step 3: Reward that treat

As soon as your dog is in the ‘sit’ position, give her the treat, say “ good sit” and give her lots of praise.

Practice these three steps a few times until your dog understands what’s expected of her when you lure her into the sit. Then you can get your dog’s attention, ask for a ‘sit’ and reward once she’s sat down.

Whilst most dogs will pick up ‘sit’ very quickly, Carla recommends keeping training sessions short to start off with, literally 5 minutes at a time and always ending on a successful note. It may well take a few sessions to work up to your dog being able to sit without being lured, so be patient, gentle and always reward with treats when she gets it right.