How to Teach a Dog to Sit

How to Teach a Dog to Sit
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How to Teach a Dog to Sit is one of the best starter tricks for your new dog or puppy. Getting your dog to learn the sit command gets them ready to do follow on tricks that start in the seated position.

We recommend only saying “SIT” not “SIT DOWN” because short one syllable commands work best.

If you had only one trick that you had to teach after your dog knows their name, it should be sit.


While your dog is in the standing position, hold the treat in your hand in front of your dog’s nose.

The goal of this step is to get your dog standing on all fours in front of you. You want them to be calm and also interested in the treat you have in your hand.

The treat will be used soon to get them to take action.


With treat still in your hand, lift your hand in the air above your dog’s nose and slowly keep going backwards until their bottom naturally hits the ground.

The thing to watch out for in this step is for your dog to start walking backwards to stay with the treat. If this happens, start over and don’t give them the treat.

If you keep the treat close to their head and go directly over their back, they will have a difficult time walking backwards. This should cause them to drop their bottom to the ground.


As soon as their bottom touches the ground, say the verbal command “SIT” and PRAISE and REWARD your dog with the treat in your hand.

The verbal praise of a Good Boy, Good Girl and a tasty treat will let your dog they did the right thing.

Saying the “SIT” command begins the association of this command with the action of sitting. Repeat this and you will have it down in no time.


As the final item How to Teach a Dog to Sit, just use the “SIT” command they associated with sitting. This means no treat over their head, no hand movements, just sit and expect them to comply.

Go back to steps 1 – 3 as needed and you’ll eventually get there. Be Positive, Committed and Consistent.

You comments below on your successes and challenges are greatly appreciated. Let us know what you think.

We have many more dog tricks on our site.

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Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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