Basic Dog Training Cues: How To Teach Your Dog To Sit

Well, who knew that teaching one of the basic training cues "sit" wouldn't be so basic? Some dogs are more susceptible to training than others and therefore more abiding, some are not so easy to train. But that's what we love about dogs! They come in all shapes, sizes, and personality traits and those mischievous moments can put a smile on our face...and tears at other times!

Training your dog to sit is an important foundation to lay for other commands like "stay", "wait", "fetch" and "go", so we're here with woofs of wisdom to help you and your dog work together starting with teaching your dog to "sit" that has worked for us and our pup CEOs. Here are some steps that you can take to achieve the "sit" training cue, take a look and give them a try!

Training Your Dog To Sit
  1.  Firstly and importantly, choose a high-value treat like a sausage and put it in front of your dog’s nose so that they can give it a good sniff.
  2. Then, slowly move it over their head so they look up and as they move their head backward they are lured into the sit position as they will have to place their bottom on the ground in order to follow the treat.
  3. The moment their bottom hits the floor, use your marker word “good” (or use a clicker if you prefer) and give them the treat.
  4. Repeat this exercise 10 times


How To Teach Your Dog To Sit

Once you think they’ve grasped this, now it's time to add the verbal cue "sit" during the overhead lure so they learn to associate the word with the action. Still mark with “good” as their bum hits the floor and reward them with a treat. If your dog hasn't quite grasped this cue yet, take a break and come back to this exercise at another time and if they have, repeat this cue in every room of your house and the garden.

Now you should be able to request "sit" as a basic training cue and instead of luring them, you are able to simply "mark and reward" them for doing a pawesome job.


The "Three D's"

Once you have the "sit" you can request the behavior and mark it as before you can start to build the "three d's" which are: duration, distance, and distraction.


How To Teach Your Dog To Sit

You can build up the length of the sit duration very slowly by still marking when the bottom it's the floor but counting a second before treating, then two seconds ten times, and three seconds ten times.


Teaching Your Dog To Sit At The Curb

To advance this cue a little further, pair this command with each time you get to the curb. You should ideally practice this outside your house with little or no distractions before doing this out on a run. We should always set our dogs up to succeed rather than expecting them to just know what we want from them, so getting to know your dog's capabilities is essential.

Now, stop a few steps away from the curb and lure them into a "sit" by your side facing the road: you don't want them to turn and look at you which is how we first each sit, you want them facing the danger i.e. the road in front of them.

Next, move away from the curb, then re-approach the curb, and command "sit". It is a great idea to also teach this on both sides so that they understand this is what they should do no matter what side of them you are on.

The key to training your dog how to sit? Repeat, repeat, repeat, is the nature of the game!

Top Tip: Use A Dog Harness While Training Your Dog

It's handy to have the right equipment when it comes to training your dog, especially outside and near roads where there is obvious danger, and if you're not too sure if you can trust your dog fully just yet. We highly recommend using a sturdy dog harness with a safety handle that enables a quick grab of your dog if they decide to make a quick getaway! Take a look at our Pup Perfect Dog Harness designed for safety, freedom and fun on your adventures.


Don't worry if your dog doesn't catch on quickly, every dog is different and some require more patients than others when it comes to training them. Extra snuggles and tasty treats when they get it right will go far, not to mention that your bond with each other will be strengthened during the process of training them. A win-win all round!

We hope this pawcket guide has helped you to teach this basic cue, and that you look forward to training them to do other popular commands too.

Nicky, Caroline & The Pups x