Two Easy Ways To Teach Your Puppy How To Sit On Command

Nothing is more basic than teaching your puppy how to sit on command. There are two easy ways to approach this learning task. Both are effective and you can decide which one you want to use with your dog. 

The first option is known as the lure method, as you are using a treat as a lure. Here’s the way this works. Put the treat directly in front of your puppy’s nose. Then very slowly raise your hand and the treat above his head. Your dog will very likely sit as he lifts his head to get the treat.  

As soon as his rear touches the floor, let him have the treat. Repeat this maneuver one or two times using the treat, then repeat using just your hand, but give him a treat as soon as he sits. Once your dog is understanding how to sit from the hand signal, begin saying ‘sit’ just before you present the hand signal to your puppy. 

The second method is known as capturing. Here’s what to do. Get some of his dog food or favorite treats. Stand in front of him and wait for him to sit. When he does, say “yes’ and reward him with a treat. Then step back from the dog or to the side. This will encourage him to stand. Then wait for him to sit again and as soon as he does, give him another treat. Once he had done this successfully a few times, begin saying “sit” just as he starts to sit. 

When training a puppy, many novice dog owners are tempted to physically put their dog into the sitting position. This should be avoided, as some pups can get upset or become confused by this.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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