Training Tip Tuesday – “Sit” Command


By: Kim Astle

Many people struggle with basic commands. Always start at the very beginning. Be patient, calm, and most of all DOGS LOVE TO BE REWARDED! They are food motivated when they are comfortable in their surroundings. This week is the word “Sit.” I hope this helps.
How to teach a dog to sit
  • Make sure you have a quiet space, training treats, patience, and enthusiasm.
  • Hold a treat in your hand in front of your dog’s mouth until you get their attention.
  • Move the treat by guiding them with the treat about 3 inches above their nose and say “sit”. The dog will naturally look up, which will put their butt down on the ground. If this doesn’t work, try taking a step closer to you dog, so they must look up higher and leads to the sitting position.
  • Praise your dog, say “Yes!” and feed them their treat.

Focus on skills

Working on basic skills like “sit” not only helps develop good manners, but it builds trust between you and your dog. Keep it fun! Also, incorporating play goes a long way in building a solid and productive relationship with your pet.

Practice when it’s easy

Have your dog practice everyday. Have them sit and wait for their food, sit while guests arrive, when wanting to go outside, or when they get out of their kennel. The options are endless! Make sure the treats are bountiful as they begin to learn this new skill.

Things to avoid

  • Don’t spend too much time in training sessions
  • Do not punish your dog for not learning quickly
  • Do not force your dog to sit in a stressful situation
  • Do not make them sit too long at first
Blog and graphic by Kim Astle, one of Ruff Start Rescue’s volunteer trainers, who focus on supporting our fosters and helping create successful dogs. She owns and operates A Better Walk Dog Training (