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How to Teach a Dog to Sit In 3 Days

Sit is a foundation of dog training and in this article, we will show you how to teach a dog to sit in only a couple of days.

Teaching your dog to sit is a great place to start with your training. For example, teaching your dog to sit at kerbs can make crossing roads safer and asking your dog to sit when greeting people means they're less likely to jump up.

A day-by-day guide to the Sit training

Day 1

Let's start one of the basic training exercises that are out there - Sit. In the first tasks, we won't be using a verbal cue (command) "SIT" and we'll introduce it at a later stage, once your dog understands the basics.

With a treat in your hand, raise the hand above your dog’s head. As soon as your dog’s butt hits the floor say "GOOD" and toss a treat for your dog to go and get it.

As soon as your dog has eaten their treat, encourage them back to you and repeat several times.

Practice this simple behaviour in as many different environments and on as many different surfaces as comfortably possible for you and your dog.

Day 2

Let's start by adding the verbal cue (command). You probably guessed already that the cue for this exercise is "SIT". The first task was to get your dog comfortable with sitting down. Now let's start training your dog to sit down with the "SIT" cue.

Raise a treat above your dog’s head, say the word "SIT" and as your dog's butt touches the floor, say "GOOD" and toss a treat for your dog to go and enjoy.

Repeat this exercise at home during the day. Try changing rooms, so your dog gets used to different environments. Today's goal is to ensure your dog stays in the Sit position as long as possible. In other words, we'll work on durations, which is one of the 3D’s’ - namely, Duration, Distraction and Distance. We add these three elements to really reward and make this behaviour water-tight.

Raise your hand, ask for a "SIT" and as their butt touches the floor, count to 3 seconds. If your dog remains in a sit, say "GOOD" and toss them a treat.

If seating for three seconds was successful then add another second or two onto each successful repetition. Repeat this exercise to get to 15-20 seconds. If at any point your dog moves out of position before you have returned and said "GOOD", simply go back to one second, and build up again from there.

Day 3

Hope you enjoyed practising the previous task and you mastered duration. Today we're going to work on another D - distance.

Ask your dog to sit, once their butt touches the floor slowly take one step away and if your dog remains in position, return, say "GOOD" and give them a treat.

After each successful repetition take an additional step, again if they remain in position until you return to them, say "GOOD" and give them a treat.

If your dog moves out of position before you have returned and said "GOOD", simply go back to one step, and build up again from there.

Get access to a free advanced Sit Course in the Fluffy app. Download the app today.

How long does it take a dog to learn to sit?

From a couple of day to a week

For your dog to learn the basics of Sit training, it can only take a day or two, but to perfect the exercise you need to spend around a week on it by practising two-three times a day (10 minutes a day in total).

How do you get an untrained dog to sit?

You start by raising your hand with a treat above your dog's head. This will make them sit. You then need to reward them every time their butt touches the floor.

As you follow our steps above you'll see that over time, once your dog associates the verbal cue "Sit" with the right action and a tasty treat, you start to decrease the distance from them, the time they stay in the position and the amount of the distraction around them.

Can I teach my dog to sit without treats?

Yes, you can teach your dog by rewarding them with praise or toys.

Most dogs are motivated by food, which makes training much easier. However, some dogs are not as excited about the treats as others.

Before we suggest an alternative, it is important to try different treats for training. Your dog might not like chicken or beef, but it might like cheese and apples. You can also try different brands of treats.

If your dog doesn't get excited by treats at all, there is nothing to worry about.

We use food to reward the right behaviour and food is only one of many rewards. Some dogs love their toys and you can reward them when you teach a dog to seat. For some, the praise and stroking are enough.

What age to teach a puppy to sit?

7-9 weeks old

Sit is one of the most basic things you can teach your pup. For many dogs, Sit is the first cue they master. So, you can start teaching your pup to sit when they are 7-9 weeks old.