How To Teach A Dog To Sit And Stay

It is understandable that you want to spend all of your time at home with your dog because you love him/her to death. But, you also have things to do at home every day such as washing the dishes, doing laundry, and cooking and eating your own meal. These are the times when you may not want your dog to be following you around, circling you, or bugging you.

For as much as you want your lovely dog to be around you, it can be distracting for you when you are trying to complete a task at home. So, you may want to learn how to teach a dog to sit and stay so that you can focus on the task that you have on hand. I will walk you through the process.

How To Teach A Dog To Sit And Stay With This Process

1. Train Your Dog To Sit

(Photo courtesy of iwona_kellie via Flickr)

The first part of the process is for you to train your dog to sit. There are actually three approaches here for you to do that. So, we will go through them all. Regardless of the approach that you take, your goal is to get your dog to sit down with only the sit command.

So, practice whatever approach you choose to use with your dog until he/she associates your sit command with actually sitting down.

You will also want some yummy treats on hand to reward your dog for sitting down. I would order the Canine Carry Outs Dog Treats which comes in many different flavors for you to choose from. They are also quite soft which your dog will love.

The Guiding Treat Approach

This approach will have you use a treat to guide your dog to sit down. Before you can get started with this approach, you will want to position your dog in a corner as you don’t want him/her to walk backwards instead of sitting down when you are using the treat as a guide.

So, do that first and then show your dog the treat. Hold the treat near the dog’s nose, but be careful that he/she doesn’t grab it from your hand.

Slowly move the treat upwards and then over your dog’s head. As you do that, your dog will look upwards at your hand in order to keep track of the treat. That will prompt your dog to sit down since he/she can’t really lift his/her head up while still being on all fours.

Say the word “sit” at the same time that your dog sits down. That will ensure that your dog will connect the word “sit” with sitting down. Praise and reward your dog with a treat once he/she sits down.

The Body Approach

The second approach will have you using your own body to guide your dog to sit down. For this approach, you will be putting your dog on leash. So, you will need a leash and a harness to attach it to.

For the leash, you will want the BAAPET dog leash as it is really comfortable for your hand to hold on to.

As for the harness, you will want the BARKBAY No Pull Dog Harness Front Clip in order to protect your dog’s neck from injury when he/she is pulled with the leash.

With your dog attached to the leash, take a moment to walk your dog around. Once that is done, turn yourself around to fact the dog. Stand still and pull your dog towards you using the leash.

That should prompt your dog to sit down as he/she comes up against your body. Say the word “sit” just as your dog is about to sit down. Immediately praise and reward your dog with a treat for sitting down.

If your dog doesn’t sit down the first time around, just gently press down on his/her back to get him/her to sit down. This approach is best suited for physically active dogs.

The Natural Approach

Your dog will naturally sit down by him/herself at times – without you telling him/her to. So, for this approach, you will be waiting for your dog to sit down. What you want to do is to watch your dog as he/she is walking around until he/she decides to sit down.

Immediately say the word “sit” just as your dog is sitting down to ensure that he/she associate sitting down with the word “sit.” Praise and reward your dog with a treat just after he/she has sat down.

2. Train Your Dog To Stay

(Photo courtesy of Randall Pugh via Flickr)

Once you have reach the point where you can get your dog to sit down with just the sit command, you can move on to the second part of the process which is to train your dog to stay.

Get started by commanding your dog to sit down. With your dog seated, say the word “stay” combined with a open palm hand signal just above and right in front of his/her face.

Take just a couple steps back while still saying the word “stay” with the open palm hand signal. Wait just a moment to see if your dog stays after you have walked just a couple steps backwards.

If your dog stays put, walk back to your dog to praise and reward him/her with a treat. Don’t make your dog come to you for the treat because he/she will most likely think that getting up and coming to you will be rewarded with a treat.

If your dog does get up and come to you after you have commanded him/her to stay, give him/her a firm “no” to get him/her to sit back down. It may take a few tries.

So, just keep practicing this and then you can gradually increase the distance that you walk backwards from your dog after commanding him/her to stay.

How To Release Your Dog From Stay

Once your dog gets the hang of the stay command, you will want a way to release your dog from the stay position. So, first, command your dog to stay as I just described.

Wait just a moment and then drop your hand signal and say the word “release” at the same time. If your dog gets up and moves, praise and reward him/her with a treat for that.

If your dog doesn’t get up and move, just move back and clap your hands to signal to him/her that he/she can get up and move about.

Another way that you can release your dog from the stay position is to use the come command to get him/her to come to you. You can head here to learn how to do that.

There You Have It For How To Teach A Dog To Sit And Stay

This is the two-step process that you can use for how to teach a dog to sit and stay. By doing this, you can stay focused on doing whatever chore you need to do at home. What are your thoughts? Does your dog distract you from doing your house chores? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “How To Teach A Dog To Sit And Stay”

  1. Thank you for these helpful tips. I really love to train my new puppies with the sit and stay command, but I don’t know what method will be the best to teach them. They’re still puppies, so I’m not sure if it will be better to use the guiding or body approach, or even let them naturally learn it. Any suggestion? Thanks for your help.

    • You are welcome. As for which approach to use to get your puppies to sit and stay, I would use the guiding approach as that is probably the best approach of the two for your puppies.

  2. A dog is said to be a man’s best friend. Having a dog that is disciplined makes life so much easier. People admire well behaved dogs. With practice and time the steps get easier. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article. even dogs shold learn there is a time for everything.

    • Yes, that is true. You make a very good point there. You are welcome and I am glad that you found this article discussing how to get a dog to sit and stay.


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