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How Do I Train My Puppy To Sit?

Written by Adaptil, published on April 18, 2023

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Training your puppy to sit is an important part of their early training! It's a great way to hold their attention, can encourage them to remain calm and still - and helps to control heaps of puppy energy!

Here are a couple of easy techniques you can use to train your pup to sit when you ask them to!

Methods to Train Your Puppy to Sit

puppy in a forest trained to sit

Capturing the sit!

If you want to encourage your puppy to sit, keep an eye out for natural sitting behaviour, and 'capture' the moment! With this technique, wait until your puppy sits of their own accord, then say a marker word such as good! or yes! to let your pup know that they've taken a positive action. If you reward your pup with a treat, always do so after the marker word, and after the sit!

If your puppy is clicker trained, then click at the moment your puppy sits and give them a treat right away. You should then step backward or away to encourage your pup to stand - and wait for them to sit again. When your pup is about to sit again, say that marker word to reinforce the message - then after your pup sits, provide them with a reward.

Choosing to ask for a sit when your pup wants to play is the perfect way to have them associate sitting with a reward, plus they'll be delighted when you play a game with them!

Lure your pup with a reward

Do you like a tasty treat? Your pup is no different! Lure training is where you use a high-value reward like a favourite treat (or toy) to lure your pup into a sitting position.

To do so, hold a treat in front of your pet's nose, then slowly lift the food above their head. As your pup looks up, their rear end should naturally go down! Say sit just before their bottom touches the floor, then good or another marker word once they're sitting. Don't forget to let them eat the treat once they've obeyed!

Repeat this once or twice to reinforce the message. Then, try removing the lure, and just use the command sit. This may take time, and you might need to encourage your dog with a small hand lure or signals if they find it tricky. But, be patient and keep showering your pup with encouragement!

puppy sitting

Be consistent and patient!

Once your pup has got the hang of sitting on command, you can simply use that command and/or a consistent hand signal (such as a closed fist, or an upward palm motion) to encourage them to sit. Be sure to always reward your puppy when they obey!

Try and only reward your pup once their bottom hits the ground, and they've been seated for a little while. Extending the time you take to give a reward can encourage your pup stay down for longer. Never physically put your puppy into a sitting position however, as this can be confusing or upsetting for some dogs.

puppy and kid sitting by the water

Building Good Habits

Once your pup has learned to sit, this can become their 'please and thank you' system! For example, you can encourage your dog to sit by the door as a signal that they need to go outside, or to get them to sit calmly before feeding. Getting your pawsome pal to sit, also comes in handy when your pup is in a new situation and needs to be polite!

To help your pup ace their training, consider using ADAPTIL Junior. This is an effective solution to comfort puppies, and helps to promote better and faster learning. Clinically proven, it helps puppies through the challenges of adoption, learning, and beyond!

Following our expert tips will help to ensure your bond with your dog goes from strength to strength.

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