Categories: Animals & Pets

Jamie Johnson

dog teaches puppy to sit

Training a puppy to obey commands can be a massively rewarding experience when done correctly. If your pup is having trouble understanding the ‘Sit’ command, you may be feeling overwhelmed and not know where to start. Don’t worry – training your pup to sit won’t be as difficult as you think. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing the steps needed to teach your puppy the ‘Sit’ command along with other important tips and tricks to help make the process smoother. We’ll also help you avoid the common pitfalls that can come up during the training and provide information on how long typically takes for a puppy to learn the ‘Sit’ command. So, let’s dive in – let’s begin teaching your pup the ‘Sit’ command.

Table of Contents

What You’ll Need Before You Start

Training a puppy to sit may seem like it could be a difficult task, but if you are patient and have the right supplies, it can be a fun, rewarding experience! In order to ensure success, there are some supplies that you should have on-hand before you get started.

Training treats

When you are teaching your pup to sit, it is important to have the right treats available. Choose small, soft treats and make sure you don’t give too many. If the treats are too big or hard, this could cause your pup to lose interest in the training.


Having a leash on is a great tool for teaching your pup to sit. When on a leash, you can easily create a barrier between your pup and any distractions that may lead them to lose focus. A leash will also help keep your pup in their sitting position, allowing them to learn faster.


Before you begin the training, it is important to remember that this won’t happen overnight. Your pup will need lots of practice and consistency, so make sure you stay patient and consistent throughout the training process.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a great tool to use while teaching your pup to sit. Offer verbal praises, such as ‘good pup’ or ‘excellent job’ and use treat rewards to reinforce the act of following the command.

Training space

Your pup will be more successful if they are in a distraction-free environment when they are taking their lessons. Choose an area that is free from other dogs, people, and any other type of distraction. This will make the learning process much easier for your pup.

These are the supplies you’ll need to be successful when teaching your pup how to sit. Make sure you have each of these before you begin the training, and you and your pup will be well on your way!

dog teaches puppy to sit

Steps For Teaching Your Puppy The ‘Sit’ Command

Teaching your pup the ‘sit’ command is an important part of a well-mannered, happy dog. It doesn’t take a huge amount of time, and can be very rewarding for both you and your pup. Here’s how to get started.

Show The Pup The Treat and Say “Sit”

Show the pup the treat and say “sit”. It’s important that your pup can clearly identify the command and treat you’ll be using.

Place Your Open Hand With The Treat Near The Puppy’s Nose

Hold the treat near the pup’s nose to get their attention. Make sure they are looking at you and the treat.

Slowly Raise Your Hand Up and Back Over The Pup’s Head

The pup should follow your hand as you slowly move it up and back over his head. This will compel the pup to look up, and this action should cause their bottom to drop onto the floor.

Gently Press Down On The Pup’s Rear End As He Looks Up For The Treat

Once you’ve moved your hand up and back, you can gently press down on their rear end to help the pup settle into their sit position. You don’t need too much pressure – just enough to help the pup to understand what you’re asking for.

As Soon As The Pup’s Bottom Touches The Floor, Say “Good Sit” And Give Them The Treat

When the pup’s bottom has made contact with the floor, say “good sit!” and give them their treat. It’s important to give a verbal cue at the right time. This lets your pup know when they’ve done something correctly.

Reward The Pup With The Treat And Praise In A Happy Voice

It’s important to reward your pup with the treat and praise them with a happy voice. This reinforces the behavior you want and encourages the pup to repeat it.

Repeat Steps 1 – 6 Multiple Times With A Variety Of Treats And Praise

Repeat steps 1 – 6 multiple times with a variety of treats and praise. The more you practice the sit command, the more likely the pup is to learn it quickly. Switching out the treats is also a great way to keep the pup interested.

Once The Pup Has It Mastered, Take The Hand Motion Away And Just Use The Command “Sit”

Once the pup is able to sit consistently when you say the command and give the hand signal, you can take the hand motion away and just use the command “sit”. This is a great way to help prevent your pup from becoming reliant on a hand motion.

Exchange The Treats For A Toy Or Other Rewards

When your pup has consistently mastered the command, you can switch out the treats for a toy or another reward. Toys are a great way to keep your pup engaged in the activity and provide additional motivation.

Continue Practicing To Ensure Your Pup Is Responding As Expected

It’s important to continue practicing this command on a regular basis to ensure your pup is always responding as expected. This will help keep your pup obedient and disciplined.

High angle of crop unrecognizable female owner giving high five to brown Labrador Retriever

Using Treats As A Reward When Training

As a dog owner, we all want a happy, obedient pup. Training a pup requires patience and consistency, and a great way to make learning easier is to use treats as rewards. Research shows that treats are a great way to reinforce specific behaviors in our dog, as they act as a reinforcement and incentive for our pup to learn quickly.

It’s important to choose the right type of treats when using this type of reward. Small, delicious treats are usually best for dogs. High-value treats like cheese, hot dogs, and pieces of meat will make them more interested in following your commands. You should also avoid feeding the pup too many treats as you don’t want them to get overweight.

When it comes to training your pup, the timing of the treats is key. The treat should be given immediately after the pup has completed the desired action. For example, if you’re trying to teach your pup to sit, make sure to give them the treat immediately after they have sat down. Doing so helps build an association between doing the right thing and getting rewarded.

It’s also important to offer lots of praise when rewards are given. For example, when your pup sits, provide verbal feedback like “good girl!” or “you did it!” Doing so helps the pup understand better what is expected from them and makes the learning experience more enjoyable for both you and the pup.

In order for the pup to learn the desired behavior quickly, it is important to remain consistent. Every time the pup does the command, make sure to give them their treat. Do not reward sometimes but not others, as this will make the pup confused and will slow down the learning process.

I once had a pup that I was teaching to sit. Within a few treats, my pup had grasped the concept and was sitting every time I asked. After a few days of consistent training, my pup was sitting on cue and could remember the command even when there was no treat involved.

In conclusion, treats can be a great way to reinforce desired behaviors in pups and make the learning process easier. When used correctly, treats help build the association between your pup completing the task and getting a reward, which leads to faster and more efficient learning. Just remember to choose the right type of treats, give the treats immediately after they have completed the desired task, offer verbal praise, and to remain consistent in your training.

Side view of crop African American female shaking paw of obedient cute puppy

Alternative Rewards When Training

Training a puppy can be a daunting and exhausting task. The more you can reward your pup’s good behaviors, the better the results will usually be. The use of positive reinforcement reward systems is a great way to train your pup effectively, encouraging them to spend as much time as possible focussing on the desired behavior. Using an effective combination of rewards, be they verbal or physical, can make a huge difference in your pup’s progress.

When training a pup, the most common reward given is treats. It is an easy reward to offer and one that the pup is likely to be motivated by. Treats should be small, easily digestible and given based on a pup’s age, size and health. However, there are times when treats alone are not as motivating as they once were, and we may have to explore alternative reward systems.

Alternative Rewards

The introduction of alternative rewards can be a great way to re-engage a pup during their training and reward their good behavior. These rewards do not necessarily have to be physical, and can be verbal instead. Verbal rewards can take the form of encouragement and praise, with phrases such as ‘good boy/girl’ or ‘well done’. This will help boost your pup’s confidence, which is key to further successes in their training.

In addition to verbal rewards, physical rewards are also a great way to encourage a pup during training. This can take the form of a belly rub, a pat on the head and even a game of tug-of-war. The important thing to remember here is to always reward the desired behavior, whether it be sitting or staying, so that your pup knows which action to perform to receive the reward.

Effective Rewards

To ensure that your rewards are effective, it is essential to be consistent and not to let your pup forget what they need to do or be rewarded for. If you are using treats as your reward system, it is important to only ever reward good behaviors and not bad ones. This can be achieved by limiting treats to times when you have asked your pup to do something, known as operant conditioning.

In addition to rewarding good behaviors, it is important to take all the cues from your pup. Make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of stress, such as dropped ears or a tucked tail, as this can indicate that your pup is not enjoying their training session.

When introducing alternative rewards, it is important to remember to gradually introduce them to your pup and not overload them with the rewards. Your pup needs to feel in control of their own environment and may become overwhelmed if they are constantly given tangible rewards. Therefore, it is important to gradually shift from treat-based rewards to alternative rewards over time.


When training a pup, it is important to reinforce their good behavior with a reward system that is both effective and motivating. Treats are one of the most common rewards used in training, however, it is important to be aware that alternative rewards can also be used. These rewards can take the form of verbal praise, a belly rub or even a game of tug-of-war, and can help to keep your pup motivated and engaged during their training sessions. It is important to remember to always reward good behaviors, not bad ones, and to be mindful of your pup’s body language to avoid any possible stress. By gradually introducing alternative rewards in combination with treats, you will be well on your way to teaching your pup to sit!

Cheerful crop African American female owner giving treat to Labrador Retriever while teaching commands in park

Tips For Keeping Training Sessions Fun And Engaging

When it comes to teaching your dog to sit, it’s important to keep the training sessions fun and engaging. If you make the lessons boring, your pup might stop paying attention and lose interest in learning. Here are a few tips for making your sessions fun and rewarding for your pup.

Break Training Sessions Up

It can be easy to complete hours of training in one sitting, but this can be overwhelming for your pup. Instead, break your training up into shorter sessions. Aim for a few minutes at a time, such as 2-10 minutes. This makes it easier for your pup to focus and stops them from getting overwhelmed.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is essential when training your pup how to sit. After each successful attempt, reward your pup with a treat or verbal praise to show them that what they did was right. This positive reinforcement lets them know that they’re doing a good job and encourages them to keep up the good work.

Have Fun With It

Adding elements of play into the sessions can help your pup stay focused and interested in learning. You could try playing a game of fetch when your pup successfully sits, or have a few small toys on hand to encourage them to sit and stay focused. Keeping it fun will likely help your pup learn faster and will make the training enjoyable for both of you.

Use Verbal Commands

Giving clear and consistent verbal commands is important when teaching your pup to sit. It’s crucial to use the same word, such as “sit”, every time and to be extra sure that your pup understands the command before continuing. Saying it in the same tone and manner each time will help your pup pick up on the command more quickly.

Use Repetition

Successful training involves repetition. If your pup is struggling to learn how to sit, it’s ok to go back to the basics and start again. Repetition will help your pup better understand the command and will make them more likely to respond correctly when you give it in the future.

Be Patient

Learning how to sit can take some time, and every pup is different. Some dogs might pick it up quickly, while others might take longer. Remember to be patient and consistent with your pup and don’t give up. If your pup is still struggling to learn, you can seek professional help for extra guidance. With a bit of practice and patience, your pup will soon understand the command and sit reliably.

Portrait of a Dog

Using Verbal Commands During Training Sessions

Verbal commands and body language are integral to training and teaching puppies effectively. As puppies rely on body language as their first language and need time to develop verbal understanding it’s important to reinforce physical cues with verbal commands and make sure the puppy is paying attention. By introducing a few basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, “come”, owners can create a language tailored to their individual pup and watch him develop.

Using the Same Vocal Tones

The most important part of introducing verbal commands is the vocal tone used, as a puppy needs to be able to recognize commands each time they are given. Owners should use the same, descriptive vocal tone each time they give a command to their pup as this will ensure he can connect the sound to the action.

Profiling the Puppy’s Response

It’s important to profile pup’s response to commands and note if he is understanding, struggling a bit or is ignoring them altogether. If your pup is ignoring the commands, keep repeating them with the same vocal tone until he responds. If your pup is having trouble or struggling to listen, it’s important to use an appropriate hand gesture or physical cue to guide him into the action.

Rewarding the Puppy with Treats and Praise

Puppies respond well to treats and praise, so rewarding your pup will help motivate him and form associations with the commands. When introducing a command, follow it up with a treat as this will encourage your pup to keep responding positively to subsequent commands and establish a form of communication. Praise is just as important as a reward, as over time it’ll help him grow to understand a more diverse range of commands.

Close-up of Black Dog

Ending The Session On A Positive Note

Training your pup can be challenging at times, so it is important to also make it pleasant. Ending a session with positive reinforcement is a great way to make sure that your puppy looks forward to training sessions, rather than feeling discouraged.

Here are a few tips on how to finish a training session with your puppy:

Reinforce Good Behavior

Rewarding good behavior should always be a part of the puppy-training routine. However, it is especially important to reward the puppy at the end of the session in order to encourage him to remember the lesson and make him anticipate the next session with enthusiasm. Make sure to give your puppy an appropriate reward, such as a treat, a verbal praise, or a beloved toy, whenever he is successful in completing a task.

Keep The Session Short

The attention span of puppies is much shorter than that of adult dogs, so it is important to keep the session focused, short, and enjoyable. It is recommended to keep the session at around 10-15 minutes, especially with younger puppies. Longer sessions not only could be too overwhelming, it could also result in your puppy forgetting the lesson. Keeping the session short is therefore the best way to ensure success.

Focus On Something Your Puppy Enjoys

Once the session is ending, finish the experience on a positive note by focusing on something your pup especially enjoys. This could be playing with a toy, having a cuddle session, or any other activity that your pup finds exciting and rewarding. This way, the puppy is more likely to look forward to the next training session.

Remain Calm & Consistent

There is a lot of variables when it comes to training a puppy and it can be difficult to stay patient when faced with challenging situations. But it is important to remember to stay positive and consistent when training your pup. This way, the puppy can learn the lessons quickly, rather than becoming confused from mixed and unpredictable signals.

Respect Your Puppy’s Limits

Whenever training your puppy, always keep in mind your pup’s current stage of development, including his size and age. Pushing your puppy too much by expecting too much from him, can lead to disastrous results. Respect your pup’s limitations and always practice a gentle and empathetic training style.

For example, potty-training sessions can also be ended in a positive way. Whenever your pup has a successful potty break, reward him with a treat or verbal praise so that he continues to look forward to the next session.

In summary, keep in mind to end the puppy training session on a positive note in order to ensure the next session is enjoyable and rewarding. Make sure to focus on your pup’s successes by giving him rewards and verbal praises, keep the session short, end the session on a high note, remain calm and consistent, and remember to respect your pup’s mental, physical and age-related limitations.

Shallow Focus Photography of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Teaching Your Puppy To Sit

Training your puppy to sit is a challenging yet rewarding task. Don’t rush it; take your time and be patient. If you become frustrated and uncertain, your pup may become demotivated and continue the same behaviors. Here are some tips and strategies to help you along the way.

Don’t Rush

The key to teaching your pup to sit is patience. Don’t expect your puppy to do it correctly the first time you ask them. They likely won’t fully understand until they are comfortable in their environment. After they show progress, reward them with verbal praise and treats.

Avoid Frustration

Frustration can be contagious, so it is important that you remain calm when teaching your pup to sit. If you become frustrated, they will sense your emotions and become demotivated. Make sure to smile and provide positive reinforcement. Celebrate small victories by rewarding them with treats.

No Physical Punishment

Never punish your puppy with physical force. It will only instill fear and anxiety in your pup, making your job even more difficult. If they make a mistake, correct them, but don’t resort to physical punishment. Using positive reinforcement will help them want to please you and motivate them to keep learning.

Mix Things Up

Don’t spend every training session teaching your puppy to sit. Allow yourself some playtime, as dogs learn best when having fun and exploring. Change the commands and activities often to keep your pup on their toes.

Don’t Increase Difficulty Too Fast

When starting out, focus on basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and lay down. Increase the difficulty once the puppy has mastered a certain skill. Adding too many commands at once can be overwhelming, so take your time and give them a chance to learn each one.

Overall, teaching your puppy to sit is a fulfilling experience. Make sure to be consistent with your commands and provide positive reinforcement. Keep your patience and don’t become frustrated when things don’t go as planned. With commitment and dedication, you will soon have a pup who knows how to sit on command!

White Dog Running over Green Grass

Conclusion – How Long Does It Take To Teach A Puppy To Sit?

Training your puppy can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. How long it takes to successfully teach your puppy to sit ultimately depends on the quality of teaching involved. While it is standard to expect to dedicate 2-3 weeks of consistent and patient training, with the right guidance and training environment, you may be able to achieve results faster.

For example, if using an effective reward-based training approach, some owners are able to teach their puppy to sit within 1 week. Despite the breed and temperament of your puppy, with the right approach and motivation, it is possible to expect to teach even difficult breeds and puppies to sit sooner rather than later.

Once your puppy has got the hang of sitting, you can then progress to teaching them more complex tricks such as “lie down” or “heel”. It is important to remain patient – something that may only take another trainer less time, could potentially take your puppy longer to pick up. Every dog learns differently, so be sure to provide positive reinforcement and plenty of patience.

Above all, keep in mind that the best kind of training is that which is consistent, positive, and rewarding for both you and your puppy. It may take time and patience, but the end result is sure to be rewarding.

Black and Tan Rottweiler Puppy Running on Lawn Grass

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of day to train a puppy?

Early mornings or evenings are usually the best times to train your puppy as it can be less distracted by external stimuli. The key is to establish a consistent routine, whether you choose to train your puppy in the mornings or evenings, and to select a time of day that works best with your puppy’s natural energy levels.

How often should I train my puppy?

Consistency is key in training a puppy, so it is best to commit to daily training sessions. Try to create a training schedule and stick to it, as even short lapses can cause your puppy to forget the commands it has learned. Your puppy will come to expect the training sessions, so it’s important not to go longer than a few days without training.

What type of treats should I use to reward my puppy?

Small, soft treats like bits of cheese, hot dog slices, or pieces of chicken are always great options for reward. It is important to avoid any treats that are hard or chew-able, as these can damage your puppy’s teeth. Additionally, while treats can be a great way to reinforce positive behaviors, it’s important to remember that your puppy’s love and admiration should be the real reward.

How long should I train my puppy each session?

Every dog is different and can vary in levels of attention and stamina, so it is important to not push your puppy too hard. Aim for short and frequent training sessions of around 15 minutes each, or less if your puppy is becoming too easily distracted. If your puppy starts to become bored or overexcited during a session, it can be helpful to mix it up and try some different commands or activities.

Woman Sitting And Smiling


Teaching your puppy to sit is an important part of training. With a few simple steps, patience and consistency, you can help your pup learn the command in no time. Remember to keep training sessions fun and engaging with verbal commands and rewards. Keep the session short and end on a positive note to create good behavior associations. With some practice, you’ll be able to teach your puppy to sit in less than a week.

If you have any troubles along the way, there are plenty of resources available to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you are stuck. Training your puppy is an important milestone for strengthening your bond and ensuring their safety.

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