How to Train Your Dog to Sit and Stay

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As young as they are puppies, they need to learn the most basic tricks and in this article, we will be giving you guidelines on how to train your dog to sit and stay.

Training a man’s best friend can be a great responsibility, but doing the proper steps in training them can help be an excellent foundation for you and your furbaby’s success. 

A white dog sitting

Training your dog to sit and stay should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of rewarding your pet to motivate the behavior you want them to do, keeping in mind that this reward system is not to bribe your furbaby but to train them using positive dog values. 

Positive reinforcement is a reward that your furbaby likes, such as tasty treats, giving them time to play with their favorite toy, or simply praising them.

A variety of dog treat

It is highly discouraged to use punishments, such as leash corrections and yelling at them as this can cause confusion and anxiety to your dog.

We do not want them to be scared of us. Like us humans, we can’t expect our furbaby to know what they are unaware of. Having the patience to train them consistently will go a long way in developing your dog’s behavior.  

When Can You Train Your Dog to Sit and Stay?

Obedience training and socialization are essential skills that a puppy needs. And the sooner you start training them, the better.

Teaching each command and behavior requires patience and consistency to create good habits and build a strong bond with your furbaby. 

A puppy sitting on a grass

But before undergoing your furbaby with command training, they have to be well equipped in house training first.

As early as eight weeks, you can start potty training your puppy, and it will typically take four to six months for them to be completely house-trained. Read our article to know how to potty-train your dog quickly.

Top 10 Doggy Training Tips 

Before starting with sit and stay command training, you must keep in mind these tips to do your training in top shape.

1. Choose your furbaby’s name wisely and respectfully

When choosing your furbaby’s name, consider two things: pick a name that you love and for better training, giving them a short name ending with a strong consonant for them always to hear it clearly whenever called – a name with strong emphasis perks up a puppy’s ears.

A happy dog on a harness

If you have an older dog he may be used to his original name, but changing it can still be accomplished.

In case that your adopted dog has already a name assigned by the shelter, don’t worry because canine buddies are incredibly adaptable. As long as you use the new name consistently, they will begin to respond to it. 

2. Establish your house rules

Before your dog arrives home, decide what he can do and cannot do. Are there specific places where they are only allowed? Will he be eating in the dining room? Is he allowed to sleep on your bed? These are some of the things you have to decide and establish once your dog is home. 

A dog guarding the house

3. Designate his private area

Your dog should have his “own room” where they can sleep quietly, it can be a crate or a calming bed in a designated area at your home.

Having their private area will provide them with the assurance that they have their own space and remain relaxed and undisturbed.

Genius Dog 300 x 600 - Animated
Dog peeking at a window

4. Provide your furbaby with relaxation

When your furbaby comes home, place a bottle filled with warm water in their bed and put a ticking clock near it. This will imitate the heat and heartbeat of their littermate, and that will be comfortable and soothing for them. 

5. Teach your dog to come when called

Teaching your dog to come when called is the first command that needs to be mastered. To do this, get on your dog’s level, usually sitting down, and tell your furbaby to come using their name.

When he comes to you, give them positive reinforcement. Do this consistently, and you’ll be able to see the benefits of mastering this command.

6. Give rewards for good behavior

Using positive reinforcement, reward your dog whenever they do good behavior. Use tasty treats, toys, or praising and petting them. Let your dog know that what they did was right.

Dog playing on a chew toy

7. Be mindful of the “jump up”

Dogs love to jump up toward their pet parents when greeting. This can be dangerous for your furbaby and you on certain occasions, such as when you are carrying something heavy. 

A jumping dog

Do not scold your dog when he jumps up, just ignore this behavior and wait until he begins to settle down, before acknowledging him and giving them positive reinforcement. Do not encourage or praise your dog’s jumping while doing this behavior. 

8. Teach your puppy the “dog time

Dogs love to live in the moment. They have a short attention span, so if they have done something wrong, try this simple technique so he knows right away what behavior should be forgotten:

Once your furbaby has done something wrong, immediately say simple cue words such as a “no” or “stop” or make a noise such as a clap that will give your furbaby’s attention and associate this audio cue that what they did was wrong.

Every time they do this bad behavior, be consistent in what noise signals to use to avoid confusion. 

9. Discourage him from biting

A great way to discourage your puppy from biting you is to pretend that you are in immense pain, making him surprised and likely to stop immediately.

If this technique does not work, you can trade a chew toy for your hand, driving them into thinking that chew toys are the only things to be chewed on.

A dog with a chew toy

10. Always end your training happily and positively

Your furbaby did a great job and worked hard to please you throughout the training process. Leave him with a lot of praise and treat to guarantee that he will be excited about the next training session.

Reasons to Adopt a Pet Instead of Buying

By utilizing all the tips above, you and your puppy will have a solid foundation for successful training. Training your furbaby is a journey that can take as long as it takes. Just be patient and, most importantly, enjoy it. 

Why Teach Your Dog The Sit and Stay?

Although the sit and stay commands are probably the most boring to teach your furbaby, it is one of the most helpful commands.

Some pet parents think that teaching these commands is the least impressive, but overlooks its importance. Here are the reasons why sit and stay commands are needed in your fur baby’s development.

1. Convenience 

Practicality speaking, these commands can be convenient for you in your house. You will need your dog to stay put and out of your way sometimes, such as when you’re cleaning. This will prevent accidents like tripping or stepping on your furbaby. 

Dog sitting on a floor

The sit and stay commands also benefit pet parents with multiple fur babies. It will give them easier management in handling more dogs as they will sit and stay.

Multiple dogs sitting and staying

2. Safety

While walking your furbaby, you will need to cross streets with them. Your furbaby needs to be guided on when and when not to cross a street to avoid accidents, and this is when the sit and stay command is handy. 

A dog sitting on the pavement

These commands can also act as an alternative behavior for your dog to do, to take their mind off distractions.

3. Civility

We have previously tackled that dogs may manifest the jump-up behavior that can be bothersome not only for you but also for people around them.

If you have a bigger dog, they can easily knock over a person when they jump on them, which may lead to accidents. Having your furbaby sit when greeting people is the polite thing to do.

Training Your Dog to Sit and Stay on Command

In this section, we will be tackling how to achieve commanding your furbaby to sit and stay quickly. There are many techniques for achieving consistent sit and stay, and this guideline aims to give you the most straightforward steps.

1. Sit Command

  • Get his attention.

When commanding your furbaby to sit, it is expected that his bottom is touching the ground with his legs underneath their base while their head is high. If this is not the case, this behavior is a slouch. 

A dog sitting on the grass

When saying the word sit, it needs to be pronounced with a sharp “s” sound, like “sssit.” This way, your furbaby can associate this sound with sitting.

  • Take advantage of your dog’s favorite treat or toy.

Hold the treat or toy above your dog’s nose and move it upwards and then backward over his head. Your furbaby will naturally move his body into the sit position when doing this technique. 

A puppy sitting head high

When he is in position, say “sit” and praise him. However, do not over-praise him because we want to avoid them being over-excited and running all over the place. Do this technique consistently, and he will associate this position with the word “sit.”

  • Add variations.

Vary the length and the area where you command your furbaby to sit to improve consistency. Over time, as your furbaby gets better at this command, think of another word that will release your furbaby from the sit position. You can use “stand,” “up,” or whatever you want.

A pug sitting on a bed of flowers

Don’t use a word that sounds like “stay,” such as “play” or “hey.” This will add confusion to your dog, giving you a harder time to train them.

  • Consistency is key.

Keep in mind that you will need to train your dog for quite some time, so consistency and patience are key. Once your dog has mastered sitting in different lengths and different places, you can now proceed with the “stay” command. 

2. Stay Command

Now that your furbaby has mastered the “sit” command, it will be a smooth transition to introduce them to “stay”.

To set expectations, the main problem that you will encounter during this process is that your furbaby will want to follow you. To avoid this, you will need to conduct the training in a closed area until they are assured that they are not separated from you. 

  • Start from the “sit” position.

Prep your dog by commanding him to sit. Once they are in this position, stand in front of your furbaby and do not move. This will be the perfect moment to introduce him to the word “stay.” Show the palm of your hand and firmly say, “stay.”

Dog on a stay command

Since you have been practicing commanding them to sit with varying lengths, they will quickly grasp the “stay” command. If he starts to stand up and walk away, start again and command him to sit.

  • Stepping back

Your dog can now sit for varied lengths and has no urge to move; it is now the time to do the “step back.” While standing and your furbaby are sitting, take one step backward while still showing the palm of your hands and stop. Stand for 10 seconds and step forward to your puppy and command him to stand. 

If your furbaby has successfully done the above steps, praise him or give him a treat. Do these steps consistently while gradually increasing the period of the length of “stay” and the number of steps you take backward.

  • Completing the “stay” command training

The next step is to stand by your furbaby’s side and command him to sit and stay. Take a step forward and stop without looking at your furbaby. If he stays, turn around and face your dog, pause, get back at them and give positive reinforcements for a job well done.

Dog on a leash sitting

Repeat these steps while gradually increasing the number of steps you take forward. For puppies, it may be challenging to let them stay in the same spot since it is their instinct to follow you around, but with repetition, this can be possible.

If you need more tips and tricks on training your dog to site and stay, as well as, other obedience training, check out the brainy dog training program, highly recommended.

To quickly summarize the step-by-step guides on training your furbaby to sit and stay, you can watch this informative short video from a pet behavior specialist, Zak George:

Remember that some dogs will take longer than other dogs to learn a new skill. One factor that you can be sure of is that consistency will eventually have your furbaby sitting and staying with the gradual increase of distance away from them. 

The three main ingredients for successful training are consistency, practice, and praise. Also, keep into consideration the age of your puppy. A young puppy will start slowly and take more time to train, but through patience, they will have an early foundation to become friendly, obedient, and joyful furbaby.

A cute Pomeranian sitting on a bench

Once your dog has learnt this basic commands, you can now train them how to stop barking easily.

We hope that this guide can help you to have smooth training on how to train your dog to sit and stay. Are there any additional commands and tricks you want us to tackle? Comment down below! 

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a pet expert with more than 20 years of experience working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals since a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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