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Training Your Puppy to Sit and Stay

Puppies and dogs need training.  Training provides your puppy with mental stimulation and gives the two of you a chance to bond.  Plus, a well-trained dog is more pleasant to have in your family and is easier to socialize.  Teaching your puppy to sit and stay should be one of your first priorities.

Puppy learning to sit and staySit and stay are two of the most important commands because they are going to come in handy a lot.  When you’re walking your dog on a leash, you’re going to want him to know these commands so you can gain control over him easily if he tries to get ahead of you or moves aggressively toward another dog.  When he meets new people and animals, you can use these commands to ensure a polite introduction.  If your dog gets loose, these commands could save his life.

First, you need to teach your dog “Sit” as a command by itself.  To do this, you need to have him on leash with a training collar.  You’ll also need a supply of bite-sized treats which your dog will enjoy eating.  Get your dog’s attention, then hold one of the treats above its nose and move it backward over his head.  As the dog follows the movement of the treat, he will start to lower into a sitting position.  When you see this movement, say “Sit.” As soon as his bottom touches the floor, you should give him the treat and praise him.  Also, choose a release word or phrase, such as “All done,” you can use to tell him he’s finished with what you wanted.  Say the word after you praise him.

Keep practicing “Sit” by itself for several days to a week.  You want to reach the point where he will sit without being led by the treat before you move on.  It’s not a bad idea to also practice with distractions.  After all, most of the time when you use the command in real life, your dog will be surrounded by plenty of other interesting things to keep him from doing what you want.

Once your dog is good at “Sit,” you can start adding the “Stay” command.  First, put your dog in the “Sit” position just as you normally would.  If necessary, bribe him with a treat but this time don’t give him the treat, yet.

Next, grip the treat between your thumb and forefinger with the rest of your hand facing the dog as if to say “Stop.”  While the dog is still sitting, place your palm against his nose gently and say “Stay.” If he moves before you say the release word, correct him and make him sit again.  Don’t wait long to release him in these early attempts.  Since praise is the main training tool, you have to give him plenty of chances to succeed and to be praised.  Start by having him “Stay” for just a few seconds, then gradually work up to more time.

After enough time has passed, give the release command, reward your dog with his treat, and praise him like crazy.  Keep repeating both commands and add in distractions as he gets better at listening to you.  If you want to learn more about teaching your dog to sit and stay, read How to Train Your Dog to Stay. Pretty soon, you’ll have a well-behaved dog capable of sitting and staying on command.

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