Want to learn how to train your dog to sit and stay?

By | November 20, 2015

Training your puppy or dog can be frustrating, rewarding, fun and hard – all at the same time. However, if you are to have a good relationship with your canine friend training is a must. Here we will look at two of the most basic commands – how to train your dog to sit and stay.

Before we get down into the “nitty gritty”, there are three things I want to highlight because they are so important to the whole training process.

CONSISTENCY


Sometimes you may feel you are being really repetitive, but this is part of the process to help your dog learn. If you aren’t consistent with both the way you talk to them and act towards them, they will  will become confused and unsure of what you are actually asking them to do.

 

TIMELINESS


You have probably heard the phrase “start as you mean to go on” and in dog training this is really important. By the time you bring your puppy or dog into your home, you should already have thought about what the ground rules are going to be. For example, let’s consider this scenario…You have a gorgeous rottweiler puppy, who you just want to cuddle up and sit next to, so you welcome them up onto your couch or sofa.




Six months down the line, said rottweiler pup is growing nicely and filling out and is starting to take up a bit more room on your couch or sofa. Another 3 months later and you’re starting to think there’s not so much room up there anymore, so you want to move the dog down to the floor or their bed instead. However, your new best friend can’t understand why he or she is no longer welcome in that spot. Your dog may now be thinking “Have I done something wrong? Why aren’t I allowed up there anymore? What’s changed in our relationship?”

 

DON’T OVERDO IT


Short training sessions work best, so your puppy or dog doesn’t get bored. Maybe 10-15 minutes at a time and several times a day if you can manage it.

Now we can look at specifically getting your puppy or dog to sit and stay, which are both classed as types of obedience training barbecue they are going to be responses to your commands.

How to train your dog to sit and stay

SITTING


The best place to start, is to get your puppy or dog into a good position to sit. This can be achieved by using a small treat, holding it in your hand and above their head. Let them see it first, or they may not know you are holding it. They will then look up to your hand and with your other hand, gently push down on their rump. At the same time you need to say the command – so you should clearly say “sit”.  As soon as they have adopted the sitting position, give them the treat and verbal praise.




Keep repeating this and over time, your he or she will start to do it without any treats. You can consider it “mastered” when they respond consistently to the command without any treats, for several days in a row.

A couple of things to note

  • never “force” your dog’s rump into the sitting position. It’s meant to be an encouragement to sit, not a forced position, so should be a gentle pressure that doesn’t cause any discomfort at all.
  • if they don’t get it at first, keep trying but stick to the 10-15 minute rule
  • if it’s you that get’s frustrated, take a break! They are highly sensitive to your emotions and you don’t want your animal to have any negative associations with these commands.

 

STAYING


It’s a good idea to master the “sit” command first, as it’s going to be more natural for your dog to stay if they are already in a sitting position.

This time, start with two treats in your hand. Ask them to sit, and when they do, reward them with the first treat. Next hold a hand up near their face and utter the command “stay”. Start to slowly back away from them, but still facing them – start with only a very short distance. Stop and ask them to “come” – when they do give them the second treat and verbal praise. Until they understand what you’re asking them, they may come immediately, but tell them “no” and start over. Remember they want to please you, so they will eventually get it. Keep repeating the process, moving a little further away each time. Eventually, you should be able to go out of sight and then call your dog to come. Keep the reward system in place until they are well-used to the command and what’s expected of them. Consistency is key, and this is a harder task then sitting!

==>click here for free online help with dog training <==


 

FAQ’s

What if my puppy or dog doesn’t really respond to treats?

Not all puppies and dogs are oriented towards their stomachs, but there are a couple of things you can do. Try starting the treat-rewards system before their normal dinnertime, so they are more inspired by the food. Remember that a “treat” to them might not be a bought product that’s labelled as a treat or training aid – it might be a piece of chicken or cheese, it just needs to be something they like. Another alternative is to use a toy, but my advice would be to separate any training toys from their general play toys. This may help avoid confusion and the desire to jump and get the toy from you, especially if they are used to chewing or fetching them.

What if they jump up to try and snatch the treat?

You need to tell them “no” and start again. You will need to keep doing this until they get the message that you don’t want them to jump up.

Why isn’t my dog listening to me?

It could be you’re sending them mixed messages in terms of your tome of voice. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is obedience training. You should be using a tone that your dog can clearly identify as you wanting them to do something. Be clear and firm – and use the same tome ALL THE TIME when you are issuing commands. This will be very different form your “play time” voice and actions!

What if we just can’t get it?

If you are struggling with it, for whatever reason, consider dog training classes where someone can help you in a more formal setting and get you on the right track. In terms of puppies, these classes can also be good for “socializing” with other puppies, so they start to learn good interaction with other dogs from a young age. There are also other sources of help available.

==>click here for free online help with dog training <==

 


 

Please do leave us a comment or ask a question if you would like. That’s what we’re here for 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Want to learn how to train your dog to sit and stay?

  1. Kelly

    Love the information. We started training our miniature dachshund to play dead using the treat method. We started out with sit and stay. From there we moved to roll over and in the middle of the roll used stay while saying Bang. Now, in just a short time, if you look at her and say bang while making a gun with your hand she will fall over dead.

    Love the site and I specifically like and agree with the method of training.

    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi Kelly,

      Thank you for sharing your own experiences with your dachshund. I really enjoy hearing about dogs and their owners on here! I’m glad you like my site. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you visit again soon.

      All the best, Mara.

      Reply
  2. Kim

    Hi Mara, you have made some very good points about training our loved ones. One being, having the patience with your dogs and speaking in a pleasant tone, after all, all they want is to please us.
    Maybe I’ve been lucky with my pets because I’ve never had any difficulty in training them. Getting them excited along with treats for accomplishing the task has worked for me.
    And like you mentioned if you let them on the couch when you first get them, don’t expect to change that years down the road. Thank you for posting this,I really enjoyed reading this.
    Kim

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks very much for your comment and it’s great to hear that you’ve had very positive experiences with your lovely dogs. I agree that patience is the key, and it sounds like your pets have a very lovely owner too!

      All the best,

      Mara.

      Reply
  3. Larry

    You make this sound so easy, even when stressing that it takes consistency and time. I find that very encouraging. My lab is six years old now, and I wish we had been more consistent early on. He is very loving, but not all that responsive to commands. Is it ever too late to do this? He wags his tail the whole time he is not doing what I tell him LOL.

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi Larry,

      It’s never too late and your Lab sounds very enthusiastic, even if you think he may not be paying much attention to what you’re asking him. The only thing I would say about working with an older dog, is it may take a little longer! Understandably they will have developed their own habits and way of doing things, so you may need a little more time (and patience!) in order to “break the cycle””. You can find further help online for dog training if you’re ever struggling. Let me know how you get on and if there are any further questions along the way, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Also, if you would like to send me in a picture of your dog, I will post it on the Playtime Gallery page on my site. Only if you want to!

      All the best meantime, Mara.

      Reply
  4. Andy

    Hi Mara

    This was just what I was looking for. I am making pretty good progress with training my dog – he is an English bull terrier called Bruce and he is as stubborn as a mule. Maybe I should of called him Eeyore off Winnie the Pooh! 🙂 But he will do anything for food!

    I have a question though. He listens to me ok but if my wife tells him what to do he just totally ignores her (maybe he’s watching me too closely). Only joking – I would never ignore my lovely wife 🙂

    On a serious note though how do I get Bruce from ignoring my wife because it can be annoying and possibly dangerous (for him)?

    Reply
    1. Mara Post author

      Hi Andy & Bruce,

      This is a really good question, and it is a case that sometimes dogs tend to be classed as a “one-man” dog. Can I ask, has your wife ever been involved in the training of Bruce? He obviously views you as his master, and your wife as a pack member on an equal par. I suspect this is the case because it’s only you that’s been involved in his training, he may be looking at your wife thinking “nice try, but I don’t take orders from you”. If this is the case, please try getting your wife to start with some basic training, consistent with what you have been teaching Bruce. Start with something quite straightforward like getting him to sit – using the same reward system you have been using with him. He needs to view her in the same way as he views you – you need to be the alpha male, and your wide needs to be the alpha female. I’m also guessing if he is stubborn, it might take a little time, so persevere – maybe give it a good go this weekend.Give that a try and let me know how it pans out. If you have you already tried this, then please come back to me and we will look into it further, or you could take a look at this free online training guide.

      Best woofs,

      Mara

      Reply

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