How to Teach a Dog Sitting Tricks

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August 22, 2023
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Dog Sitting Tricks

One of the most fundamental behavioral skills you can teach your dog is how to sit. It’s generally an easy command for your dog to master – it becomes one skill in a series of many that dogs can learn in an effort to become a well-rounded dog. 

Although it is a more basic skill, teaching a dog to sit comes with many advantages that sometimes get overlooked by the simplicity of the lesson.  

When a dog masters the sit command, he or she is ready to learn other sit tricks like sit pretty which can be pretty fun to show off!

Keep reading to master the 10 steps to teaching sit pretty

10 Steps to Sit Pretty

If you and your dog have established a healthy training groove, then it might be a great time to teach your dog the trick of sitting pretty

When a dog “sits pretty,” he or she is standing on his/her hind legs with his/her front paws hanging in the air like they are begging. How fun!

So, to teach your dog this trick, follow these simple steps in your next training session:

1 - Get some of your dog’s food in your hand. 

2 - Command your dog to the sit position.

3 - When your dog follows your verbal command, put some of their food right to their nose. Slowly lift up your hand. As this happens, your dog should start to rise to reach the treat. Make sure you lift your hand high enough so that your dog needs to reach quite high to meet it.

4 - As soon as their front paws get off the ground, reward them with a nibble of their food. Add in even more positive reinforcement by verbally praising them, too!

5 - Repeat steps 2-4, but each time, instead of putting the treat right on their nose, lift your treat hand higher and higher so your dog has to rise even more. Make sure the dog is actually getting higher before giving them the reward. This will ensure that the dog is making the proper association between going higher and getting a treat. 

6 - Keep doing this until your dog gets to the sit pretty position. 

7 - After your dog has practiced this repeatedly, you can begin to fade out the treat lure, and instead, use an empty hand that serves as the signal hand. 

8 - When the dog sits pretty with the signal hand, verbally praise the dog or give some belly rubs to keep up with rewards. 

9 - Finally, add in the verbal cue of “sit pretty” before your hand signal. 

10 - Keep practicing with this pattern. Soon, your dog will learn how to sit pretty with just your verbal cue!

Conclusion - How to Teach a Dog Sitting Tricks

Once your dog masters the sit command, he or she becomes open to a huge world of behavior training and learning how to do tricks. This is a great way for you and your dog to establish a healthy relationship! 

With any training routine, there must be consistency and follow-through with your response to praising a met command or addressing a failed command. Both are needed to set your dog up in the best possible way to learn the specific behavior! 

At Minnesota Canine Consulting, we are here to support your training needs – if your dog isn’t seeming to catch on, contact us at 651-505-3585 to tap into our professional dog trainer expertise!


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