How to Teach a Dog to Sit and Stay? (the most useful instructions)

It’s time, isn’t it? To train your dog on your own terms and get effective results. Well, the first thing you need is to know how to teach a dog to sit and stay. The instructions are simple and easy. So it doesn’t come as a shock to you that they actually work.

If you know me, you know that’s not all I’m going to do. I’ll be imparting some excellent dog training tips to get you through this process. Short and sweet – just the way you like it.

Before We Begin

It’s important you start on the right note. This means making sure the following criterion is met.

1. Always train indoors

Where your training is as important as how you’re training. This means giving your dog complete attention and training in a quiet environment. Zero distraction is key. And you don’t want your dog to look at people passing by or traffic noises or neighbor dogs while training. 

A good idea is to train indoors because your dog is already comfortable. Make sure everyone in your home is quiet. Your dog must focus only on you and vice versa. Anything out of the ordinary or yelling may ruin the entire training process.

2. Don’t rush

You may think your dog is smarter than other dogs. But regardless, dogs, in general, have a shorter attention span. So baby steps at a time! 

If you feel you’re tiring your dog, take a break for a few hours. Then start again. Divided attention is not the way to teach your dog anything. You need her full attention to retaining all those commands and gestures.

Train a Dog to Sit and Stay

If you do this right, you’re halfway to teaching a dog how to sit and stay.

1. Get a treat and a clicker

Dog experts have designed a special clicker for training. You press the clicker and reward your dog a treat for good behavior. This helps the dog associate the sound of the clicker to a pleasurable act. This encourages better habits and a more effective training session. 

Choose treats that are light and really tiny in size. If you’re training an obese or sensitive dog, you can use boiled veggies instead. Dogs love boiled carrots, chicken, beans, or apple as treats. Avoid onions, chocolate, raisins, and grapes as they are harmful to dogs.

2. Your dog should look at you

This is a part of teaching your dog how to sit. She should have her eyes on you. That’s why training in a quiet and indoor environment is so important. You capture your dog’s full attention. This also extends to the fact that you can manage your dog in stressful situations.

Stand 1-2 steps away from your dog facing her. Make sure you stand up straight with your hands behind your back. This way, your dog can see you clearly and you’ll be able to read her mood and manage her.

3. Make sure she “noses” the treat

This is my unique way of saying your dog should know you’ve got the treat in your hand. You can extend that hand in front of you. Allow your dog to sniff the treat or “nose” it. But don’t let her eat it or nib at it. Just make sure she knows it’s there. 

If your dog is like any other dog, she’ll want that treat right away! That’s your cue to follow through with the next step.

4. Move your hand behind her head

The hand that has the treat – move it slowly behind your dog’s head. Grip the treat tightly and slide your hand from the dog’s nose right behind her ears. You can do this in as many directions as you want. 

– From the tip of her nose to the front of her head. 

– From the corner of her eyes right behind her head. So she can see the movement of your hand.

Don’t place the treat right on top of her head. This will compel her to jump up to reach or try to reach the treat. Just keep it right behind her skull, on the center of her neck. 

Soon enough, your dog will sit if you keep repeating this movement. Make sure the treat is kept low enough on the neck. But not so low that the dog goes all the way down rather than sits. 

5. Pair the practice with command

After the first “sit” stance, repeat this process a few more times. Move your hand to get your dog to sit. As soon as she does sit, press the clicker and give her a treat but without the other hand. Instead of saying “good boy” when she does, say “sit.”

As soon as your dog’s butt hits the ground, say “sit.” You can phase out the clicker and stick to saying the word “sit” instead. It works if you do it right and again and again. 

Instead of the clicker, you can praise your dog with the reward. Compliment her in calm and happy tones and pat her head. 

6. Pair the palm gesture with command

The hard part is officially over. Your dog knows how to sit on your command, that’s great. Staying in that position is much easier to teach. 

Show your dog your palm by extending it slightly toward her face while she’s in the “sit” position. Say the command “stay” once in a stern but soft voice. 

In case she gets up, confused to come and lick to “nose” your palm. Take a step back and say “nu-ha” in disagreement. Make that tone a bit sharp and loud so your dog knows she did the wrong thing. Dogs are quite intuitive so they pick up on the change of tone or body language. 

Do this a few times with the palm gesture and command until she gets it right. And she will. When she does, give her a treat calmly and praise her for the good girl she is! 

Keep moving away from her or showing her your back once she learns this command. It will only deepen the practice and she’ll learn to “stay” even if she’s lying down or not in sight.


It’s simple to get your dog to listen to your commands and be happy while doing so. These steps will let you know what you have to do to get your dog to sit and stay. 

I don’t know if you’ve already noticed. But teaching your dog to sit and stay are actually two commands. The first is to teach your dog to sit. And the second is to teach your dog to stay.

I’m going to walk you through each basic command step-by-step. By now, you will have become a whole new person to your dog.

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