Remember: You are only teaching the movement. You are not asking your dog to stay yet. In other words, no verbal command is given yet. A good rule of thumb is to wait until your dog anticipates what you are asking with the hand signal, then add the verbal.

SIT: Your dog’s tush should be on the ground with no wiggling, hesitation, or jumping.

The “sit” command is easy to teach. Where trainer once pushed and shoved a dog into a sitting position, we now use food or toys to motivate and lure our friend into a sit. In other words, we let the dog do all the work and it’s humane and fun!


Work inside unless advised otherwise. Hold a treat in your hand – between your thumb & forefinger. Your palm and finger should be facing up. Call your dog’s name. Show the treat to your dog. Once he is focused on it, pass the treat over your dog’s head & between his ears. As his head follows the food, his balance should be off and gravity will cause his tush to be on the ground. As soon as he sits give him the goodie.

You are only giving your dog the hand signal @ this point. You are not yet giving him the verbal command “sit”. So if he doesn’t “sit” when you are doing the above exercise, don’t worry, he doesn’t know he’s sitting yet. Just start over again.

Repeat this step over and over again until your dog is anticipating the exercise. Once this occurs, you may add the verbal command: “Buddy, sit”. Follow the same steps with your hand signal, lure and reward.

Questions to ask yourself:

– Did he jump? If the answer is yes, you were holding the treat too high.
– Did he back up? Then you moved your hand too quickly.
– Did he walk forward? Then you pulled your hand away.
– Was my dog’s nose like a magnet to the treat?


Keep the treat glued to your dog’s nose. If you keep the treat glued to your dog’s nose, you will be able control your dog’s head which in turn moves your dog’s body. The latter is the essence of training.