“Sit” – Communicating with your dog

“Sit” - A Good Way to Communicate with your Dog

Learning commands is part of the socialization of your pet and impacts their behaviour in the long run. The command “sit” is used in everyday life and can allow the owner to keep certain situations under control. The command “sit” is used in everyday life and can allow the owner to keep certain situations under control.

How do I teach my dog to “sit”?

There are different methods of teaching a dog to sit when asked:

  1. Say the word “sit” to the dog as the dog’s rear end touches the floor and give a treat. You can then move a few steps away (so the dog gets up) and wait for the dog to sit again. When you see that the dog will sit again, say “sit” and give a reward. Practice this in various places.
  2. Hold a treat in your hand and place it near the dog’s nose, then move your hand behind them. The dog will follow the treat throwing them a bit off balance and making them sit. Simply say “sit” and give the treat when the rear end touches the floor.

While your dog is learning this command, it is important to only say “sit” when they actually sit. Otherwise it is impossible for them to learn what the word means. Remember that “sit” means nothing to a dog. If you repeat the word when your dog is jumping all over the place they will not learn that “sit” means putting their rear end on the floor!

What can go wrong along the way

Make sure to have treats on you at all times to ensure the dog doesn’t only learn to sit when they hear you open a bag of treats. When the dog learns a new behaviour, give a treat every time. Once the behaviour is consistent, give rewards from time to time to maintain the desire to produce the behaviour. Short training sessions (just a few minutes) will keep the dog’s interest. It will then become a game that finishes on a happy note. This feeds the animal’s interest to make sure that next time will be as much fun.

Your dog already knows what “sit” means?

That is good news! You can start using the command to improve your communication with your dog. You can ask them to sit before any neutral or positive interaction. Used in such a way, this allows you to:

  • Make interactions predictable

Nothing happens unless they sit. So your dog doesn’t need to always be on guard and watch what’s going on. They will not be caught off guard because by asking the dog to sit you are letting them know that an interaction is about to take place.

  • Replace unwanted behaviours

If a dog wants attention they will learn that it is better to sit next to you than to jump on you. It is like being polite and saying please. It is easy to picture how this behaviour can help when guests arrive.

  • Have reliable communication: sit = safe

When you ask your dog to sit something good happens. They understand that sitting informs you that something is scary, but they don’t need to bark or panic.
A dog that acts out of fear doesn’t really learn that the object of fear is not scary when nothing bad actually happens. Instead, they assume they were right to bark and panic because it allowed them to survive.


As with any facet of training, teaching “sit” requires patience! Strengthening and enhancing communication with your pet promotes confidence, calmness, and the ability to get their attention when necessary. Don’t hesitate to communicate with the Passionimo veterinary team if you have any questions!

Have more questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact the Passionimo veterinary clinic near you.