Teach Your Dog to Sit, Stay, and Come with These Easy Steps

Dog Training Fundamentals

Training your dog to follow basic obedience cues like sit, stay, and come is essential for developing a well-behaved companion. Not only does it make living with your dog more pleasant, but obedience training helps boost your dog’s focus, confidence, and bond with you.

With positive reinforcement techniques and a little patience, you can teach even an overactive puppy these fundamental commands within a few weeks. Follow this simple step-by-step guide to get your dog to reliably sit, stay, and come when called.

Why Teach Your Dog to Sit, Stay, and Come?

Teaching your dog basic obedience cues like sit, stay, and come provides immense value for both you and your canine companion. Let’s dive deeper into the many benefits these three simple behaviors can offer:

Improved Overall Behavior

A dog that has a reliable sit on cue is much easier to manage and live with. Asking your dog to sit helps snap them out of any hyper or unruly behavior and calms them down by redirecting their energy into focusing on you.

Dogs that jump up on people, counter surf, or get overexcited can quickly be brought under control with a calm “sit” command. Sitting also prevents pulling on the leash while out for walks. Owners of dogs that will promptly sit find them significantly easier to handle and better behaved in general.

Increased Safety

One of the most valuable behaviors you can teach your dog is a rock-solid recall or “come” command. Having a way to immediately call your dog back to you can prevent dangerous or frightening situations.

For example, if your dog slips out the door and starts running into the road, a reliable “come” may save them from getting hit by a car. Or if you’re hiking off-leash and your dog starts running up ahead towards a wild animal or over the edge of a cliff, you can instantly call them back to safety at your side.

A recall cue may also be lifesaving if your dog ever falls into a body of water and you need them to swim back. Simply put, a bombproof “come” cue significantly increases your dog’s safety in countless situations.

More Freedom

Once you’ve put in the repetitions required for your dog to solidly come on cue, you can grant them more off-leash freedom knowing you can get them back under control if needed.

You can let your dog explore and play while hiking, swimming, or at the dog park without constantly worrying about them disappearing or getting into something dangerous, because you can reliably recall them when necessary. A trained recall allows you to relax and let your dog enjoy some freedom while maintaining control.

Enhanced Bond and Trust

Simply going through the process of training cues like sit, stay, and come together forges a stronger bond between you and your dog built on communication, respect and trust. It establishes you clearly as the leader and teacher.

Obedience training requires patience, consistency and positive reinforcement. Your dog gains confidence by learning new skills and looks to you for guidance. This sets up a mutually rewarding dynamic that benefits your relationship for years to come.

So clearly mastering fundamental obedience cues like sit, stay, and come offers immense value for both pet and owner. The benefits are far-reaching – from better overall behavior to potentially lifesaving off-leash control. That’s why these commands should be on top of every dog parent’s training to-do list.

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How to Teach Your Dog to Sit

Teaching your dog to sit is usually the first cue most people start with. Follow these tips for success:

Use Treats

Begin by getting some tasty, soft dog treats to use as rewards during training sessions. Cut them up into small bite-sized pieces. High-value treats create positive associations and motivate your dog to perform.

See also  Come When Called: Training a Reliable Recall for Dogs

Capture the Behavior

Wait for your dog to sit on their own, then immediately say “sit!” and give a treat. Repeat this capture-reward cycle until your dog begins to associate the cue with the action.

Add the Cue

Now say “sit” right before your dog is about to sit, so they start connecting the word with the behavior. Reward with treats each time.

Practice Daily

Spend 5-10 minutes per day practicing the sit cue. Use a clear hand signal, such as holding your palm up in front of your dog’s face. Say “sit!” then move your hand up slightly until their bottom touches the ground. Reward every time.

Be patient and keep sessions upbeat with lots of praise. With regular practice, your dog will soon sit on just a verbal cue.

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How to Teach Your Dog to Stay

Once your dog reliably sits on command, it’s time to train them to remain in place until you release them. Here’s how:

Start Small

Begin by asking your dog to sit. Take one small step back, then immediately return and reward them for staying put.

Gradually take more steps back each time before returning to your dog’s side. Build up the duration.

Use a Release Cue

So your dog knows when it’s ok to move, use a release word like “break!” or “free!” Always reward your dog after holding the stay and then releasing it.

Increase Distance

When your dog can hold a stay for 30 seconds with you standing across the room, start practicing outside with more distractions. Vary the length of time for the stay.

Avoid Repeating Cues

If your dog gets up, don’t say “stay” repeatedly. Just lead them back into position and try again. This prevents them from learning they can ignore you.

With frequent short training sessions, your dog will learn that staying put earns rewards. Make sure to practice in different locations.

How to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called

How to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called

A reliable recall, or coming when called, is one of the most important and potentially lifesaving cues you can teach your dog. Here are tips for success:

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Use a Positive Tone

Always use an upbeat, encouraging tone when calling your dog to come, no matter what the context. You want them to associate coming with positivity.

Reward Every Time

In the early stages of training, reward your dog with treats every time they come to you. This reinforces the behavior quickly in their mind.

Increase Distance

Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog before calling them to come. Start in a distraction-free environment first.

Use a Long Leash

During initial training, put a long leash on your dog to prevent them from wandering off. Reel them in gently if needed while calling “come!”

Practice Everywhere

Once your dog reliably comes when called indoors, start practicing outside in more distracting environments. Always reward them for returning to you.

With time and consistency, your dog will learn to enthusiastically come no matter how interesting the distraction.

Training Tips for Success

Follow these important training guidelines to get the best results in teaching your dog to sit, stay, and come:

  • Keep sessions short – 5 minutes of focused training several times a day is more effective than one long session. End on a positive note with lots of praise.
  • Use rewards correctly – Properly timed rewards are crucial. Give treats immediately after your dog successfully executes the cue.
  • Be consistent – Use the same cue words (“sit”, “stay”, and “come”) and hand signals every time. All family members should follow this.
  • Remain patient and upbeat – Some dogs learn faster than others. Keep training sessions relaxed and fun rather than frustrated. Progress will come.
  • Train individually – Even friendly dogs are distracted when other dogs are around. Train one-on-one initially for best focus.
  • Practice every day – Frequent short sessions will reinforce the behaviors better than occasional long sessions. Training should become part of your daily routine.

With positive reinforcement methods and commitment to daily practice, you can teach your dog good manners and essential cues like sit, stay and come. The effort will pay off with years of enjoyment with your well-trained canine companion.


Teaching your dog to reliably respond to basic obedience cues like sit, stay, and come provides immense value for both pet and owner. With positive reinforcement training techniques and consistency, you can develop a well-behaved companion and strengthen your mutual bond.

Focus on making daily training sessions relaxed and rewarding. Your hard work will pay off with a dog who is a pleasure to live and interact with. Learn here more animal and pet training tips.