The First Command to Teach Your New Puppy: the "Sit"

Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting journey filled with love, fun, and, of course, a bit of challenge. One of the foundational steps in creating a harmonious relationship between you and your furry friend is training. The question then arises, what should be the first command you teach? While there are many opinions, starting with the “sit” command can set a positive precedent for future training sessions. Here’s why “sit” is a fantastic first command and how to teach it.

Why Start with “Sit”?

A Cornerstone of Obedience: “Sit” is a fundamental command that forms the cornerstone of canine obedience. It’s a building block for teaching more complex commands and behaviors.

Safety and Control: Teaching your puppy to sit on command can help manage excitable and potentially unsafe behaviors. It creates a simple way for you to gain your puppy’s attention and calm them down when needed.

Ease of Training: “Sit” is naturally a more comfortable position for dogs and can be one of the easiest commands to teach. It leverages the puppy’s instinctive behavior, making it a great starting point for introducing the concept of training.

Teaching Your Puppy to Sit

Step 1: Get Their Attention
– Ensure you have your puppy’s attention before you begin. Use their name and make sure they are focused on you.

Step 2: Use a Treat as a Lure
– Hold a treat close to your puppy’s nose, then slowly move your hand up and back over their head. As their head tilts back to follow the treat, their butt should naturally lower to the ground.
– If they don’t sit automatically, gently press down on their rear end while continuing to hold the treat above their nose.

Step 3: Associate the Command with the Action
– The moment your puppy begins to sit, clearly say the command “sit.” It’s crucial to time this correctly so they associate the command with the action.
– Once they’re in the sitting position, immediately give them the treat and offer lots of praise. Make it a joyful occasion to reinforce positive behavior.

Step 4: Practice and Patience
– Repeat this process several times in short, positive training sessions throughout the day.
– As your puppy begins to understand, start phasing out the treats and use verbal praise and physical affection as rewards.

Moving Forward

After your puppy has mastered the “sit” command, you can begin introducing additional commands like “stay,” “come,” and “down.” The “sit” command often serves as an entry point into more complex training sequences and can help in situations requiring immediate attention and control.


Teaching your puppy to sit is more than just a party trick; it’s a vital component of their training regimen that sets the stage for a well-behaved and responsive companion. It enhances your ability to communicate with your puppy, ensuring their safety and well-being. Start with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, and you’ll find that this simple command opens the door to a deeper, more understanding relationship with your pet.

Remember, every puppy is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Keep training sessions enjoyable and stress-free, and consider seeking professional guidance if you encounter any challenges. Here’s to the start of a beautiful training journey with your new puppy!

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