Train your dog to stay sat

How long can your dog sit for? Building our canine companions sit duration.

29th January 2024

Train your dog to stay sat

For this Dog Training video, we’re focusing on teaching your dog to stay sat, after you’ve given the instruction to “sit”. Before embarking on this training, your pet will need to have strong ‘sit’ skills!

Also known as ‘sit duration training’, it’s vital for our canine companions to learn this skill and to stay sat when asked. While developing your dog’s ability to stay sat for as long as needed, it’s worth practising their new skill using different distances, distractions, and durations.

Among the many safety reasons for dogs to follow the request to sit, being able to keep them under control, and stay sitting, helps them to stay safe when:

  • Waiting to cross a road.
  • Avoiding toxic food or substances.
  • Preventing them from getting into dangerous situations.

However, for sit duration training to be effective, you’ll need to choose rewards that your pooch will love! For inspiration, why not visit our article about finding the right reward for your dog?

‘Staying sat’ training step-by-step

Once your dog has mastered ‘sit’, they’re ready to begin sit duration training.

Another impawtant part of the sit duration process is marker word training. In case you haven’t seen it yet, check out our marvellous marker word training video, to discover some top training tips!

Step 1 – As a great first ‘paw’ in your sit duration training journey, aim to keep your dog sitting for three seconds. In order to do this, you should say your dog’s name, ask them to sit, count to three, then mark and reward if they manage to stay sitting.

Step 2 – After your dog has successfully managed to stay sitting for three seconds, a few times, add a second to the duration you’re expecting them to stay sitting. So, you’ll end up following ‘Step 1’, but you’ll mark and reward after four seconds, instead.

Step 3 – Are you confident your pooch has what it takes to try sit duration training outside? Take your dog somewhere that’s full of distractions, like the local park, and, while keeping them on a lead, practise sit duration training there.

Remember: Each step needs to be repeated until your dog can hold ‘sit’ reliably for the duration (e.g. three seconds), before moving on!

Top tip: Keep your pooch’s reward hidden! Hiding their reward can help your dog focus on you. It can also motivate them to do as you ask if you forget to bring a treat in future.


What if they don’t...? Always try to remember that mistakes are part of the learning process. If you find your best friend struggles to stay sitting still sometimes, take the session back a step, by shortening the length of time you expect them to sit.

Try to end each training session on a good note, with lots of praise for your dog’s willingness to try their best. To learn more about the significance of praise during the training process, take a look at our positive training article.