Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WUAL is an auxiliary transmitter as we upgrade the main transmitter.
Alabama Shakespeare Festival Enter for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Dog Training - Sit - Stay

Eric Sonstroem [Flickr]

You can find a lot of dog training resources online.  Or look for a local trainer who will offer personalized help, or classes in your community where you can go with your canine buddy to learn in a group environment.  Helping your furry friend understand how to please you will benefit both of you!


January is National Train Your Dog Month – a good way to start the year for owners who want well-behaved companions by their side. But training involves more than learning tricks like rolling over or shaking “hands”. Communication with your furry friend can make it a better pet.

According to Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, there are several basic commands that every dog should know – two of those are “sit” and “stay”.

Begin teaching the “sit” command by holding a yummy treat close to your dog’s nose. Once your pet smells the treat, move your hand up so that its nose and head follow the treat, and its rear end lowers. When your dog is mostly in a sitting position, say “sit”, then give it the treat and pet it for being a good dog. Do that several times each day until your dog associates the word “sit” with the action of sitting.

Once your furry buddy has the “sit” command down, you can work on “stay”. After you say “sit” (and your pet sits), hold out your open palm in front of your dog and say “stay” while you step back a couple of paces; if your pet stays put, reward it with a treat and petting. Then try stepping back a little further before giving the next treat. This is more challenging for your dog, so it could take a little longer to do it exactly right.

Teaching your four-footed friend some simple commands builds the lines of communication between you, but “sit” and “stay” may help keep your pet safe in situations where you need to control your dog with only your voice. For example, it could enable you to stop your pet from running out in front of a car while chasing a ball.

After you and your dog master the basic commands, then you can teach your friend a few tricks to wow your family and friends – and your dog, like most of us, will thrive on the applause of the crowd.

Patience and consistency can pay great dividends when training a dog. The more positive interaction you have with your furry friend will help make life more enjoyable and fulfilling for both of you, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.