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How to teach your dog to sit pretty – Everything You Need to Know

Sit Pretty is a dog trick sometimes known as ‘beg’. The dog starts at a ‘sit’ position and then raises her front legs, so she is sitting only on her hind legs with front feet legs curled and held up in front of her.

The ‘sit pretty’ command is generally given before another activity such as petting, expressing love, meeting new people, and getting treats or meals. This command is intended to demonstrate tolerance and good etiquette. For example, while your dog may be excited to receive a nice petting from new faces, some people will be reluctant to pet an unruly dog. The ‘sit pretty’ order instructs your dog to sit in a particular location, with a specific expression, and in a relaxed manner.  

Some dog owners use the commands “sit pretty” and “beg” interchangeably. In contrast, others use the “beg” command as a tactic to win rewards and the “sit pretty” command to teach your dog proper manners before receiving attention or food. 

Dog sits pretty!

How Long Will It Take to Teach a Dog to Sit Pretty? 

It is essential to maintain consistency while teaching your dog to sit pretty. Some dogs might take a shorter time to learn the technique, and some may take longer. It depends upon how the training sessions have been. A dog will never grasp any trick if he is punished or yelled. Therefore, it is essential to begin training in a fresh and calm mood and end every session positively. 

Benefits Of ‘Sit Pretty’ Command   

English Bulldog Sits Pretty!

Sit pretty is not only a fun trick, but it also has many advantages that make it a must-learn. Teaching your dog to ‘sit pretty’ improves his posture and physical fitness. It also strengthens your dog’s muscular endurance. Activities such as Canine Freestyle, Frisbee, and Agility training require such strength in your dog (particularly their necks). It’s also a good idea to teach this trick if you play fetch with your dog since dogs can get injured playing fetch, particularly if they’re too excited. Consult a dog trainer to see if this trick is appropriate for your dog for any prior injuries.  

Most dogs don’t have the strength to balance on their hind legs comfortably without assistance. In addition, some dogs can take anywhere from two weeks to over a month to develop muscular strength and endurance to perform this trick comfortably. So, it is vital to be patient. To develop the strength in your dog, practice regularly with brief sessions of training ‘Sit Pretty’ until your dog has the balance and power to maintain the pose.  

The ‘Sit Pretty’ trick can also improve the relationship between the master/handler/pet owner and the dog.    

What are The Tools Required to Teach a Dog to Sit Pretty?

Tools required to teach a dog to sit pretty are:

High-Value Dog Treats
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Steps To Teach a Dog to Sit Pretty

You’ll need a few things before starting to show your dog how to sit politely.  First, ensure to fill your treat bag with a variety of delectable treats. Second, you should use it as a supportive feature; if not, a verbal marker like “yeah!” or “nice dog!” would suffice.  

Find a calm, distraction-free space in your house where they can concentrate on the mystery you’re sure to offer them.


  • Lift Reward: Command your dog to sit opposite to you. Then, immediately in front of their nose, place a treat. Please allow them to smell it but not eat it. Raise the hand gently and slightly downwards until their paw is raised from the surface. Using your encouraging marker, offer your dog the reward as soon as it happens. Some dogs, particularly ones used to lure, can lift both paws off the floor right away, which is good. Other dogs can be unwilling to move both feet right away, making it easier to shape the action by encouraging raising one paw first.
  • Double Paw Lift Reward: If your dog has worked out that they ought to raise a leg off the turf, you’ll urge them to go a step further by making them lift both front paws. Start by letting your dog sit in the same position as before, then gently lift the reward from their nose. Raise the treat a bit higher after they’ve lifted their first paw off the ground, so they’ll have to stretch their neck and take their second paw off the floor to get it. Identify, treat, and praise the dog when it raises the second paw off the turf. If you wait much longer at this stage, your dog will most likely get out or leap for the reward.
  • Behavior Shape: You’re now about to request a more dramatic response. You’ve been thanking your dog every time they raise their front paws to this point. Now ask them to lift their feet a little higher. Start by luring your dog up until both the paws are off the ground, as you did before. Try to draw the dog upwards until their weight shifts down slightly and their feet rise higher off the ground. Use the marker and try again if they slip back down or hop out of the seat before praising them. When you attract and use the treat, make sure their nose is right up to it. You can encourage the dog to keep the spot for longer until they have successfully shifted back and raised their paws higher. This time, when you lift the treat, keep it for about a second at the maximum lure level before praising your puppy. If your dog has difficulty with this, begin with a shorter period and eventually raise it.
  • Add a Name: When your dog executes the whole action with a lure, it’s time to give it a name. This action is usually referred to as “sit pretty,” but it can also be referred to as “beg,” “paws in the air,” or some other novel signal. Set up your dog in a sitting position in front of you, just as you did before. But this time, say your cue before you start luring. And, just as earlier, lure them into line. In the end, stop at the top and make your dog keep the spot for a second before rewarding them. Repeat this process a couple of times to help your dog see the connection between the sit pretty signal.
  • Reduction of Luring: You’ll finally be able to offer your dog a cue and a fast hand gesture and make him execute the whole action without the use of a lure. To get there, you’ll need to decrease your dog’s dependence on the lure. The only way to accomplish this is to use your hand less and less with each repetition, forcing your dog to fill in the gaps out of their own. Start with your dog in a sitting position, then command the ‘sit pretty’ signal and lift your fist with the reward fast. You’ll also lift it as much higher as before, but even quicker this time, so your dog can’t directly follow it. Keep your hand in position for a second, and then give them a treat. Consider beginning with your lure a couple of inches over their head instead of directly over their nose until your dog can quickly sit up with a quick hand signal. Give your indication and rapidly lift your hand towards where you usually end. Repeat this procedure. Praise your dog with treats for each performance before you can raise your hand over your dog’s head, offer your signal, and make them jump into place without moving your hand. If they’ve mastered that, repeat the process without having a treat in your pocket.

Pro Tips:

  • Do not extend the training session to more than 15 minutes. 
  • Do not end the training session with failed attempts. End it with some trick your dog has mastered already. 

The Bottom Line 

As pointed out before, the “sit pretty” trick has many benefits. It is suitable for the overall health of the dog and is also charming and friendly. If you need to improve your relationship with your dog, then go for this trick. It will work like magic. Do not forget to consult a vet before training your dog with this posture. Give your dog a healthy and happy life.

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