Skip to main content

How to teach a dog to stand on cue, a step-by-step guide

Teach your dog to stand as a useful and fun trick to add to their repertoire

The most important commands for your dog will likely be sit, stay, and off, but teaching your dog to "stand" can be equally helpful (and fun). You might use this cue when it’s time for your pup to stand still for grooming or as part of your normal obedience routine. No matter what you decide to do with it, stand is a great command for training beginners, so why not add it to your pet's repertoire? Here’s how to teach a dog to stand.




40 minutes

What You Need

  • Low-calorie dog treats

  • Quiet area to practice

  • Training clicker

A Jack Russell terrier wearing a harness walks alongside a person and looks up at them
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to train your dog to sit

For your dog to figure out their stand, they’ll have to start, well, not standing. Sitting will be the easiest transition, so it might be helpful to start by teaching your pup to sit on command. This is how to get your pet to master this basic trick.

Step 1: Find a good training space and time.

Don't work with your dog too late at night or just after a long walk when they're exhausted. Settle on a distraction-free location, perhaps in the afternoon or evening after their dinner.

Step 2: Grab a treat.

Using a treat will be the easiest method for getting your dog to sit without realizing they're even learning. Since you'll be doling these out with abandon, find a low-calorie option.

Step 3: Use the food to guide your dog.

Begin by holding the treat in front of your fur baby’s nose, then move it up and back — above their head. As they look up, they’ll tilt their head back and naturally sit to keep balance.

Step 4: Give praise.

When they do finally sit — awesome! Praise and reward your pup immediately so they know what they're doing right. If you've decided to go the click route, you'll use the sound to mark success and then give them a treat after.

A mixed breed husky and shepherd dog stands next to a person on a path in the woods
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to take them from the sit to a stand

Now that they have the basics down, it's time to up the game. Once your pup has mastered sit, you can add a challenge by rewarding them for standing.

Step 1: Break out the snacks again.

In the same way you taught the first skill, use a treat to entice your dog to sit. Then bring the treat toward you so they’ll have to stand to move toward it. When they do, praise and reward them!

Step 2: Keep up the positive reinforcement.

Take some time to repeat this process until your pooch gets the hang of things. Reward as immediately as possible to make things clear for your pup. And be patient — they’ll get it!

Step 3: Add a verbal command.

It’ll take some practice before they master this new skill, but once they do, you can add in a verbal command. After another week or so, try the command without the treat — but don’t forget to indulge them after they complete the desired behavior!

Step 4: Add in hand gestures.

Many pet parents like to take advantage of more than one of their dog’s superior senses, and gestures are a way to do that. You can choose nearly any gesture you can think of as long as you stay consistent and use the action at the same time as your verbal cue.

Make sure to introduce your gesture only after your pup has mastered the command and the verbal cue, or you might risk confusion!

Step 5: Practice, practice, practice.

When all is said and done, practice makes perfect. Training is often a trial-and-error experience, but in the end, you and your furry friend will be all the closer for it. Who said training can’t be fun (and delicious)?

Many pups who master the stand command will do well to learn stay next. These two commands work together seamlessly to keep your pup safe wherever you are — as long as they can listen, of course. This is why it’s important to take your time when training your dog, even if you’re frustrated or feeling behind. Besides, neither one of you will feel good if you’re in a funk, so don’t forget to take breaks, too!

Editors' Recommendations

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
How long does a dog stay in heat? Here’s how you’ll know her cycle is over
What to know about your pup's menstrual cycle and how long each phase can be
A Yorkshire terrier poodle mix dog wears a diaper and sleeps in a fluffy bed

Noticing when a dog enters heat can be rather easy: Even just a spot of bloody discharge will tell you what you need to know. Of course, it can help to know when your dog is estimated to reach puberty, too!

Read more
Love funny dog videos? This pup jumped in the dryer to get at that nice, warm sleeping spot
Some dogs just can't get enough of the laundry. Here's why.
Dog stares at a basket of laundry

We all know the perfect feeling of putting on clothes straight out of the dryer especially on a cold winter day. This little pup decided that wasn't good enough and took matters into his own paws. Instead of waiting for his blanket to be laid out for him, he climbed right into the dryer itself — maximum warmth!

This funny dog video posted by mandypierce32 opens with a pooch walking around and looking for his friend. The text tells us "When you forget to lay a blanket out for the old man so he finds his own" and then proves its point. We watch as the camera shows a long tail sticking out of the dryer and then quite a large canine who has somehow managed to stuff himself into it. When his owner finally finds him, he readjusts his position and gets fully comfy in his new sleeping spot.

Read more
How long can an old dog live with a heart murmur?
Does your old dog have a heart murmur? This guide will help you and your pet
Man in a plaid shirt hugging his dog

Learning that your senior dog has a heart condition can feel devastating. It forces you to contemplate the idea that your best friend won’t be around forever. But while the diagnosis of a heart murmur can be scary, there is no reason to jump to the worst-case scenario. Murmurs range in severity; while some are serious, others are less so. Before you start frantically Googling “old dog heart murmur life expectancy,” keep reading to learn more about the different types of heart murmurs, the prognosis, and how you can help your pup live a long and content life.

What is a heart murmur?
Like us, dogs’ hearts pump blood throughout their bodies, creating a steady beat that can be heard through a stethoscope. If there is a disturbance in the blood flow, it makes a noise distinct from a regular heartbeat called a murmur. There are a few different ways vets classify heart murmurs: type, grade, and configuration.

Read more