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Easy tricks to teach your dog: How to teach your dog to 'Sit Pretty'

Tricks are great for impressing family and friends. But that’s not all.

Trick training with your dog can help improve your dog’s strength and stamina, as well as build on their ability to balance, concentrate and feel confident.

Just the process of teaching a new trick offers a great opportunity for quality one-to-one time with your dog and the chance to channel all that boundless energy into something positive.

With that in mind, we love to share step-by-step guides to mastering new tricks here on the Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear Training Spotlight blog.

To help, we team up with Jacqui Payne, trick expert at amazing dog display team Paws For Thought (who we are proud to sponsor) and devoted owner to rescue pups Dillis and Basil.

Previously, she’s shared her top tips for trick training, which went down a storm. This week she’s sharing her easy-to-follow guide on teaching your dog to ‘sit pretty’. Ready to get stuck in?


Grab a handful of treats, your clicker and get your dog to sit comfortably in front of you. You need to be close, but be sure to give your dog enough room to do the trick.


Hold a treat to your dog’s nose and move your hand upwards. This will lead the dog to naturally tilt his head towards the treat. The front paws should lift at this point, even for just a few seconds. As soon as this happens, click and reward.


Repeat the exercise, but each time aim to increase the length of time the paws are off the floor – even if only for a second.


If you feel your dog is making good progress, it’s time to add in a simple hand signal and a verbal cue.


Practice, practice, practice until your dog is sitting pretty like a pro!


Bonus trick training tips:

  • Don’t worry if, to begin with, your dog quickly lands both feet back on the floor. Give it some time and it will come.
  • Only practice this trick in short sessions, don’t push your dog if they aren’t comfortable and, as always, be patient.
  • Smaller dogs generally find this trick easier than larger ones – but it’s worth sticking at it if you have a bigger dog too.
  • If you find your dog goes up on its hind legs, you could be lifting your hand with the treat in too high or expecting him to lift his front paws higher than he is comfortable with to begin with.

YOUR SECRET WEAPON: Playing a game with an enticing toy is the perfect trick training reward for your dog – and can motivate them to succeed. We’ve picked out one of our favourite toys for this type of training which you can use as your secret weapon for success. 

Discover the secret weapon to trick training success here.

What’s your top tip for trick training? We love hearing from you, so let us know in the comments!



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