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…
4 effective ways to house-train your stubborn little Chihuahua
Everything you need to know to make a housebroken Chihuahua puppy
Cute Chihuahua standing in grass.

The joys of having a new dog can come with many challenges, but there's even more to learn when you bring home a puppy. Learning how to house-train a puppy isn't always simple, and some breeds are easier to train than others.

Even though Chihuahuas are as tiny and as cute as can be, they are known for being difficult to potty train just like Bichon Frises. The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes Chihuahuas as “tiny dogs with huge personalities,” and this often includes a stubborn streak. As you can imagine, this can complicate house-training efforts.

Read more
Science says dogs cry tears of happiness when reunited with their humans
New study shows dogs cry happy tears when reunited with pet parents
A man hugs a Golden Retriever, facing away from the camera

There are so many ways to tell whether a dog is happy. We all know to look for a wagging tail, but there are countless clues hidden in a dog's body language to let you know how they feel. But for the first time ever, Japanese researchers have confirmed that dogs show emotion in another way: by crying.
While the image of a crying dog can be enough to bring a person to tears themselves, empathetic people can rest assured--there are no sad dogs here. In fact, scientists recently discovered that dogs cry happy tears when reunited with their pet parents. Now that is a sign of true love!

Scientists wanted to explore whether tear reactions are similar in dogs and people
Azabu University professor Takefumi Kikusui was first inspired to discover the role of tear production in dogs while watching one of his Standard Poodles nursing her puppies. He noticed that she appeared to tear up while nursing, and the professor hypothesized that dogs can experience happy tears, too. After a bit of research, this pet parent and the professor found zero studies focusing on emotional tear production in animals.

Read more
Video: Dog befriends bike thief (or why golden retrievers shouldn’t be guard dogs)
This is all the proof we need that golden retrievers make bad guard dogs
A sweet golden retriever puppy lies on the grass

The golden retrievers are at it again. Well known for being playful and goofy, these beasties lack one dog-defining characteristic: a healthy dose of stranger danger. In the mind of a golden, there's no such thing — only a new friend waiting to happen. This viral video takes that flaw to its natural conclusion when a beautiful goldie proudly invites a bike thief into his garage.

The video is a snippet from a broadcast and is entitled "Guard dog or accomplice?" on TikTok. The newscasters explain that a $1,000 e-bike was stolen out of a garage, and we all get to witness the scene. A sweet pup goes right up to the presumed thief and demands pets and belly rubs. The bike thief happily obliges and looks a little confused, perhaps unsure if he should stick to his original plan after meeting such a delightful pooch.

Read more