How to Train a Golden Retriever Puppy to Sit?

Pet Training


January 29, 2023

Any dog is served best by having training introduced at the puppy stage. This is the stage when dogs are most open to training methods, having no previously instilled bad habits. For golden retrievers, in particular, introducing “sit” into the repertoire is important.

The good news is that it is quite easy to train your golden to follow your commands. Use this guide with your golden retriever puppy, and before long, it will be attentive to this kind of command.

Why Is “Sit” So Important?

Before you can learn how to train a golden retriever puppy to sit, it helps to know why this command is so important in the first place. For starters, it is a great way to build confidence, not only for the puppy but for you as well.

Introducing the “sit” command can also help to stop potential behavioral problems as they arise. Golden retrievers can be quite excitable, jumping on guests when they visit your home. With the “sit” command, you can keep them from doing so.

Teaching them to “sit” also allows you to improve their focus, particularly with impulse control. Given their high energy levels, sometimes you need to get them to sit in one place for a minute.

Teaching Your Puppy to Sit

Now, we move on to how to train a golden retriever puppy to sit. The process is a few simple steps and can be implemented the moment you bring them home. Keep in mind that not everything will come together in a single training session, so you need to have patience.


Just like toddlers, puppies have very short attention spans. They get distracted really easily, which means that you need to make training not only short but fun. There are a few basic steps to keep them set up for a successful training endeavor.

Make sure that you take them for a walk before training. This will keep their energy levels manageable, allowing you to get the most out of their attention. Don’t totally wear them out, however, or they may not be interested in what you have to say.

Train in a place that has few distractions. Puppies have short attention spans, and things that get their attention are taking it away from your commands. Keeping the lessons short is a good idea, too. Before long, things can get quite frustrating.

Another benefit of implementing short training sessions is that you can keep them wanting to learn more. If you try to hammer home everything at once, they are more than likely going to lose interest rather than retain the information.

Make Them Sit

The best way to get your golden puppy to sit down is to trick them.  Hold a treat out in front of you, a little higher than their head. As they move towards it, hold it up higher and back behind them while keeping parallel to the ground.

They should try to follow the treat with their nose, eventually getting them into a sitting position. It might take a few tries to get them into the proper position, but the next part of the equation is definitely important.

When their butt hits the floor, you will have to do a couple of things. Using a click or a verbal command, use positive reinforcement. Tell them they’ve done a good job and give them a treat. You will need lots of treats to ensure that they remain interested in the training and understand that they are doing a good job.

Add the Command

Now that you have them down into the sitting position on a regular basis, it is time to implement the command. There is a reason why you want to hold off on the command until after they have mastered sitting regularly.

If they struggle with sitting and you are implementing the command, they might not put two and two together. You want them to know that the command goes hand-in-hand with sitting. By being patient, you get them used to sitting down and can then practice using the word so that they sit when they hear the command.

As with the former step, make sure that you have plenty of treats available to add positive reinforcement to the mix.

Implement Hand Signals

Puppies are quite visual. Adding a hand signal can be a great way to not only help them to learn but to be better at obeying. Using an open palm, lifting it up and mimicking a face palm can be a great visual tool.

It really doesn’t matter what the signal is, just make sure that you are consistent with it, or it can become confusing. To add that signal, hold the treat in front of their face and do the hand signal with the treat in your hand.


The process of teaching your golden retriever puppy to sit doesn’t have to be complicated. It takes a little bit of patience and a lot of consistency. Before long, your puppy will feel confident in performing the command.

“Sit” is the basis of training going forward. When your golden knows that command, they will be more likely to listen to other commands that you instill. And before long, you will have a well-trained golden retriever.