How to teach a dog to stand

Watch our video and read our step by step guide on how to teaching your dog to stand.

Teaching a dog how to stand still with all four paws on the ground is useful for grooming and veterinary checks.

Here's a step by step guide on teaching your dog to stand.

Step One

Start by asking your dog to sit or lie down. Check our guides on teaching your dog to sit and lie down.

Step Two

Have a smelly treat in your hand and let your dog sniff it. As your dog is sniffing the treat, slowly draw the treat horizontally away from them, keeping the treat by their nose until they stand up. Praise and reward your dog as soon as they stand.

Step Three

Repeat step two until your dog is readily going into a stand when lured with the treat.

Step Four

Once your dog is standing reliably when lured with the treat, it’s time to introduce a hand signal and voice cue. Using a treat to lure, move your palm away from your dog’s nose 15-30cm and say “stand”. Then reward with treats from your other hand.

Step Five

Now progress to giving your dog the hand signal with your palm moving away from your dog’s nose without a treat in your hand, say the voice cue “stand” and reward once your dog is in the position.

They may just look at your hand without standing, try again . If this still happens, tuck a treat between your palm and your thumb and repeat the hand signal and voice cue. Repeat three times in succession and on the fourth repetition, have the same hand movement but with no treat and you should find that your dog stands.

Step Six

To get your dog to stand on voice cue alone, say “stand”, wait three seconds and then give them the hand signal and reward them for standing. Repeat, increasing the seconds between voice cue and hand signal until your dog makes the connection between the two and responds to the voice cue alone.

Step Seven

Now your dog understands how to stand on cue, start to phase out the treat reward (but not the praise). Treat only the faster stands whilst still acknowledging the slower stands with praise. This should result in your dog standing as soon as you ask them to – once they can do this you can just give treats every now and then, or if the environment is distracting, more often.

Download these seven steps as a handy advice sheet and use it as a reminder to train regularly:

Advice sheet

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