Located in Rudy, Arkansas
Serving Fort Smith, Van Buren, and surrounding areas

Sit 203: Distance Sits

Sit from a Distance

PREREQUISITE: You should be able to walk away from your dog in a quiet place, and have a nice strong sit with low level distractions.

If your dog is not doing this, please do not proceed to the next step.  Go back to the previous lesson on sit and practice some more.


  • Treats
  • Treat pouch
  • Clicker
  • Mat


TRAINING ENVIRONMENT:  Start in an environment with very few distractions and as much space as possible.



  • Place your dog’s mat about 10 feet from you.
    Ask your dog to sit. It doesn’t matter at this point where he is sitting.
  • Click and toss a treat on the mat.
  • Keep repeating this, always tossing the treats on the mat.
  • You will see that your dog is sitting closer and closer to the mat.
  • When he is sitting on or right next to the mat, move as far from the mat as you can (and still be able to get the treat onto the mat)
  • Move the mat around the floor (a few inches at a time) and practice with it in different locations.
  • When your dog is predictable (you would bet $1,000 that the next thing he is going to do is sit next to or on the mat), name the behavior by saying “sit” right before he sits.
  • When he is succeeding at sitting on the mat 100% of the time, change venues.
  • The first few times you switch venues you will have to start from the beginning.
  • When your dog is successful in several venues, return to the first location.
  • Start form the beginning, but without the mat. Just toss the treats away from you after you click.
  • Repeat the exercise in different locations and at different distances.


Practice a minimum of ten repetitions, three times each day.


You should be able to ask your dog to sit in a low distraction environment from 10 feet away.



My dog won’t sit.

  • The environment is too distracting.   Try removing some of the distractions or placing them farther away, or moving to an environment that isn’t so distracting.
  • Try improving the rewards. Sometimes you have to pay more if the work is more challenging. Try some boiled chicken or freeze-dried fish.
  • You’re too far away. Go back to the point where he was last successful and practice.   After a few successes, try moving gradually farther away again.


My dog got up before I expected.

  • Shorten the time you ask your dog to sit and work up.


I can’t throw that far accurately.

  • Find a partner to distribute the treats. If needed, your assistant can stand right next to the mat and drop the treats.
  • Consider a device that delivers treats. There are a number of them on the market.
  • Work in an empty room like a clean garage and don’t worry about getting it exactly on the mat.  Just toss it toward the mat and do the best you can.