Training Your Dog the “Stand” Command

It’s useful to teach your dog the “stand” command for grooming reasons especially, and other reasons.

Think about it: You’ve got “sit,” “stay,” and “down” all covered, but you need a way to tell your dog that he’s doing the right thing, when you actually need him on his feet. The “stand” command makes bath time, brushing, and visits to the vet go much smoother, and calms any anxiety by giving your dog a “job.”

As with the other commands, begin training the stand command in a quiet, familiar place without distractions. Use repetition and let your dog learn at his own pace before making it more challenging.


The only challenge with training for the “stand” command is the word itself, so let’s blow through this one nice and easy:

Step By Step – The Stand Command

  1. Issue the “sit” command.
  2. Grab a treat and hold it up for your dog to sniff.
  3. Pull the treat toward yourself, keeping it at nose-level for your dog. Only pull it far enough that your dog needs to stand in order to sniff it again.
  4. Once your dog stands, reward him with praise and the treat.

At this point, you’re not issuing a command, you’re just rewarding the physical reaction of standing. However, if he doesn’t react to the treat moving away, go ahead and issue the “stand” command as a way to encourage some action.

Once that process is taking shape and he’s standing quickly, repeat the same steps as above with one difference: Don’t put a treat in your hand, just keep them in easy reach. Continue putting your fingers near his nose and then pull them away, with or without the “stand” command. Once he stands, give him a treat.

Once you’re getting reliable responses, reduce how often you feed the treat. Just give verbal praise and affection as a reward. Remember at this point, you don’t need to use the command word yet, just the body language.

The next change to make to this training routine is the verbal command, if you haven’t already. Continue using the hand movement because that’s the cue he’s already learned, but say the “stand” command right when you begin pulling your hand away.

When you insert the stand command into the training, it’s good to resume treats – at this point, he’s back to learning a new trick. Repeat this until you can see there’s no confusion, and repeat it over several days. Start doing it just once or twice rather than having longer training sessions – as a reminder.

Finally, remove the hand cue and just use the verbal “stand” command. Again, always remember to show your dog he’s done the right thing, the instant you get the right response.

After your dog has obviously mastered answering the “stand” command by standing, you can mix it up with different locations, doing the training when you’re a distance away from him, etc.

Conclusion – The “Stand” Command

The “stand” command is very easy to teach, especially considering how useful it can be. It’s one that you might not use very often, so you will want to occasionally do a repeat training session simply by issuing the command and rewarding the right response.

Dog training is a lot of fun, but there are tons of variables. Most of my articles are about the “average” dog. In other words, I assume your dog is going to respond easily to training. A few breeds, and some dogs from difficult backgrounds, have a little more work ahead of them. Not to mention, my website covers mostly the essentials, and doesn’t go into things like training a dog for sports or competition, or specialty training roles.

If you want more information than I’m providing, I strongly recommend the resource “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.” When you buy it, the author becomes available over email for all your questions, and if you plan on owning dogs throughout your life, it’s truly a “must have.”

Return to general help training your dog, or learn other dog obedience commands.

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