How Does Your Dog Sit?


In Obedience, the dogs have to sit for one to three minutes, depending what level you are in. In Novice it’s a one minute sit stay with the handler in sight. In Open, it’s a three-minute sit stay with the handler out of sight.

This is a picture of how Tatum sits comfortably. I hope to do obedience with her sometime.  And when we do, I’ll have to find the position she can hold for up to three minutes.

Most dogs are supposed to sit upright on their haunches, square, as that is a solid position and the dog won’t tip over and go into a down. If they go into a down, they are NQ’d and don’t get a leg. However, it seems Tatum and Levi are both more comfortable when they have a bit of a swivel in their hips.

Levi will be in Open A Obedience in March in AKC. Three days. Actually, this month on the 14th I entered him in one day of ASCA Open A obedience too. Hopefully, he’ll hold his sit stay, and his down stay. The rest of his Open working is coming along nice. Actually, his stays are too.

Does this mean the dog has bad hips? I haven’t had either Tatum or Levi x-rayed, so I don’t know. I figure if I have them x-rayed and they do have bad hips, then what will I do… not compete or train with them anymore? Ugh. So far, the only sign they might have iffy hips is this sideways sit. Otherwise they seem fine and have not had any signs of bad hips or any problems. And, fortunately, collies are not prone to hip displasia!

10 thoughts on “How Does Your Dog Sit?”

  1. Our rescue pup, a pom mix sits just like that picture, 95% of the time. Occasionally, he will sit properly, but he too seems to favor that position.

    Leighs last blog post..Success, Wealth and Love

  2. When a dog sits in a slouch it can be an indicator of problems in the back or hips. It’s not a definite sign that things are bad but if it were one of my dogs it would be enough cause for me to go in for x rays. If they do the frog dog ever that’s a good sign of good hips and if they stand up on their back legs a lot that would be a good sign as well. If not a problem with the hips, it could be an indicator of other problems in the back and pelvic area. Also, there could be a problem in the back feet and hocks.

    Hopefully, the slouching is nothing. I have journaled the direction and everything on the way that Marley sits. It’s one of the ways I can tell how well she is feeling. Also Dr Kim immediately picked up on Leon’s tilted pelvis because he was sitting slouched like that while we were in the waiting room.

    We can hope it’s nothing! There are great pain management options though if you find out there is a problem. I am soo glad I got x rays on Marley. She seems to do SOOO much better now that I know what is going on and can treat it appropriately.

    Christys last blog post..We were tagged.

  3. Just my experience but Nala had a rigid perfect sit where her butt never quite touched the ground. She has dysplasia, so I’m not sure a sit tells you much at all.

    Flos last blog post..Of aging dogs

  4. Hi! Just thought I’d comment that I can understand your worries about the dog in the picture sitting sideways. Is she longer than she is high? She actually looks like she has to kind of bend herself a bit to sit straight so maybe it’s just her anatomy rather than possible hip issue? She also looks really young so she may be just a little bit lanky still.

    I think true ‘sideways’ is when the lay on the hip side. She looks more like she’s sitting straight with some ‘lankiness’ (to me anyway..but I’m no expert.)

    1. He Debbie. It could be an anatomy issue with Tatum instead of bad hips. Tatum is very straight, in the front and the back, and that could be why she sits crooked.

  5. or.. it could just be that she sits crooked because that is the way she learned it.. or “body mapped” it.

    Interestingly enough.. a short tight fast square sit fires off things in the brain to stimulate the um.. ok I forget where in the brain.. I can look it up.

    Consider that right now I *know* I should be sitting up straight but I’m not.. it’s a habit to sit like a slug.

    Fuzzy Logics last blog post..Nostalgia.. I has it.

  6. My friends dog always sits with her legs spread out super far cause she slips on the hard wood floor, is really funny!

  7. Two of my mother’s Chesapeake Bay Retrievers sit like this, and their hips are both certified as Excellent… So I don’t think you should worry toooooo much… But if you’re curious or concerned, best bet is to schedule an appointment. 🙂

  8. I have a German Shepherd that has bad knees and he sits this way. He has certified hips. He shows discomfort when I try to force him to sit properly. Your vet can do xrays and manipulation to determinate if his knees are his problem.

  9. I have two labs, yellow and chocolate, and the chocolate sits with his legs out to one side. He was cleared as a puppy but I definitely want to take him in!

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