Sitting Pretty

One of the things that Daddy regrets is that he never taught me the stand command. After sitting, instead of getting back on my four paws, I would just sit pretty (stand on my back two paws).

Daddy, who was an avid gamer, is familiar with the concept of a build order. However, Daddy never had a dog before so he wasn’t sure what the proper order was in terms of teaching me the basic training commands.

Daddy knew that the first command should be sit and he taught me sit right away. It was easy. Daddy placed a treat in front of my face and just kept raising his hand until I couldn’t see the treat anymore without sitting. After I sat, Daddy gave me the treat.


Now if Daddy had read some training books, he would have known that the next trick would be “stand.” You would say “stand” and give me a treat when I got back on my four paws.

Unfortunately, at the time, Daddy was not the studious type, so he didn’t read any training books. Consequently, the next command that I learned wasn’t “stand.” Instead, Daddy taught me the “sit pretty” command.


Daddy remembers that day very well. We were still living in the old house and we were either in the bedroom or the living room. Daddy remembers the carpet. Daddy and I were practicing some basic commands with treats. We weren’t playing ball because Mama wasn’t in the room.

Daddy got me in the sit position. Daddy, facing me, then put the treat behind my ears as I was sitting. In order to get “taller,” I sat pretty. Daddy laughed out loud when he saw me sitting pretty. Daddy, in his high pitch voice, said “hon hon, you have to see P-.”

When Mama arrived, I had to show Mama my nifty trick. When I did it, Mama got really excited and flooded me with treats. I’m P-, a purebred golden retriever – my grandfather was a champion. I  was born for the spotlight.

The problem, however, is that sitting pretty is not always the proper response. For example, one time daddy was vacuuming and he wanted me to move. Instead of moving, I just sat pretty. Daddy got mad but he just vacuumed around me.

Daddy tried to teach me the “stand” command after I learned “sit pretty” but I could never get a hold of “stand.”  Why “stand” when I can “sit pretty” and have people be amazed and shower me with praise? Indeed, sometimes when I meet new company, especially those with food, and I don’t know what to do, I just sit pretty.