Sitting on command is often the first obedience skill a puppy learns, and it will serve him well his entire life. According to "Dog Training for Dummies," teaching your puppy to Sit is a wonderful way of controlling his behavior. Patience, a few tasty treats, and positive reinforcement will encourage your puppy to master the Sit command quickly. When training any new dog skill, consistency is imperative.
Choose a time when your puppy is hungry to start training the Sit command. Just before you feed him is optimal. Use small dog treats that he really enjoys. Bits of frankfurters or small chunks of cheese are good choices.
Hold a treat in your closed hand and allow your puppy to smell your hand to get his attention.
Move your hand to a spot a few inches over your puppy's forehead, causing him to look upwards at the treat. This position, with his head up, puts pressure on your puppy's spine, encouraging him to lower his haunches.
Use your puppy's name, followed by the command "Sit." For instance, while he is looking upwards at the treat, you would say, "Barney, sit." Wait a few seconds for him to comply. Frequently, this is all it takes to make your puppy sit but some dogs need a little extra help.
Tuck your free hand just behind the puppy's back leg, behind where his knee is, and exert gentle pressure forward, causing his hind end to lower. Don't push downward on your puppy's hips to make him sit or he may suffer hip damage.
Reward your puppy for sitting by giving him the treat and praising him. Once he understands what you expect him to do, he will eagerly sit for a treat.
Repeat the training technique frequently throughout the day but only a few times during any one training session.