Teaching a dog to sit is one of the easiest and most basic of instructions. With puppies keep your training sessions extremely short (5 minutes) and always keep it fun.
Say the pup’s name and say SIT move your hand under the pups chin and at the same time put the other hand down on the pups rump. Lift under the chin and push down on the rump, the head will stay put and rear end will lower into the SIT position.
When the puppy has completed this say Good Boy or Girl. Repeat 3 or 4 times – less if the pup loses interest. After a number of repetitions, the pup will start sitting without the use of hands.
Teaching an older dog to sit is almost as easy. The principle is the same – if the head goes up, the rear goes down. If the older dog won’t focus on you, leash him and get the dog’s attention. Say the dog’s name and SIT and pull up on the leash and push down on the rump with your other hand. As he starts to sit, say Good Boy or Girl.
Don’t give praise until he sits all the way. Then make a fuss and pat him briefly, then say OK or FREE to release him from the sit.
Teaching your dog when to stop sitting is almost as important as the sit itself. Gradually make the sits longer, try 20 seconds up to a minute and on to 5 minutes; until the dog really gets that sitting means sit until I release you.
Five to ten minutes a day should be all that’s required to teach your dog this one simple command, but it forms the basis of training and can completely change your relationship with your dog.