Have you ever seen a Service Dog wait outside of a store while his owner went inside to do something? Did you watch him remain perfectly seated while people and perhaps even animals passed by? Were you amazed as the minutes ticked by and the dog remained in place? Finally, his owner appeared and he rose from sitting to return to his owner's side and to walk away at a perfect heel.
It is always so impressive when you see a really well-trained dog. Chances are that that dog learned to sit when he was a puppy, just like your puppy. German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs, who tend to love to work and to please their owners. Your little guy might seem very far from becoming as skilled as that Service Dog, but he is probably very trainable and eager to learn what you have to teach him.
Knowing how to 'sit' is not only nice for passing a Puppy Obedience Class, but it is also extremely useful in everyday life. Knowing how to sit can make your dog more polite. It can keep him from pulling on the leash when you meet others while out on a walk. It is essential for nearly every canine sport. It precedes many other tricks, such as 'stay', 'shake', balancing things, and holding items. It is an important step for teaching other commands, such as 'down'. It can be used to get your dog's attention, and it might even save your dog's life one day, if you need your dog to stay seated around cars.
As a working breed, your German Shepherd will probably benefit from being given commands to do to earn his daily rewards as he grows. 'Sit' is a great command to have your dog do before meals, before being taken for a walk, or before being thrown a ball. Incorporating commands into fun activities can stimulate your dog mentally, and 'sit' is a simple command that is easy for your puppy to learn.
'Sit' is a fairly simple command. Expect this to take between five and ten days to teach. Most puppies will understand the 'sit' position rather quickly, but it might take your puppy longer to learn how to sit when only given the verbal command. If your puppy is afraid of being touched, it is best to avoid doing the 'Position' method. Instead, choose a less confrontational method such as the 'Treat Luring' method or the 'Capture' method. When using the 'Position' method, be sure not to force your puppy's bottom all the way to the ground. You are simply applying pressure to the base of the tail while lifting your puppy's head, to encourage your puppy to lower his bottom to the floor. Forcing your puppy's bottom to the floor too strongly could injure your puppy's legs if done incorrectly.
To get started, you will need lots of small, tasty treats. If your puppy is really food motivated, then you can use your puppy's dog food as treats. If you are using the 'Capture' method then you will also need small bowls or zip-lock bags to place the treats into, as well as good timing, careful attention, and patience. If you are struggling to get your puppy to sit using the 'Treat Luring' method, you will need an empty corner in a calm room to practice in, in order to keep your puppy from backing up. Teaching your puppy to sit should be fun for both of you. Make sure you bring a fun, upbeat attitude, and lots of patience to each training session.