Training your German shepherd puppy to sit is one of the most basic and most necessary steps an owner can take. Not only will learning this command pave the way for all other commands you will want him to learn, it also allows you to take immediate control of your German shepherd, in case he is getting overexcited.
Training German shepherd dogs is extremely easy, because they are intelligent, loyal, and attentive dogs. Eager to please and smart, your GSD will be a breeze to train. Just follow these steps:
Start by asking your dog a question to get his attention.
Don’t just launch into trying to train him. Start by priming him with a question like “School?” or “Training?” Then, give him a treat to reinforce the idea that he will be rewarded when he pays attention. Routinely using a question like this can be a great way to train your dog to be excited about learning, which will make the entire training process much easier.
Put him on his leash.
A leash can help you maintain control of your puppy, which is important for young, untrained shepherds, but also for those who are learning a new skill. A leash will help you get him into the right sitting position.
Hold his treat in front of him.
Have a treat in your free hand and hold it in front of his nose. He can lick it, but don’t let him take it. When you say “Sit,” lift the treat upwards until in order to maintain his balance while looking at the treat, he has to sit down. When he sits, give him the treat and plenty of verbal praise, using the word “Sit” (or whatever command you are using for the traditional “sit” motion, e.g. if you are using “sitz!” to train him in German) in that praise.
Less food, but continue praising
Once he has the basics down, stop rewarding him with food every time he sits. For the first couple of times he sits properly, reward him with food and lots of verbal praise. Taper off the food, but continue with the verbal praise, giving him treats only occasionally.
Refresh this command every day.
Dogs, just like humans, can easily forget what they’ve learned. Practice this command every day, sometimes using a treat, sometimes only using verbal praise.
Now go train!