It’s never too early to teach your puppy comands such as “sit” and “come” that you can use to build a common language between you. A good sit comand is vital for safety of your puppy or dog in all environments, and the sooner you start teaching it, the more reliable it will be.
THE SIT CUE
Teaching your puppy or dog to “sit” gives both of you an action on which to build a common language and helps to teach valuable impulse control. This “safety” comand can be used when you need your puppy or dog to focus his attention at specific times (for example, at the curb before crossing the road, in front of a food bowl before eating, at the front door when someone is coming in, and before the leash is attached). As with any comand, teach this in short steps so that your puppy doesn’t get bored, and be aware of your pup or dog’s physical comfort. Sitting too much can be uncomfortable, especially for larger dogs.
Hold a treat by your dog’s nose and wait for him to figure out how he is going to get it out of your hand. Some dogs will lick or paw at it, but don’t give it to him until he puts his behind on the floor.
Repeat this until your dog is sitting reliably, then add the word “sit” as he is in the process of sitting so that he begins to associate the word with the action.
When he is sitting repeatedly, start saying the word “sit” as you present the treat to him, and your dog will respond.
Please note that if your dog is snappy or aggressive around food, you should be very careful and substitute a toy for the food. Using toys to teach this instead of food is also effective if you dog is more toy motivated.