How to Train a German Shepherd to Sit – Dog Obedience Training

how to train a german shepherd to sit

German shepherds are inherently smart dogs and can learn tricks and commands quickly. You can start training your puppy from litter age but the best time to teach is within 12 – 14 months of the dog’s age. The most basic training that owners want their dogs to have is following the command to sit. It is advised to start to train a german shepherd to sit early as it will make the trick quicker for the dog to learn.

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Train Your German Shepherd to Sit

German shepherds are known for their intelligence. You should be patient, positive and regular with the training of your puppy. Early training also tones down the alpha male behavior, as German shepherds have a tendency to control everyone. You can make your dog sit using treats and combination of hand and verbal commands. Keep the following things in mind while training your dog:

  1. Train your dog for 3 to 4 times in a day in short duration
  2. Vary the place of training as it will prevent the dog associating the surroundings with the trick
  3. It is better to train a calm dog. Let your pup play or run around exhausting their energy before you find them in a calm state to concentrate.
  4. Do not use too many treats or chocolates. You can cut a big treat or make small pieces.
  5. Do not keep a big bag of treats in the open which may distract the dog. Hide a few in your pockets and take them out when required.
  6. Use voice modulations with verbal commands for effective training. Using the command in a serious tone get the message to the dog that he is expected to obey something.
  7. Use the command “Sit” and do not change the term.

How to Make a German Shepherd Sit?

It’s quite easy to make your dog listen to you if you have the patience you need. German Shepherds are known for their intelligence so it would be really easy to make your pet know what you want. In a matter of a few weeks, you would find your German Shepherd knowing just when you want it to sit.

Start with finding a suitable treat. Dog biscuits or even a meal of bowl can be used. You can the dog tied or someone else holding the leash.

Top 5 Dog Treats for Your German Shepherd

If you have time to cook your own dog treats, you can read my article here: “DIY Best German Shepherd Treats“. In so many ways, cooking your own dog treats is a lot healthier than buying. You know exactly what kind of ingredients that you put into.

But sometimes, we are too busy to cook our own dog treats. In that case, you can buy ready-made dog treats. As a general rule, when you are looking to buy dog treats, you should always check the ingredients contained. If you are unsure about specific ingredients, open your browser and Google the ingredients.

The following is my review of ready-made top 10 dog treats for your German Shephard available at the nearby pet store or online through Amazon.

1. Rocco and Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats

Rocco and Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats

Rocco and Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats are my dog’s favorite treats. No matter where I hide the bag, he always can find it. The treats come with 3 different flavors beef, chicken, and turkey.

The treats are made from natural ingredients that mean no artificial flavoring or fillers like corn, soy, and gluten. The manufacturer states that the treats are 7 inches long but when I bought, the treats measure around 8 inches long.

There are 26 treats per bag. I usually break them into 3 pieces for each training session.

The ingredients are Beef, Rice Protein, Spices, Salt, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Sodium Nitrite. The dog treats are cooked for a full 15 hours to develop the soft chewy texture that makes every dog salivates.

Click here for more info and current pricing

2. Milk-Bone Flavor Snack Dog TreatsMilk-Bone flavor snacks dog treats

Milk-Bone Flavor Snack Dog Treats come in a variety of flavors: bacon, beef, chicken, sausage, and turkey. The treats also feature teeth-cleaning and 12 vitamins and mineral. I use these treats as a part of my training routine together with Milk-bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats (more on this below), and my dog loves them so much. The dog treats are tiny and ideal to use as a reward. As a suggestion, give your dog 1 – 2 biscuits per training session to maintain his ideal weight.


Wheat Flour, Wheat Bran, Meat and Bone Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Beef Fat (Preserved with Tocopherols), Wheat Germ, Salt, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate, Bacon Fat, Brewers Dried Yeast, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Malted Barley Flour, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Sodium Metabisulfite (Used as a Preservative), Iron Oxide (Color), Artificial Flavor (Source of Sausage Flavor), Red 40, BHA (Used as a Preservative), Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1.

Click here for more info and current pricing

3. Milk-Bone Marosnacks Dog Treats

milk-bone marosnacks dog treats

Milk-bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats are the sister product of Milk-bone Flavor Snacks Dog Treats. Both are made by the same manufacturer Milk-bone. The MaroSnacks Dog Treats come with the delicious taste of real bone marrow.

There are 200 snacks in each container. If you train your dog insensitively with a lot of training, one container usually last about 5-6 weeks. I have used these dog treats to train various dogs from German Shepherd, Labrador, Bloodhound and a lot more and they all crave these snacks.


Wheat Flour, Meat and Bone Meal, Sugar, Dried Poultry By-Products Digest, Cooked Bone Marrow Beef Fat (Preserved with Tocopherols), Salt, Corn Starch, Annatto Color, Red Iron Oxide (Color), Red 40, Sodium Metabisulfite (Used as a Preservative).

Click here for more info and current pricing

4. Wilderness Blue Buffalo Dog Treats

wilderness blue buffalo dog treats

Wilderness Blue Buffalo Dog Treats come with 13 different flavors. There are chicken jerky, turkey jerky, chicken moist trail treats, duck moist trail treats, salmon bites, salmon moist trail treats, bayou blend, Denali, red meat dog biscuits, duck & chicken biscuits, salmon & chicken biscuits, turkey & chicken biscuits, and turkey trail treats. Two of my dog’s favorite flavors are turkey jerky and red meat dog biscuits.

When I look at the ingredients, the ingredients are a lot better than most dog foods and these treats are grain-free. This is something that you want to remember, when you look for dog treats for your German Shephard, make sure the dog treats are grain-free. Grain is not harmful to your dog, but it is not a good choice for meat eaters like a dog.

Each snack is quite big. Usually, I break the snack up in half for medium-sized German Shephard. There are about 30 pieces of snacks per 10 oz bag.

Click here for more info and current pricing

5. Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural Dog Treats

Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural Dog Treats

Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural Dog Treats feature a wide variety of flavors and sizes. The flavors offered include Bac’N’Cheez, Char-Tar, Just Vegg’n, Original Assortment, P-Nuttier, Chick’n’Apples, Extra Tasty Assortment, Puppy, Liv’R’Crunch, Mini Friends, and P-Nutty. There is also a wide range of sizes to choose from a small biscuit, 20-Ounce bag to large biscuits, 20-pound box.

When I bought the small-sized, it is really small! It is great for training puppies but if you have a slightly larger dog, you may want to buy the large size. The dog treats come with a benefit of charcoal. Charcoal in dog food is useful to absorb excess gas. Usually, veterinarian uses charcoal to relieve wind and bloat in dogs.

The charcoal in dog foods is different from the charcoal for barbecues. The charcoal in dog foods needs to be processed with high temperatures and steam to make it edible.

Click here for more info and current pricing

How to Train a German Shepherd to Sit in 4 Steps

Now after you get the dog treats, it’s the time to train your dog to sit. These are the 4 steps to train your dog to sit.

Step 1 -Lure Him with His Favorite Treat

Take the treat in your hand and show it to the dog. Move your hand with the treat above his nose. Do not let him bite or eat it. Keep it just out of his reach and close enough to lure him.

Step 2 – Hand Gesture

Move your arm towards the head of the dog. Your pup will instinctively follow the direction of the treat and move or spin around. He should soon come to the sitting position naturally tracking the movement of the treat.

Step 3 – Ask Him to Sit

Give the verbal command of “sit” the moment your dog attains the sitting position or his back touches the floor. You can associate a hand signal as a command by raising it with the word “sit.” Your dog will learn more effectively with this combination of audio and visual command.

Step 4 – Reward Him

Offer him the treat with open hands or near his mouth when he sits. This will make the dog associate rewarding with the act of sitting. You can also give a pat or perform some act of affection without giving treats all the time. It prevents the pup from becoming treat dependent all the time.

Keep training your dog in the same way till he gets an idea about sitting. Then slowly eliminate the whole process and just say or signal to sit. You can also stop using the hand signal after some time and see if your dog obeys only voice command to sit.

After Training

Follow the same steps again from step 1 to step 4 for each training session. Give a break between 3 to 4 hours per each training session. If you have a job, you can train your dog 1 to 2 times in a workweek. One in a morning and another one after you come home from working.

Time required to Complete the Training

As discussed earlier, German shepherds are intelligent and can be trained in a short time. If you train your dog regularly according to the steps and the considerations in mind, it can take your dog just 3 to 5 days to obey the hand signal to sit.

Another 7 days and it can learn to sit only on voice commands. Also be patient and never punish or shout at your puppy. It can cause negative reactions and unwanted behavior from the dog. With a German Shepherd, your life would surely never be the same again. They are communicative, happy and full of life.

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