The best part is that it is so easy to accomplish!
©Photo Courtesy of Ray Wishart
First, do not work on teaching the puppy to sit when he is overly excited to see you. Wait until he has settled down into his normal routine.
When your Golden is between 5 and 9 weeks of age, pet him under his chin, while simply placing the palm of your other hand on his hindquarters and gently pushing down while giving the command, “Sit”.
He will easily go into a sitting position, happily enjoying being petted. Do this several times a day.
After a few times of successfully doing this, give the command first, and then if he doesn’t sit, place your hand on his hindquarters again and repeat your command.
You will find that after several attempts, that you will no longer need to give him a slight push downwards, as he will go into a sit position on his own, as soon as he feels your touch on his hindquarters.
©Photo Courtesy of Steve O'Byrne
A few more tries at this and he will sit as soon as he hears the command.
I do not give out treats of any type for this command, as your puppy loves the petting he receives and hearing the enthusiastic tone of your voice in praising him for doing it.
For older puppies or dogs, here is another easy option that does involve treats.
You can do this either sitting in a chair, or standing, depending on the size and age of your dog.
Have a small treat in your hand and call your pup over to you. Make sure he is facing you. Show him the treat by holding it above his head.
To keep him from jumping at the treat, keep your other hand lightly between his shoulder blades, while slowly moving the treat backwards.
©Photo Courtesy of Jessica Tan
This way he has to naturally go into a sit position in order to keep his focus on the treat.
As soon as he goes into the sitting position, tell him the command, “Sit”. Praise him enthusiastically and give him the treat.
Do this many times, gradually replacing the treat with praise only.
Soon you will have your Golden Retriever sitting on command.