Simply put, a puppy that cannot sit, or refuses to sit, cannot learn; and a puppy that does not learn will never be all that he can be. Our job as a trainer, a coach, and a parent is to make those we love do the things that they don’t want to do in order for them to become the things they need to become to fulfill their purpose in life and glorify their master. The Bible says that the first step to wisdom is fear of the master. It does not say to fear the master. It says to have fear of the master. You, as the master of your puppy, can see and understand things he cannot. The same is true of your master.
Have you noticed that most puppies (and children) think that they have to rebel to be free? They will dig out, jump over, and run away every chance they get. Why? So they can be free. How do you tell them that the Bible is true and that if they will just sit, stay and learn their master will give them true freedom? It is this rebellious puppy that refuses to sit with patience and be taught that usually ends up forced to walk through life on a short leash, or locked behind a fence, or tied to a tree, or even made to live in a cage. Think about it. The results of his choice to rebel in order to be free leads to just the opposite of his desire and he becomes confined. Why? Because serving himself is more important to him than serving his master. Why? Because he cannot be trusted nor will he trust and obey. The irony is that the dog that is willing to be obedient, the dog that is willing to sit in patience, the dog that is willing to deny himself and follow his master is the dog that is allowed to run free. He does not have to be kept behind a fence, or tied to a tree, or kept on a short leash to walk in the park. His master can trust him to obey his voice.
So here is your beginner;s tip for the day. If the first step to wisdom is fear of the master, then the first word a puppy needs to learn is ‘no’. “No you are not in charge of this house. The world does not spin around you. No, my purpose in life is not to just entertain you. Yes, you do have to learn. Yes you do have boundaries and responsibilities. And yes, I do love you very much.”
Let’s get back to the beginning. How do we teach our puppy to obey the word no? He already knows that word. His mother has already taught him ‘no’, just in dog language. Think about it. One growl from momma dog and every puppy will freeze in their tracks. A mother’s bite is a very serious consequence for not stopping immediately. She does this because it could save his life if a predator is in the area. So all we have to do is reinforce what she has already taught him. We just have to change the language from dog to human. Momma uses a growl, we use ‘no’. The only difficult part of continuing this training with your puppy is that we must also have consequences for his disobedience. I don’t suggest you use teeth to bite him, but I will tell you that it must be a strong and understood consequence. A real consistent spanking for his moving after the word ‘no’ is a must for his freedom. It could save his life someday. Once he has transferred that command, teach him to sit. It is in the word ‘sit’ that James 1:2 comes alive. “…for it produces steadfastness (patience, and let steadfastness have it’s full effect, that he may be perfect and complete, and lacking in nothing.” When your puppy can sit in patience with his eyes fixed on you, he can hear. When he can hear, he can learn. When he can learn he can become perfect and complete. Lacking in nothing. The world will have another warrior for the kingdom.
If your puppy (or boyfriend/girlfriend) is so self serving, proud, and in need of control that he will only sit when he wants to. Do not put your reputation into his hands or stay with him, mary him, do business with him, or employ him. He may be cute puppy, a great athlete, he may be very intelligent, but if life must center around him, and if he does not have a heart to please others, nor the desire to honor his master, then trust me, neither you nor he will ever be very happy. The ability to sit in patience and learn is a powerful, powerful strength. Most consider it a weakness and have to be taught by those that love them the most just how powerful it is.