Many people would start with sit when they begin their dog training. Most books would put this as the first lesson when you want to start training your dog. But what if your dog doesn't listen to you. It will be very hard to train your dog if they get distracted.
The video below shows Dr. Sophia Yin training a dog to pay attention to her while sitting. She has a leash that attaches around her waist so that her hands are free. The first part of the video is simply rewarding the dog for looking at her and sitting. Many dogs feel uncomfortable looking humans in the eye, but with rewards you can teach your dog that looking at you is a very good thing.
The more I work with my dogs I realize that even verbal praise can go a long way. Simply letting your dog know that they are doing something that you like will encourage them to continue that behavior. As humans we tend to think that if we don't say anything then that is something we want to continue. When we yell or get angry that means we don't want that behavior to continue. But did you ever think that if your not letting your dog know exactly what you do want and how you want it done that they can't read your mind.