Along with cuddling and playing with your new precious puppy, it’s always a good idea to start teaching commands early. The earlier you start training, the better. I say this from experience.
When I first brought my Chihuahua, Diego, home, I was so wrapped up with finding him the perfect treats, toys, beds, collars, and shirts. Other than potty and leash training, my mind was far from teaching him commands. When I realized he was nearly one-year-old and still didn’t know how to sit, I realized I had made a big mistake. I’m not going to sugarcoat this — training my little Diego was a nightmare. Since he was used to getting treats without having to work for them, he felt no need to do what I said. My treat leverage was gone. I learned from my mistake, though. That’s why when I brought my Poodle, Gigi, home, I started her training immediately. Within a matter of five minutes, she knew how to sit. It took about two days for her to understand the word ‘down.’ Another command that came naturally for her was ‘come.’
Please use my mistake as a learning lesson and start training your new puppy immediately! Training doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Since your puppy’s attention span isn’t that long, aim for 10-minute sessions. This little amount of time makes a world of difference. Trust me, being able to communicate with your pooch is life-changing.
Commands To Teach Your Puppy
This is usually the first command dog parent’s teach their little ones. That’s probably because it’s one of the easiest.
Here are a few tips to help you teach your dog how to sit:
- Hold a small training treat close to your dog’s nose.
- Slowly move your hand up. This will cause your dog to look up and his bottom will lower. You shouldn’t need to press your dog’s tush to the floor. Let it come naturally.
- As your dog enters the sitting position, say “sit.”
- Give him the treat and lots of praise.
- Repeat this process several times.
- Once your dog is comfortable with this process, start saying the command before he enters the sitting position.
- Practice this every day!
This command teaches your dog self-control. Once your dog has mastered “sit,” move on to “stay.”
Here are a few tips to help you teach your dog how to stay:
- Show your dog a treat and ask him to enter the sitting position.
- Still holding the treat in front of your dog, tell him to “stay.”
- Then, take a small step back.
- If your dog stays, give him the treat and lots of praise.
- As your dog gets comfortable with the small step, gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving him the treat.
- Remember to always reward your pup when he stays.
This is perhaps the most important command you can teach your dog. Chances are there will be a time you accidentally drop the leash or leave the door open. If your dog comes when called, it will help keep him out of trouble.
Here are a few tips to help you teach your dog how to come when called:
- When you are first teaching your dog to come, put your dog’s leash on.
- Get down on your knees — to your dog’s level.
- Tell your dog to “come” while gently tugging on the leash.
- Make sure to celebrate when your dog comes to you. Reward him with treats and lots of praise.
- As you are praising your dog, gently pet or rub his neck. This will teach your dog that when he comes to you that he must come close.
4) Leave It
Puppies are curious creatures. As they explore the world for the first time, they will smell things, lick things and try to eat things they shouldn’t. Teaching your dog the command ‘leave it’ is just one more way you can help keep your fur kid safe.
Since this command is taught in several stages, I think it’s easier to see training tips in action than to read them. Check out this great video from rockstar trainer Victoria Stillwell (note: make sure to watch the entire video):