Getting a new puppy is so special! Literal balls of fluffy love, a puppy can bring so much joy and happiness into your household.
But with these balls of love comes a whole load of training to transform them from wild animals into the friendly pet you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are our top 4 commands to teach your new puppy that you should start with straight away.
- Start by holding your hand flat, palm facing up, with a treat in your fingertips.
- Hold your hand right in front of the puppy’s nose so they can identify the tasty treat.
- Once you’ve got their attention, slowly raise your hand (and the treat) in a straight line above the puppy’s head.
- This movement creates a natural position for the dog to sit.
- Provide them with the “sit” command
- As soon as their butt touches the floor, reward your puppy with the treat.
Repeat the process regularly. Once they seem to have the hang of it, try again without the treat.
Resist the urge to push your dog’s bottom onto the ground. Puppies want to please; they just may take a little time figuring out what you want from them!
- Ask your dog to “sit.”
- Once sitting, open your palm to the dog and give them the “stay” command.
- Take a few steps away from the dog, repeating the “stay” command if necessary.
- If your dog stays, reward him/her with a treat and plenty of affection. If they follow, bring them back to “sit” and start again.
- Each time you practice “stay,” move a few additional steps back before releasing the treat.
You could also practice “stay” while offering a toy or other incentive such as being allowed on the furniture with you. Practice by asking your puppy to “stay” while you set up your dog ramp from https://chasingtails.store to help them learn that good things come from patience and obedience.
- When first teaching “come,” start with your puppy dressed in their collar and leash.
- Stand approximately the leash’s distance away from your pup and go down to their level.
- Say “come” and pull gently on the leash.
- When your puppy comes, reward them with plenty of affection and a treat.
Keep practicing “come” on the leash until the pup comes immediately. Then you can try again without the leash and over longer distances.
4. Leave It
There are a few ways to teach “leave it.” This method involves teaching your puppy that they may receive an even better reward when they ignore temptation!
- Start with a treat in both hands.
- Show your puppy one hand with a treat in it.
- Close your hand to hide the treat and tell your puppy to “leave it.”
- Ignore them as they try to get into your hand.
- Once your puppy gives up trying to get to the treat, give them the treat concealed in your other hand.
- Keep practicing until the puppy automatically moves away from the first fist when you tell them to “leave it.”
- The next step in this training is to only treat them when they look at you while moving away from the first offering.
Once your puppy immediately stops and looks at you, it’s time to progress “leave it” training. For this stage, you’ll need a high-value treat and a lower value one.
- Provide the “leave it” command as you place the low-value treat on the floor and cover it with your hand.
- Wait until your dog ignores the treat and looks at you.
- Take the low-value treat back and give them the high-value treat with plenty of affection.
Once this has been mastered, take it a step further…
- Place the less-tasty treat on the floor but don’t completely cover it with your hand so they can still see it.
- As before, reward your puppy with the high-value treat when they obey.
- As you practice, move your hand further away from the treat on the floor.
- Once you’ve got to around 6” above the treat with your hand, you can start practicing “leave it” while standing. If your pup tries to go for the treat when your hand isn’t in the way, cover it with your foot until they obey.
The foundation of good puppy training lies in positive reinforcement. While it might be tempting to punish a puppy who continuously toilets on your expensive rug or chews up your favorite shoes, positive reinforcement is a much more effective tool.
It’s important to remember that a puppy can’t know something they’ve never been taught… Just like you wouldn’t expect a baby to know how to tie their shoes, your puppy needs time to learn what you want from them.
Balance high-value treats with new toys and plenty of affection to show your puppy when they’ve done a good job… And provide plenty of “good boy/girl!” verbal cues, so they know just how awesome they are.
About the Author:
Pippa Shaw is a freelance copywriter able to write confidently on almost any topic thanks to her eagerness to learn and passion for storytelling. She lives on her 28ft sailing yacht with her partner and cat and dreams of travelling the world: writing in every country.