Training a puppy is not just about good behavior; it’s also about building a bond of trust between you and your furry friend. When you start teaching commands early on, you’re not only instilling good manners but also establishing a communication system that will make future training sessions smoother. Here are five simple commands you should teach your puppy:
1. How To Teach A Dog To Come
The Basics: This command ensures your dog will return to you when called, which is essential for their safety.
How to Teach: With a leash on, crouch down to your puppy’s level. Pull gently on the leash while enthusiastically saying, “Come.” Reward them with treats and praise when they move toward you.
Benefits: Whether you’re at the park or in your backyard, knowing your puppy will come when called can be a literal lifesaver.
2. How To Teach a Dog To Sit
The Basics: “Sit” is often the first command puppies learn. It’s a foundational behavior that can be used in various scenarios.
How to Teach: Hold a treat above the puppy’s nose and move it over their head. As their gaze follows, they will naturally sit. As soon as they do, say “Sit,” give them the treat, and praise them.
Benefits: Teaching “sit” helps your puppy learn to calm down and focus on you, especially in distracting environments.
How To Teach a Dog To Stay
The Basics: This command teaches patience and discipline.
How to Teach: Ask your puppy to sit. Extend your palm out in front of their face while saying, “Stay.” Take a few steps back. If they remain seated, reward and praise them. If not, repeat the exercise until they understand.
Benefits: “Stay” can prevent your puppy from running into dangerous situations or overwhelming guests.
3. How To Teach a Dog To Stay Down
The Basics: “Down” instructs your puppy to lie down, promoting calmness.
How to Teach: Hold a treat close to your puppy’s nose, move your hand down to the ground, and then stretch it out in front of them. They should follow the instructions and lie down. As they do, say “Down” and reward them.
Benefits: Like “Sit,” the “Down” command is excellent for situations where you need your dog to stay calm and in one place for extended periods.
How to Teach a Dog to Leave It
The Basics: This command teaches your puppy to ignore or let go of items, which can be crucial for their safety.
How to Teach: Place a less appealing treat in your closed hand. Show it to your puppy without letting them take it. Say, “Leave it.” Once they stop trying and pull away, give them a better treat with your other hand.
Benefits: This command can prevent your puppy from picking up dangerous objects or food, both inside and outside the home.
Using Positive Reinforcement
Consistent, positive reinforcement-based training is the key to teaching these commands. Celebrate your puppy’s successes with treats, praise, and lots of love. Remember, patience is crucial. Every puppy is different, and some may take longer to grasp certain commands. With dedication and understanding, your puppy will grow into a well-behaved adult dog.