Six Commands Your Puppy Needs to Know
Puppies are adorable bundles of fur who need a lot of training to make them into polite pooches. An important foundation for this training is a handful of basic commands you can use to teach your pup what is expected of him. By teaching your little one these basic commands, you'll better understand each other and even bond during the process. Read on to discover the training your puppy needs so he'll grow into a happy and well-behaved adult.
The basis to any training is letting your pup know when he's done something right. You can either do this using a clicker to mark a behavior, or a word like "Good" so your little furball knows he's on the right track. Start out by saying the word and then giving your pooch a small, yummy treat — like Milk-Bone® Trail Mix With Real Beef & Sweet Potato dog treats. After a few repetitions, your pooch will realize "Good" equates to good things.
Training should always be positive. Harsh punishments should never be used with your tenderhearted puppy. They are not effective and will only cause him to fear you — and possibly become aggressive. Instead, just say "No," firmly. Then correct the behavior by giving your dog an acceptable toy to chew on if he's halfway through your shoe, or bringing him outside if he's in the middle of going potty somewhere he shouldn't.
Learning the "Sit" command is important because you can use it to keep him safe while walking and to stop him from jumping on people. Say "Sit," and then simply take a small treat and hold it a few inches away from your pup's nose. Now bring the treat up until his bottom hits the floor and say "Good" to mark the behavior before giving him the treat. Repeat for this for about 10 minutes at a time. Wiggly puppies do best with short training sessions.
Once little pups have mastered the "Sit" command, you can move on to "Stay" to keep your pooch in one spot and away from any potentially harmful situations. Say "Sit," and then move a few inches away and say "Stay." If your pooch doesn't move, then say "Good," walk back and reward him with a treat. Continue this exercise, moving a little farther away each time until you've gotten at least a few feet between you.
This is a vital command if your pup accidentally gets off his leash or is spooked outdoors and you need to get him to come back right away. First, ask your pooch to "Stay." Then, say "Come" and hold out a treat. If he doesn't respond, you can practice with a leash so you can give a gentle tug to prompt him over to you. When your dog comes over to you, say "Good," and treat him. As with the "Stay" command, continually put more and more distance between you and your dog each time. Eventually, you can practice this command outdoors with a long leash while he's still learning so he won't run off.
6. "Leave it"
The "Leave it" command is crucial to protect your curious dog — and your belongings. Prior to a meal, take a little of your pup's kibble and hold it in your hand. In your other hand, have some delicious treats that he really likes. When your pup tries to take the kibble in your hand, close the hand and say "Leave it." If he stops trying to eat the kibble, say "Good," and then give him a high-value treat. Work up to putting the kibble or some favorite toys on the ground and teaching him to leave them alone.
Teaching your furry one basic commands and potty training will set your puppy up for success. Learn more about potty training your growing pooch right here on The Noseprint!
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