training a puppyA new puppy arrives at your home with a package deal of cuteness – sloppy kisses, cuddles, silly antics, and those adorable, adoring eyes. Puppies also come with a big appetite, a tendency to chew, and absolutely no behavior or manners. One of the important things that you need to give your new pup is a solid base of good training. There are six foundational skills that each puppy should learn as soon as possible.

Come, Eileen! Eileen should learn to come when called! Following this command can literally save your dog’s life; your ‘come!’ can pull her away from dangers like an oncoming car, a snake, or an unfriendly dog. Knowing that Eileen will come when called also can expand her horizons, making you comfortable with taking her to a dog park or running off leash in the woods.

Walk this Way, Aerosmith. It’s no surprise that dogs tend to pull on the leash. After all, Aerosmith knows where he wants to go, and how fast he wants to get there. When a dog pulls, and you follow, you’re inadvertently reinforcing the behavior. But it’s behavior that needs to be corrected. Pulling and lunging cause injury. It can result in a slipped collar and a lost dog. If you and Aerosmith are having a tug of war each time you walk, you will not be as enthusiastic about exercise.

Sit, Frank! One of the easiest things to teach a dog is how to sit. It’s also one of the most beneficial. First of all it teaches Frank that he’s not the boss (you are), and teaches him self control. Telling a dog to “Sit” can interrupt unwanted behavior. It makes it easier to visit the vet, to administer medications, and to groom. It’s also simply good manners.

Down, Leroy! Another of the easier commands to teach is to teach Leroy to lie down. Like the skill of “Sit”, it teaches self control, keeps Leroy out of trouble, and makes grooming and medical treatment easier.

Off, Button! If Button is jumping on your next door neighbor, you may instinctively say, “Down”, when you really mean, “Off!” “Off” essentially means, “Stop jumping!” When you say, “Off”, you’re keeping Button from frightening new (or old) friends, from knocking over children, from scratching skin, and putting holes in sweaters. When you say, “Off”, you make it easy for Button to interact in a positive manner with the person she is not jumping on.

Stay, Sam! Maybe the most useful command of all is “Stay”. When Sam stays, it keeps him safe, out from under your feet, and out of trouble. Holding still is a very big exercise in self control. If Sam can stay, it gives you peace of mind, and allows you to relax, trusting her to stay in one spot.

There are many methods of training dogs, and every dog and home is different. There are a variety of dog training classes and schools, YouTube videos, books, and seminars that can help. If you have questions, talk to us and get our recommendations. No matter where you find your specific training tips, ensure they’re consistent with Fear Free practices for a happy and confident pup! We know how much your puppy will give to your home. We want to help you give your new fur baby everything needed for a healthy and happy start to a long life of love and joy for you and your family.