Your Go-To Guide for Training a Puppy
Recently welcomed a new pup to the family and eager to teach them some tricks? This is the blog for you! But before you start thinking about all the different commands to teach your dog, you should first consider how to train a dog—but get ready, it’s no easy feat!
In honor of National Train Your Dog Month, we’re sharing tips for training a puppy to follow commands, as well as ten cool tricks to train your dog to do!
How To Train a Dog
Training a puppy is simple…relatively speaking. It builds a language between you and your pet that encourages feelings of security and comfort, discourages negative reactivity to animals or strangers, and prevents problems like jumping or excessive barking.
When it comes to training a new behavior, the reward system has proven most effective. Positive reinforcements like affection, praise, treats, and toys add a sense of accomplishment and establish trust. Plus, it’s enticing! So, be sure to keep their favorite snacks handy. Some other tips to consider include:
- Start in a quiet, distraction-free place
- Get your dog’s attention (with food, toys, praise, affection)
- Have your pet on a leash for better control
- If applicable, keep your clicker on hand
- Wear a fanny pack for easy access to incentives
- Have in mind the verbal cues and hand signals you plan to use
- Ensure everyone in the household uses the same commands/signals
- Start with basic life skills, then move on to fun tricks
- Practice patience and repetition
- Be consistent, make the time, and give it 100%
Tricks To Train Your Dog
Now that you’ve got the basics down for training a puppy, let’s talk about the different commands to teach your dog and why they’re essential!
“Sit” is often the first (and easiest) trick pet owners will train. This command helps to calm your pet and keep them self-controlled.
Next in the list of tricks to train your dog is “stay,” which often follows “sit.” This one is useful if you ever hope to let your pup off-leash. It gets your dog to maintain a stationary position and helps keep them out of your way or out of trouble…hopefully.
Down or Lie Down
Typically paired with the previous two, “down” or “lie down” works well to calm an excited dog or address behavioral issues by putting them in a passive position. Just make sure their belly is on the floor – some sneaky pups like to cheat the system!
If you get to the point where you feel comfortable letting your pet off-leash, this command will come in handy as it signals your pet to come back to you, keeping them out of trouble (you from panicking when they’ve left your sight).
Leave It, No, or Drop It
“Leave it” or “no” can be used to tell your dog not to do something that might get them in trouble, like pick up something they’re approaching. “Drop it” can train your pet to drop something they’ve already picked up. However, “leave it” can also be a command to drop what’s in their mouth and leave it. Each pet owner’s preference of how they use the three of these varies. As long as you’re consistent, it’s up to your interpretation.
To avoid your pet jumping on house guests or passersby, “off” is one of the more important commands to teach your dog. However, it’s essntial to differentiate between “off” and “down,” as some pet owners use these interchangeably. When using down to tell your pet to get off something, it may be confused with “lie down.”
This command teaches your pet to be well-behaved when you’re beside them. It also gives you better control on walks by reducing the pulling, making it more comfortable for both of you.
Place or On Your Bed
It’s important to create a comfortable, designated space or bed to which your pet can go freely or on command. Using this command, you can keep your pet from racing you to the door when the bell rings or bugging you at the table when you’re sitting down for dinner.
When it comes to tricks to train your dog, this command is a classic and one of the quickest ways to impress your guests. The goal of teaching this is for your dog to happily offer the behavior and show understanding and enthusiasm. It helps strengthen the bond with your dog and also teaches them a polite way to greet new people!
As if we needed another reason to talk to our pets, training a puppy to bark on command can actually help you control expressive barking. Plus, it’s a way for your dogs to express themselves. Spark up a conversation!
Now that you’re up to speed on how to train a dog, it’s time to try out some of these tricks! Just remember consistency is key, and training a puppy requires dedication, time, and patience. We’re rooting for you! And we can’t wait to greet your pup with a shake at their next AZPetVet visit.