10 Easy Commands to Help You Train Your Puppy

Are you ready?

Training begins the minute you bring your puppy home. The first 2 weeks after bringing Ruby home, I wondered what in the world I had done to myself.

Training is a lesson in patience and learning to remain calm. At times this can be a comedy show in the making! You’ll need a sense of humor!

Training from the minute you bring your puppy home is about consistency and positive reinforcement.

Puppy training can take 4-6 months to fully learn their good habits.

Some breeds take up to a year to fully develop the great behaviors you want from your puppy.

dogs who chew

Setbacks are a normal part of puppy training.

Stay calm, stay focused. Keep the praise and treats coming.

This keeps them focused on learning, builds a loving bond, and establishes the behaviors you want with your puppy.

dog high five, #dog, #dog high five

 What to know about dog training

  • Be Patient and Consistent
  • Practice makes perfect.
  • Keep your Sessions Short and Simple
  • Make training a regular event
  • Never punish your dog
  • Find a quiet placed to practice, home or yard
  • Plenty of treats to reward your dog
  • Keep your dog engaged and learning. After he or she learns one command, move onto the next one.
  • Make Training Fun and entertaining
  • Stay calm. If you get excited, your puppy will too.

Ready, Lets Get Training!

  • Dogs have an amazing capacity to learn commands.
  • Dogs can learn dozens of words, sounds, and signals.
  • Alongside vocal commands use hand signals.

How to Train Your Dog to “Wait” 

Nylabone Products has a great video explaining how to teach the “Wait” command:

By learning “Wait,” it teaches your puppy that they have to wait.

You don’t have to have a separate training session to train your dog to wait.

Start by saying “wait” every time you let him or her go outside or leave the crate.

After you work on “wait,” your dog should never bolt or lunge out of his kennel.

After practicing for a few days, your dog should be able to stand with the door wide open.

In the beginning, you’ll want to make this a daily practice. Remember to have your treats ready!

 Teach your dog to wait for his or her food bowl:

How to train your dog to wait for food by Vetstreet:

After a few days of practicing waiting at the door, your pet will be ready for training to wait for their food.

  1. Start by filling a bowl with your pets favorite treats.
  2. Set the bowl on the floor.
  3. Get down without letting the dog move forward, ask your dog to “wait.”
  4. If the dog moves, pick the bowl up or move it away.
  5. If you can get down on your knees and place the bowl on the floor without the dog moving, reward your dog with treats and the release word. Lots of praise for being such a good boy/girl.
  6. Be patient – this one can take practice.

How to Train your dog to “Sit”

How to train your dog to “sit” by the American Kennel Club:

This is one of the most useful commands to teach your dog.

I have found if I taught a young dog to sit from the beginning, they were less likely jumping all over my guests or anyone else.

Get lots of treats ready! A dog can learn in this one in as few as 5-10 minutes.

How to Teach The “Down” Command

Easily teach your dog command with this video by Dog Training World:

Down. The “down” command is an essential part of doggy etiquette.

“Down” is more comfortable than a sitting position.

I have always started this training indoors.

  1. Begin in the “sit” position.
  2. With a treat, place it a few inches from the dog’s mouth.
  3. Take your hand with the treat and lower it to the ground, saying the word “Down.” At the game, time move your hand down and forward.
  4. Some dogs will go straight in the “down” position (reward, praise, treat). Other’s you must use your hand and guide them down with the treat.

 After a few days of practicing these indoors, it’s time to go outside.

  1. You’ll want to start this outdoor training with a leash on! A longer leash is a good tool for this training.
  2. Have your dog practice four or five times. Only then remove the leash, trying not to make it obvious. I’ll hold the treat in front and unhook the leash.
  3. Continue practicing this movement. After 4 or 5 days of this, you can move around the yard, moving to a larger outdoor area.

Don’t forget to provide lots of praise and treats.

“When training it’s best to make sure your dog is hungry. Not starving, just hungry.”

How to Teach the  “Stay” Command

We enjoyed this video by Dog Training by Kikopup:

Learning to “stay” isn’t the easiest command to learn.

Here’s where the sense of humor and patience comes in.

That wiggly puppy will do its best for about half a second. Then like a baby, it’s off to play again.

Be happy and provide lots of praise and treats for the short stays. This builds up over time.

This is a practice you’ll build up to longer “stays” over time. Try repeating this practice several times a day to build up endurance.

How to train the “Heel” command

Dog training by K9-1.com has a great video showing you how to teach your puppy the “heel” command:

You don’t want your dog to take you for a walk. Teaching the “heel” command will teach your dog the right way to walk.

You’ll want to make sure you have lots of treats, small pieces.

Be sure to start in a distraction-free environment.

If there are other dogs or other things going on, nothing will hold your dog’s attention.

If your dog isn’t maintaining the “heel” position, go back and start at the beginning.  Repetition is key to learning, with young dogs.

How to train the “Come” Command

Love this video by Self Help Dog Training: 

After having chased many a dog, this one I find is most crucial.I used to admire the dogs who turn on a dime and head back to their owners the minute they asked to “come.”

How to Train the “Off” command

Always start this training inside your home. 

How to train your dog to stay off of furniture by Vetstreet:

Dog’s won’t understand “off” means stay off the furniture.

Teaching them “Off” main purpose is not to jump up on you or anyone else.

I admit, my dog was horrible at learning this command, she got it… around age 8!

How to Train the “Okay” command

Train your dog to learn the Okay command by Stacy Alldredge

Dogs love this command “Okay” means they’ve done a good job.

How to Train Your Dog to Cross It’s Paw

We adore this video from Kyle Kittleson to teach your dog to cross its paw.

How to train your dog to “Go to Bed”

The easiest video we’ve found is by Kyle Kittleson: 

Learning “bed or “crate,” tells your dog, time to head for his sleeping place.

This is a skill that takes lots of practice.

  1. Start with your yummy treats.
  2. Have him come to his bed and tell him “down Give him a treat.
  3. If he stays in a “down” position, give him or her a few more treats.
  4. Be sure and release him with “ok” or “free” after a few seconds.
  5. Release him and encourage him or her to get off the bed.
  6. Now, repeat this 3-4 times.
  7. Now stand near the bed.  Wait! If he gets on his or her bed, give your dog a yummy treat!
  8. If he lays “down,” give tons of praise and treats! What a good dog!
  9. Next time start by standing next to his bed and saying “bed.” Treats in hand.
  10.  Stand near the bed, as your dog lays down on his bed, repeat “down,” and say “bed.”
  11. Give your puppy a treat! Great work!

You’ll want to set your dog up for success. If he stayed on his bed for 10 seconds yesterday, try 15 seconds today, not 30!

If your dog gets up add duration or distance, go back to your dog, say “bed,” and try again.

Work up to being able to send your dog to his “bed” from the other side of the house and having him stay while you eat dinner!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these training tips.