Puppy obedience

Once the puppy is with us, the adventure is starting.


I noticed most of the owners starting to teach non-essential tricks to the puppies instead of the essential obedience commands. I think the reason is that tricks look funnier for the outside world.


When I have a new puppy enroll for the obedience training, I'm always asking the clients what the puppy knows already and mostly: sit, paw, spin, or none of them - these are the most common answers. In these answers, only the SIT is essential; the rests are tricks.


I recommend to the clients practice with the dog every day for 30 minutes. It can be one time or can be in instalments. Do not force the puppy to practice if you see she/he is tired.


Don't forget to praise your puppy - food treat or favourite toy (if it's not food orientated) - primary reinforcer - and verbal praise, too - "good girl/boy" or "well done/yes/good job" - secondary reinforcer.


So what is the essential commands what puppies need to learn before the tricks?


First, make sure your puppy knows and listen to his/her NAME.

  • WATCH/FOCUS - this is one of the essential commands and is the dog obedience training base. If your puppy knows how he/she needs to focus on you instead of the distractions, the training will be easier later. Also, this command teaches your puppy to be patient too.

  • SIT - this command teaches the puppy to be calmer, and you can control easier your puppy.

  • DOWN - a more relaxed, submissive position for dogs; also, it can help if someone (child or person who is scared of dogs) would like to pet your dog.

  • COME - another important command; this command is used for safety purposes and gives more freedom to your dog to get more and better exercise. You can use the come command to teach your puppy to follow you always.

  • STAY - you can use it in lots of situations, for example, before you give your dog permission to say hello to people or other dog or before your dog coming into the house after a muddy walk and you would like to clean the paws.

  • HEEL - your puppy needs to walk next to you and stop when you stop, and walk again when you walk. This command can be helpful during the loose leash walk and even if you are on the busy street with your dog and would like to keep it next to you.

  • LEAVE IT - it is a life-saver command that teaches your puppy to ignore the objects/animals...etc.

  • DROP IT - another life-saver command if your puppy picks up something that you wouldn't like. You can use it in daily life to ask your puppy to drop, for example, clothes, objects...etc.

Once your puppy knows these commands you can go for the advanced obedience training and starting to teach some tricks, too.

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