What Should I Teach My Puppy?
It’s important to teach your puppy the place command, sit, down, to come when called, to walk without pulling on the leash (heel for advanced training), and how to be relaxed in a crate. These things will be the foundation of your relationship and mutual respect between you and your dog. Remember, training your puppy is not a competition, so relax and have fun with your new puppy!
Training your puppy can be done quickly and easily with the right techniques and tools. Your puppy has a lot of potential and learning ability and finding the right trainer will help you tap into that and make training fun. Dog trainers have the skills and experience to get a puppy trained quickly and efficiently. They are able to train frequently throughout the day and set a routine that is consistent - things that are unrealistic for most puppy owners because of work and other obligations. Many dog trainers can have a puppy ready to pass a Canine Good Citizen test at 4 months old!
During your search for a trainer, if a trainer tells you it takes months or years for your puppy to learn to heel or to stop pulling on the leash, or to stop jumping on people move on to another trainer. Its OK to set boundaries and to have realistic expectations with your puppy.
Teaching Specific Skills
The teaching of place will teach your puppy self-control and this will overflow into many other areas of life with your puppy or dog. It keeps him in the room and part of the activities, but not getting in the way, or jumping on people, or attempting to run out the door. He or she will be sitting or lying in their designated place with something to chew on. It will keep your puppy from developing bad habits of getting into things they should not be getting into.
Coming when called is a life-saving skill for your dog. It just may stop your puppy from running into the street when outside.
The proper expectation for "sit" is for the dog's bottom to hit the ground and stay there until released. Not tapping the ground with their butt and getting rewarded for the tap dance (tapping the ground with his bottom but not fully committing). This will make a huge difference in how your dog behaves. A balanced trainer should be able to help you reach the goal of a solid sit with your puppy or dog.
The proper expectation for "down" is your puppy should down all the way with their elbows on the ground and hold until released by you. This will make a huge difference in how your dog behaves. A balanced trainer should be able to help you reach the goal of a solid down with your puppy.
You can teach many more things, but the few things mentioned above are a great starting point and makes for a great foundation for the rest of your puppies life with you. Too many people get caught up in tricks and showing off how many things their puppy can do, and that is great; but, does your dog come when called (his or her life could depend on it some day), can they relax while in place and stay until called, does your puppy leave a good impression on your friends and guests? Can your dog relax and be part of the family? We assume you want a puppy or dog that people like to be around because they are calm, waits for an introduction and can be fine around children. A well-behaved dog with self-control is priceless and loved by many.