Puppy Training Basics

Teach your puppy the training basics.

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Basic Manners
Three simple skills lead to good manners: sit, lie down and come.

Sit: Hold a treat slightly above your pups nose. As it reaches for the treat, move it toward the back of your pups head. Its rear will drop into a sit position. Click when this happens, praise, Good sit! and give it the treat. Hearing the cue word in a praise phrase starts your pup learning it.

Lure three times, then just make the hand motion without a treat. Click, praise and treat when your pup follows your hand signal.

Once your dog follows well, say sit at the same time you make the hand motion. After several more times, say sit before motioning. Your pup will learn than the word and the motion both mean sit.

Lie down: Hold a treat under your pups nose and lower it slowly while the pup nibbles. When your puppy starts following it, click and give it the treat. Lure slightly farther each time. Soon you pup will be following all the way down. When it does, click, praise Good down! and give several treats.

After a few times, use the hand signal, but keep the treat in your other hand. When your dog lies down, quickly place the treat on the floor in front of it.

When your pup is following your hand signal well, add the cue down as you motion. Later, say down before the motion, so your dog learns both the hand signal and the voice cue.

Come: Offer a treat from your palm, saying here or come. Click as your pup takes it. Repeat three times. Next, say here or come and offer your empty palm in the same position. Expecting a treat, your dog will move toward it. Click and drop a treat into that hand.

Then say here or come and offer your palm farther away, so your pup has to come to you to touch it. Gradually call from farther away. As your pup becomes better at come, add distractions-noise, people, food, animals, etc.

Always reward come-your dogs life may someday depend on its eager response.

Next Step: Banishing Bad Habits

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