Training your puppy is no small task. Making it fun for you and your new puppy is essential. In his first 6 months of life, he is learning many new things at the same time. Try to stick to the important training like pottying and basic obedience. Once he has mastered those you can add more tasks to the training schedule. It can be overwhelming for your puppy. Their main goal is often to simply please you. Some basic tricks can be taught easily by adding cue words and rewards. Getting your puppy to follow commands can be a fun and exciting activity for you both. Treats are essential to training.
The Sit Command
If you want your puppy to learn to sit on command you will need a cue word. When you notice your puppy sit tell him “good boy” and give him a treat. You can start with a standing puppy and say firmly “sit” but he’s not going to know what you want him to do. You can press lightly on his rump and repeat “sit” to him. If he then sits, reward him with a treat, and offer praise. Your praise and repetition of cue words are the best help in training your puppy.
Fetch or Go Get It
Playing with your new puppy can actually be considered training him. Adding word cues to your actions builds the communication between you and your dog. When playing with a toy and your puppy, let him see you throw a toy. When you throw it in an excited voice you say “go get it” or “fetch it”. If puppy goes to get it make sure to reward him. You’ll want to add a call back as well. “Bring it” can be added once he confidently follows “go get it”. You may need to add a “drop it” for the puppies that don’t want to give it back eagerly. This is great learning for your puppy and tools you’ll use throughout his lifetime.
Paw Shake or High Five
One of the easiest tricks to teach as puppies naturally talk with their paws. When puppy puts up his paw grab it gently and say “high five” or “give me paw” and give him a treat. Repeat this a few times, then try to see if he will give you the paw when you ask him “high five” or “give me paw”. He wants to please you and will learn best with repetition.
Training your puppy is fun for both the dog and the pet owner. It teaches your dog to listen and obey your cues and encourages good behaviour. It gives you the sense of connection and control of your dog. Learning and bonding together with your puppy is important to your long-term relationship with him. Try to set time aside daily for fun trick training and keep it separate from the serious absolute training like learning to potty. Puppies love attention, treats, and pleasing humans. Using that knowledge mixed with patience and persistence you’ll have a top dog in no time.