Puppy Obedience Training

Puppy obedience training will make your life with your puppy easier and happier. Puppies can begin basic obedience training as soon as they arrive in their new home at about the age of 8 weeks. Puppies love to learn, and as long as the training sessions are brief and fun they will learn basic commands quickly and will generalize the behaviors much sooner than most adult dogs.

Puppy Obedience Training Commands

The first step in teaching your puppy basic manners is establishing a consistent vocabulary for each behavior. Apply one word to each obedience behavior and use it consistently when communicating with your puppy. The typical list of commands is as follows:

  • Sit - this command tells the dog to place his bottom on the floor
  • Down - this command tells the dog to lay down
  • Come - this command tells the dog to come to you
  • Stay - this command tells the dog to remain where he is until you release him
  • With me - this command tells the dog to walk next to you
  • Off - this command tells the dog to stop touching the item he is sniffing or pawing

This list of commands is a suggested guideline, you may use any words that you choose. Be sure that you assign one meaning to each word and always use the same word for the desired behavior. For instance, "down" cannot mean lay down and also mean get off of the couch. Consistency is the most important part of training your puppy.

Productive Training Practices

Train your puppy in a quiet environment for brief sessions lasting 5 minutes or less. This will make training fun and interesting for your him and make him an enthusiastic learner. Use reward based training methods when teaching your puppy new behaviors. You should avoid punishing him during training as this may frighten him and make him resistant to working with you. Once your puppy has mastered a particular command, you may begin to challenge him a little by slowly adding distraction or duration. Keep your voice pleasant and happy, keep training sessions light and fun. You will find that your puppy loves to work and will begin to volunteer obedience behaviors to gain your approval.

Puppy Group Classes

Puppy group class is a great way for your puppy to get some very important socialization and to expand on your training experience. Even if your puppy is doing well with basic obedience, puppy class will offer you the opportunity to teach him to listen to you in the face of the ultimate distraction-other puppies! Group classes also help your puppy learn to generalize his manners with new people. This training environment will allow you to observe your puppy with other dogs and people. Watching his interactions can help you build on his strengths and help him overcome potential problems with the help of a professional trainer. Most puppies can begin group classes at around the age of 10 weeks old, after they have received their second round of puppy vaccinations.