A puppy moves in with you and he has to get used to his new surroundings and new family members. At the same time, it is important that he quickly recognizes what he is allowed and what is not. Therefore, you should start training immediately. Initial commands such as “No” can be very helpful for this. First of all, you should give the young dog some rest so that it can process the separation from its littermates and give it a sense of security.
The first puppy commands – golden rules
It is important for learning commands that you have the dog’s full attention.
- He shouldn’t be exhausted, and shouldn’t be distracted by other things during training. For this reason, it is advisable to practice the first commands with your dog indoors in an undisturbed place.
- Also, be careful not to overwhelm the young dog so that it doesn’t build up frustration during training and lose motivation later.
- Short training sessions of five minutes several times throughout the day are ideal.
- Also, be careful not to be too strict with the dog. Learning commands should be fun for your dog and make him feel good when he’s doing something right.
- Always end the training with a sense of achievement and then give your four-legged friend a rest. So he can process what he has learned.
The first commands that you should gradually teach your little companion are “come”, “sit”, “down” and “stay”. If your puppy masters these commands, the commands will make your everyday life with the dog much easier. If you start teaching your puppy commands right after the acclimatization period, you have the advantage that he is still in the socialization phase at this point.
Teaching puppies commands: It all depends on the right timing!
When training your dog, you usually work with the principle of reward and ignore. This means that desirable behavior is rewarded and undesirable behavior is ignored. You only have two seconds to positively confirm the desired behavior from your dog or to correctly carry out a command. Only immediately after the action in question can the dog associate the reward or praise with the action previously performed. The same applies vice versa. For example, when playing, there is a short abort if the dog gets too wild or bites too hard. If you react just a moment too late, the dog will not understand why he is being rewarded or ignored. For this reason, correct timing is essential.
Teaching Puppy Commands: Types of Rewards
It’s common practice to use treats for the first few training sessions—the kind of food your dog craves. If you give treats as a reward, you must subtract the extra portions from the total ration to avoid overfeeding your dog. Other types of rewards can be praise or a little play with a favorite toy. Find out for yourself what your dog likes as a reward and vary the types of reward so that your four-legged friend is always curious about what awaits him after a correctly executed command. Once your dog has mastered a command, you should stop praising him every time you perform it. However, he should be rewarded from time to time, because this keeps the motivation up.
Puppy Commands: The dog’s name isn’t one of them
One of the most common mistakes in dog training is using the dog’s name as a command. Your puppy’s name should always just tell him, “Hey, it’s you, watch what I’m about to tell you or what you’re about to do!” is always linked to a command that is then to be carried out: You say the name of your dog, the dog looks at you, then you say the desired command – and your puppy should carry it out.
If your puppy hasn’t had a name from the breeder yet, or you want to give it a new one, there’s a simple trick you can use to teach it. Wait for a moment when the puppy won’t be distracted by anything else. Now say his name in a rather high and happy tone. As soon as your dog looks at you, immediately praise him enthusiastically. If you do this exercise several times a day, your dog will probably respond appropriately to his name each time. If your dog knows his name, you can start practicing the first commands with him.