Have you just come home with your little puppy and think about what you can teach it for commands? It is actually great to start training your puppy right now.
But what are the commands that you can teach your puppy? The most common to start with are sitting, lying down, go ahead, and getting the puppy to come when summoned. Puppies can get a little intense sometimes, so you may also want to train a command for it to go and lie down in its basket as well.
There is no need to wait to train your puppy. Personally, I was astonished at how quickly it was possible to teach the puppy simple commands already during the first weeks at home.
What are the commands for teaching the dog?
Commands we taught the puppy
Our puppy is 15 weeks, and besides walking on a leash, the commands he has learned are these.
The most common command to start exercising is perhaps yours. To show your puppy how to do it, you can have a piece of food that you hide in your hand. Let the dog smell and then hold it over the dog’s head. It will then naturally settle down. Then you hurry to say your word and give the puppy its reward. I was amazed at how easy it was to train it.
To get him to lie was a little more difficult. Here I let him sniff at the dog candy I had in my hand. Then I lowered my clenched hand to the floor. Here the puppy went completely wild, but in the end, he lay down. When it finally got right, I said lie down and rewarded him. This command consists of both the word down and my clenched hand lowered to the floor.
Go to bed
We wanted a command for him to go to his basket and go to bed. Sometimes he is completely wild or lies in the wrong place and is in the way. So we wanted a command for him to go to his basket and go to bed. But here, I did not really know what we would use for the command. So I searched a bit for what others use for words, and “go to bed” seems to be something that many people use.
We want to use the command to go to bed when he is far too difficult or in the way. But when you have stumbled on the dog three times in the course of two minutes, you get quite annoyed. This is how it is to put on a band. When training your puppy, it is important not to be angry at it but to use your normal voice even if you feel irritated inside.
Looking for sausages is the task where our puppy really shines. He is incredibly eager to do what we say to him. He is so eager that he skips at the start.
For this command, I use some slices of sausage that I dice. The exercise has slightly different levels of difficulty.
- The first time he was given the task of looking for sausages, I took the dog and the sausage out into the garden. There I threw them out over an area of about 10 square meters.
- When I saw that the puppy had understood, I started to spread the sausage over a larger area, and when he was still indoors.
- I also pulled sausages after me on the ground so that it gave off a scent trail.
- When it was raining outside, I put sausage cubes indoors. Here it is important to be resourceful. The sausage can be placed under and behind things. I put pieces of sausage on a bench or stay under the table.
Finding sausages is a good exercise where the dog can use his nose and self-rewarding. A puppy has lots of energy, and sniffing out some goodies makes it a little calmer.
Finding sausages is the command where our puppy really performs brilliantly. But I discovered that no sausage is needed either. The regular dry food works just as well.
A perhaps a little unnecessary command to teach your puppy. But I think it looks nice. It was not very difficult to teach him either. Here I held a piece of candy in my clenched hand. He already knew how to sit, so he tried it first. When there was no reward he put the paw on my hand then I said paw and gave him the treat.
To practice summoning is necessary. It can both save the dog’s life and prevent him from running away. To practice this command, I enlisted the help of my daughter. She had to walk away with Cléo, our dog, maybe ten meters away. Then I called Cléo and tried to lure him. When he came running, he got some dry food. Then my daughter called him back.
Another exercise that is good if you can make it work is to stay. It wasn’t easy in the beginning. Here, too, we got to be two. My daughter Emma got to hold Cléo. I asked him to sit and held up my open palm to him and said, stay. When I left, he tried to make jump-starts to catch up. But eventually, he understood what the exercise was about.
At the moment, I can walk maybe 6 meters away before he catches up with me. So we have a bit to work on. But he understands what the exercise is about in any case.
Here’s my daughter, who does not want a dog throwing herself over the food. She is the one who is responsible for the food for the dog, so it is she who decides. To get his food, he should sit down and wait until she says goodbye. If he jumps off too early, she lifts the bowl and starts the experiment again.
Go is a command that we use for several things. When we get home after the walk, he gets to sit, and we untie the leash. When he is free to run, we say goodbye. We also use goodies when he is allowed to start eating his food.
A puppy is curious about nature. They like to sniff and taste most things. It is important to be able to stop the nonsense it is doing. We have trained this command by saying no to Cléo and removing him from what he cannot do. I had always shouted NO CLÉO and been angry when he ate his poop or pice cord.
Puppies have a lot of love to give to their families. If you only know that the puppy has not eaten poop, the kiss command can be cute to teach it.
Rewards when the dog does the right thing
The easiest way to get the puppy to understand what to do is to give it treats, sausages, or some balls of dry food when it does the right thing.
But there are disadvantages to that. Our dog understands his command much better when I have a reward with me. If I have no candy, I need to say it maybe ten times before it obeys.
Many people use a clicker when the dog is doing the right thing. But here, you should click at exactly the right time and quickly give the dog his treat. I thought there were many things to keep in order, so I have not trained so much with the clicker, unfortunately. We have tried to praise him when he does the right thing. But nothing works as well as a treat.
Commands we’re trying to teach the dog to
This was a command I’ve never heard anyone use before. Our breeder suggested that you say pee or go and pee to the dog every time it peed. Then one would praise it.
The nice thing about this command is that you can make the dog pee before, for example, jumping into the car.
Puppies are quite speeded and enjoy playing. It happens that they jump up on the couch, table, master, mistress, and visitors who come. It may sound charming, but the dog is growing. Being jumped on by a 30-kilo dog is not as cute at all. We also do not want him on the furniture or that takes food himself on the table. So every time he jumps up, we say down and meet him down.
Sometimes it helps and he calms down a bit.
Looking for mushrooms
We like chanterelles. It would be convenient if Cléo could help find them. A mushroom-finding dog would be lovely! We have started training by putting a mushroom in a small jar and taping the lid a little on the snout. This means that the smell can come out but that he cannot access to eat the mushroom. I hid the jar in the garden. First, I put a small piece of sausage in the same jar, and when he found it, he got the sausage piece. After a while, we drove without sausages. I had a small piece in his hand that he got when he located the jar.
He found the jar. But I do not know if it is the mushroom, the smell of me, or the smell of the sausage that he felt in the jar. So the exercise may need to be done with a clean jar and dish gloves or so as not to mix the scents.
These are the commands we have learned and are working on teaching our little puppy. Of course, the daughter tried to teach him to fly and ran around to show him how to do it. But it has not been so successful, but they had fun anyway.