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Teaching Commands for Puppy Obedience

Part of the Puppies For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To train your puppy, pair the following command words with each specific action and use them consistently. Give positive reinforcement with treats and attention, and start early: The younger your puppy is when you start, the more attentive she will be to directions and ideas.

  • “Follow”: This command says, “I’m the leader, so follow me!” Say it whenever you’re leading your puppy on leash.

  • “Sit”: This direction is the human equivalent of “Say please.” Direct your puppy to sit before giving her anything positive, from meals and treats to toys, or when greeting strangers or friends.

  • “Down”: Directing “Down” helps your puppy calm down whenever you’re going to be stationary for a while.

  • “Stay”: This direction instills good impulse control. Direct your puppy to stay whenever you want her to be still.

  • “Wait”: Use this direction for sudden stops or at curbs. It says, “Stop and focus on me before proceeding.”

  • No”: This direction is the human equivalent of “That’s a bad idea” instead of “You’re bad.” Use it if you catch your puppy thinking about misbehaving.

  • Everyday instructions: Assign a command to everyday actions like going upstairs, going outside, coming inside, getting in the car, and so on.

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