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Six Things to Teach Your Puppy

People are sometimes overwhelmed by their new puppy. Adding a new family member is exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Getting your puppy started on the right paw is crucial to a life-long love of learning and bonding with its family.

Here are six tasks that every puppy should master.

Name recognition

If you got your puppy from a breeder, chances are the dog wasn’t called by its name until you came to pick him up. If you pick out a puppy early, a breeder might call the dog by that name to get used to it before he goes home with you. For cues such as sit, down, etc. I always say the name of the dog first, followed by the cue, such as “Fido, sit”. That lets the dog know you’re talking to him. Name recognition is especially important in multi-dog households.

Recall (Come when called)

This could actually save your puppy’s life if it runs away from you toward a crowded street. It doesn’t matter if you use the word “come” or “here”, as long as you and your puppy know what the word means.

Potty on command on different surfaces

It’s important to have your puppy potty on a variety of surfaces in case you’re in a city with no access to grass, for example. Some people will say “go potty”, “hurry up”, or something similar to know when they want the dog to do its business. That will help potty training go much more smoothly and let them know when you go outside that this time it’s a potty break and not to play or sniff the grass.


Sit is such a versatile cue that can be used in conjunction with loose leash walking, when you’re crossing a street, to wait for a meal, before going out a door, etc. It’s usually one of the first cues the dog learns.


Down can be used before introducing a long “stay”. Down helps develop the dog’s core as part of “puppy pushups”. It’s also handy if you’re on a walk or in a store and want to talk to someone. The dog can relax while you’re chatting.

Walk nicely on a leash

This may take longer to teach the puppy because puppies love exploring and walking wherever they want to go. Also, humans have a tendency to move more slowly than dogs because of our two legs vs. their four legs. So they get bored and want to pull ahead. Using a harness, especially on a small dog or a puppy, can help give him exercise while practicing loose leash walking and not hurting its neck.

***The Well-Trained Dog & Pet Care can help with your puppy. We provide dog walking services to keep the potty training on schedule when you’re working-at home or the office. We also have a variety of dog training programs that are customized to your pet’s needs. And when you go away on vacation, we can stay overnight or make drop in visits. Contact us at (540) 353-2485 or email for more information.


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