Basic Commands

Teaching Your Puppy to Sit

Using a food treat, hold the food over the puppy's nose and slowly move it up and over the puppy's head. When the puppy follows the food with his head, he will sit down. When your dog does this, say the word "sit" with the action. If your pet lifts his front legs up or jumps, you are holding the food treat too high. As soon as your pet sits, say "good sit" and give the treat. Many repetitions will be necessary for your puppy to learn to associate the treat with the sit. Gradually, as your dog understands what you want him to do, only give the treats intermittently. You should practice with your dog in many places throughout your home, as well as outside.

Controlling Chewing Behaviour

Dachshund with a friend.

Many puppies and young dogs are chewing machines! They seem to test everything they encounter inside and outside your house.

If you are starting with a young puppy, you can help establish a chewing preference by controlling what they chew. Don't use old shoes or socks because he will not be able to tell the difference between an "ok" shoe versus your brand-new shoes! It is best to ask the breeder or veterinarian which toys are appropriate for your new pet. Make that toy the focus of fetch and play sessions between you and your puppy.

Teaching your Puppy "Down"

Once you have taught your dog to sit, you can start teaching the "down" command. Have your dog in a "sit" position and then have the puppy lie down by taking a treat, lowering it between your pet's front paws and pulling the treat forward while saying "down". Usually the puppy will follow the treat and go down. If your puppy does not lie all the way down, slowly push the treat between the paws. When the puppy lies down, give it the treat and of course add "good dog"! If the puppy stands up, start over with the puppy sitting again.


You can make treat easily out of your puppy's food.

Just take few dry kibbles and rub it gently in your hand. This way the kibbles get your scent on it and it becomes something "special" to your puppy - a treat.

This way you stick to the puppy diet, but have something to give your dog as a reward for learning a trick or good behaviour.