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The First 4 Things to Teach Your New Puppy

The First 4 Things to Teach Your New Puppy

All animals, especially puppies, learn from their parents. When you bring a puppy home, you become the new “pawrent.” It's up to you now to be the leader. You will need to educate them on what they need to know to grow into well-rounded adult dogs.

Positive reinforcement should form the basis of training. Giving a dog a reward to encourage the behavior you want, such as getting paid for showing up to work, is known as favorable reinforcement. The goal is to learn the behavior using something your dog appreciates, not to bribe them.

So how do you decide what to teach your dog first? No matter what age you take your new puppy home, this guide can help your puppy grow, develop, and learn the manners they need at home and out in the world.

When Should I Train My Puppy?

Man in Blue Teaching Puppy How to Read

It’s never too early to start training your pup. A puppy begins learning from the moment they are born. They learn life lessons from their mother and their littermates that they will carry with them for most of their life.

The myth that puppies shouldn't be trained until they're at least six months old is untrue.

Obedience training is beneficial for all dogs starting at seven weeks old and continuing until the puppy moves into their new home. Nearly every kind of behavior issue exists by the age of six months. Early training, therefore, helps eliminate problems before they worsen and become frustrating. Nipping, chewing, digging, and barking, for example, are all usual behaviors. But left uncorrected, they can turn into behavioral issues.

Pet owners should never tolerate bad habits because they can be difficult to break. Every day rules about acceptable and unacceptable behavior must be taught to dogs.

Using Food as a Training Tool

Puppy Looking at Small Hand-Held Treat

One of the best tools you can employ to teach your puppy is the food that they eat! Making your puppy work for their food in the early months is a super-simple approach to get and keep their attention on you. Reward them for it, and develop a positive association with looking to you for guidance.

Here are the first things you should teach your puppy to start your bond on the right paw.

  1. Potty Training

A new puppy parent's primary priority is potty training. It's crucial to realize that an 8-week-old dog still has urinary control problems. You must be patient and be ready for mishaps. It will save your sanity and possibly even your dog’s life if you set limits and freedom early. Thanks to baby gates, a playpen, and a crate, toilet training your new dog will be much simpler!

Potty Training Tips:

  • When your dog does potty in the appropriate spot, give them a treat.
  • If you see your dog wandering off in the wrong direction, calmly stop them and re-direct them to the right spot.
  • If you don't observe your dog making a mistake, clean it up and wait for the next one. No amount of reprimanding will make them understand why you didn't appreciate their choice of bathroom.
  • Always be on the lookout. Your dog will learn that urinating inside the house is sometimes alright the more unnoticed accidents they have.
  1. Leave It

Start by teaching the "automatic leave it" for the quickest success. When your dog refrains from eating food that you drop or place down, it's relatively easy to add a cue to the behavior. Just tell them to leave it! Just as your dog is about to turn away from the food, give them an incentive. Give a treat and say "YES" in a cheerful, pleasant manner. They will quickly discover that they should put things aside to receive a great reward when they hear the words. 

You can also practice holding a treat in your hand, fist closed. Ignore any attempt by your dog to nudge or lick your hand to get the treat out. Watch for your dog to momentarily or even slightly reposition themselves away from your touch. As soon as they back off and there is a small space between your hand and their nose, open your hand and release the treat. Do not forget to give praise. Repeat until they consistently decide to leave the treat alone.

You can start including the cue word "leave" once your dog consistently backs away from the treat. While your pup is backing off, gently give the command. After, extend your hand to present them with the treat and lots of praise. Do this repeatedly in short, frequent periods.

  1. Look at Me

You may get your dog's attention by teaching him the watch-me command. When you say, "Watch me” or “Look at me,” your dog must look up and remain focused on you.

This command is beneficial when you’re out and have a dog that’s easily distracted. It enables you to quickly get your pup's attention and ask them to do something. It can also be helpful while teaching your dog new skills because it shows that they are paying attention and are prepared for your next instruction.

To teach your puppy the watch-me command:

    1. In front of your dog's nose, hold a treat.
    2. Bring the treat slowly up to your eyes. Your dog should be gazing at your forehead while watching the treat.
    3. Give your dog the treat after you've rewarded good behavior with a marker word like "Yes," or praise.
    4. Repeat the previous steps, but this time give your dog a treat from the other hand. With an empty hand, repeat steps 1 through 3, but give your dog a treat when they make eye contact. The "Look at Me" hand gesture has now been taught.

Start stating your vocal cue, such as "Watch Me" or "Look," before you move your hand once your dog consistently responds to the hand signal.

  1. Lure Training

What is lure training? Lure training teaches a puppy what to perform using a treat or another predictable cue. When introducing new habits for the first time, luring can be helpful. Once the puppy exhibits understanding, the temptation typically fades very quickly.

What can be taught using this kind of method?


    1. Holding a treat as a lure, kneel before your dog.
    2. Place the reward directly in front of the dog's nose and raise it gradually above its head. Often, they will sit while lifting their head to chew on the reward.
    3. When their tails touch the ground, let them take the treat.
    4. Repeat using the food lure one or two more times, then take it away and use only your empty hand. After the puppy sits, reward them as usual.
    5. Once they are familiar with the hand gesture for sitting, you can start saying "sit" just before you make the motion.

Lie Down

    1. Move your hand from your dog's nose to their chest and straight down to the floor while holding a treat in your hand and having them sit.
    2. Your dog needs to be lying down after the treat. Give your pup a compliment and the treat right away.
    3. Do this several times in quick yet frequent sessions.
    4. You can start saying "down" as soon as your dog enters the down posture if they are effortlessly following the goodie into it.
    5. Do this several times in quick yet frequent sessions.
    6. Give your dog treats when lying down to lengthen the time he spends in that position.


    1. Show the food to your dog.
    2. Move a few steps away while yelling your dog's name and saying "come" in a friendly, enticing tone. Lying low can also entice them to return.
    3. Feed the treat to your dog as they approach you.
    4. Gradually move away from your dog until you can call him from one room to the next. Don't forget to reward the dog each time you succeed in doing this.
    5. You can begin practicing in safe outdoor areas once your dog reliably responds to your calls within the home. E-Collars can be helpful for outdoor recall training since your dog has the freedom to roam safely without the leash.

Can I Use an E-Collar to Train My Puppy?

How early can you put an e-collar on a puppy? Many sources may tell you that you can start e-collar conditioning as early as you have bought the puppy. It is advisable to make your puppy wear an e-collar at 24 weeks or 6 months of age. This is to ensure that your pup is mature enough for e-collar conditioning. The puppy's health and maturity are the key factors.

You now know when to begin e-collar conditioning, but there is much more to it. You must follow the correct training techniques to benefit your pup the most from your e collar training. If your puppy is adequately taught, you may allow them freedom and not have to constantly watch over them.

An Important Key to Training your Puppy is Play and Training Balance

Maintaining a healthy balance between training and play is essential in daily life and during exercise. You should be aware of your pup's needs.

If you're planning to buy an ecollar for your new pup, here's a list of the best ecollars for a puppy’s obedience training:

  1. Finger Trainer FT-330 by E-Collar Technologies

All of the features available in the ET-300 Mini Educator are present in the FT-330 Finger Trainer Educator. Its recent addition of a wireless button that may be synchronized with the remote makes it unique. This Educator remote trainer has 127 levels of static stimulation, vibration, and tone. It can easily transition from backyard to field training because of its half-mile range.

FT-330 Finger Trainer Educator by E-Collar Technologies
  1. Dogtra 200C Remote Training Collar

Some of the most dependable dog training collars are Dogtra shock collars. The 200C is a great remote trainer for beginners. It is one of the best collars for small dogs weighing at least 5 kg (10 pounds.)

Dogtra 200C Remote Training Collar
  1. Mini Educator ET-300 Remote Training Collar by E-Collar Technologies

For dogs weighing as little as 8 pounds, E-Collar Technologies' Mini Educator ET-300 is a helpful dog training device. It might be tiny, but it's powerful. In the hands of a knowledgeable trainer, this remote dog trainer is a potent tool. You can change your training techniques and select the ones your dog reacts to best by using static stimulation, vibration, and tone. It is also offered in the Educator Zen 300 design and in yellow and black colors.

ET-300 Mini Educator Zen Remote Training Collar by E-Collar Technologies
  1. Dogtra CUE Remote Training Collar

The Dogtra CUE remote trainer is the latest addition to the Dogtra e-collar lineup. Currently only available through Amazon, this 400-yard collar has a 400-yard range, 24 levels of static stimulation, vibration, and a carabiner-design remote transmitter. The receiver is convertible for a vertical or horizontal fit, making it flexible for any dog size.

Dogtra CUE Remote Training Collar
  1. SportDOG YT-300 Yard Trainer Remote Training Collar

The YT-300, like all SportDOG collars, enables you to expand your dog's recreational and obedience training activities. You have complete control up to 300 yards. Some features include a long-lasting rechargeable battery, 7 levels of static stimulation, easily accessible vibration, tone stimulation options, and DryTek technology that makes the system waterproof and submersible to a depth of 25 feet.

SportDog YT-300 Yard Trainer Remote Training Collar

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