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Teaching Puppies Basic Verbal Commands

puppy trainingSIT

"Sit" is easy. Use a leash. Tell the dog to "sit," and simultaneously push down his rump and pull up on the leash. When he sits, love on him so he’ll know you’re pleased with his compliance.

STAY

"Stay" is a little harder. Make your dog sit, then command "stay" and move a step or two away. He'll move toward you. Immediately take him back to his spot, tell him "sit" and "stay" and move away again. Hold up your hand in his face to reinforce this command. Soon he'll get the idea what "stay" means. Then start backing farther away and making him stay in place progressively longer. Eventually he should learn to stay when you give the command and walk out of sight. Always, if he breaks, take him back, make him sit, and try again. Practice makes perfect. Well, almost.

COME

Most pups will learn "come" on their own. They'll want to be with you. When teaching "sit" and "stay," release the dog to return to you with the command "come." Never call a dog to you for punishment. You want to teach him coming back to you is a good thing and nothing to fear. If you want to reinforce a command, go to him to do it. Don't use "come" with any situation that can build his reluctance to approach you.

HEEL

"Heel" is learned on a leash. Position the pup by your chosen side (usually the left), get a short rein on the leash, and simultaneously say "heel" and start walking. When you do, give a tug on the leash to get him started walking with you.

Some dogs will balk at learning this command; they will rebel against your control and pull back. But be patient and work on "heel" daily. When your puppy stops needing the enforcement of the leash, remove it and practice heeling him without it. If he relapses, return to leash-training to reinforce that you're in control.

** Do you have any training tips? Let us know below how you train your pup.

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