Training Your Puppy to Follow Basic Commands A Step-by-Step Guide

How to train a puppy to follow basic commands


Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting and joyous occasion. However, to ensure a happy and well-adjusted companion, it is crucial to start training early. Teaching your puppy to follow basic commands lays the foundation for a well-behaved and obedient adult dog. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key to successful training. In this comprehensive guide, we will outline step-by-step methods to help you train your furry friend to respond to essential commands, fostering a strong bond and mutual understanding between you and your puppy.

Start Early and Be Consistent 

The best time to begin training your puppy is during their early weeks at home. Puppies are like sponges, eager to learn and adapt to their environment. Establish a consistent daily routine for training sessions, making sure they are short and engaging. A few minutes several times a day is more effective than a lengthy session.

Use Positive Reinforcement 

Positive reinforcement is the cornerstone of successful puppy training. Reward your puppy with treats, verbal praise, and affection every time they follow a command correctly. This approach strengthens the desired behavior and encourages them to repeat it. Avoid punishment or scolding as it can lead to fear and anxiety, hindering the learning process.

Focus on Basic Commands

Begin with simple commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “lie down.” These basic commands form the building blocks for more advanced training later on. For “sit,” hold a treat above their head, and as they look up, gently push their rear down while saying “sit.” Praise and reward when they are in the sitting position. Similarly, for “stay,” take a step back and hold your palm towards them, saying “stay” in a calm tone.

Leash Training 

Leash training is vital for walks and outdoor adventures. Introduce the puppy to the leash gradually. Start by letting them wear the leash indoors for short periods. Encourage them to walk with you using treats and praise. If they pull on the leash, stop walking, and wait until they return to your side before moving forward. This teaches them to walk politely without pulling.


Exposing your puppy to different environments, people, and other animals is crucial for their social development. Puppy socialization classes can be immensely helpful in providing controlled settings for interaction. Introduce your puppy to new experiences gradually, ensuring they have positive associations. Well-socialized puppies are more confident and less likely to develop behavior problems.

Be Patient and Understanding 

Remember that puppies are like children, and they need time to learn and adjust. Be patient and understanding during the training process. If your puppy makes mistakes, avoid scolding them. Instead, assess what went wrong and adjust your training approach accordingly. Stay consistent, positive, and reward good behavior consistently.

Practice, Practice, Practice 

Training is an ongoing process. Continue practicing commands in different environments and situations. Gradually increase distractions to reinforce your puppy’s ability to focus and obey commands even with various stimuli around. The more you practice, the more reliable their responses will become.


How do I get my puppy to obey commands?

Offering treats as positive reinforcements. Giving the reward or praise immediately following the behavior. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that your dog will recognize what he’s being praised for. Keep your commands to a single word rather than making it complicated.

At what age should a puppy know basic commands?

Puppies are capable of learning basic obedience commands from as early as eight weeks old, essentially the moment they’re through your front door they can begin their training. It’s common for puppy owners to overlook this – thinking that the only training their puppy needs is house training.

Why doesn’t my puppy obey me?

The reasons for this are numerous, ranging from just an age related phase, not adequate training, fear, or just simple distraction issues. The first step a frustrated owner should take is to try to assess WHY their dog is not taking a command, as the solution differs for each reason.


Training your puppy to follow basic commands is a rewarding journey that strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion. Remember to start early, be consistent, and use positive reinforcement. Focus on basic commands, implement leash training, and prioritize socialization to help your puppy become a well-mannered and confident adult dog. Patience and understanding are essential during the training process, and with regular practice, your puppy will develop good habits that last a lifetime. Enjoy the training process and savor the delightful moments with your well-trained and happy puppy!

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