Basic Training Commands


You should hold a treat above pup’s nose, slowly moving it backwards above their head. Pup will tilt his head back to follow the treat and will, eventually sit himself. As he sits, say the command “sit” and then give him the treat and praise him. Repeat this many times and he will associate “sit” with this action. Swop between using, treats and praise, when he sits and you will eventually only need to praise him and pat him on the head when he gets the command correct.


Try get someone to assist you here. Ask your assistant to keep your puppy in a “sit” position, while you sit right in front of your puppy. Open your arms wide in an embracing gesture and say his name enthusiastically and add the word “come”. Your pup will just have to move forward to reach you. When he does, give him lots of affection and a treat. Now, try this few paces away from your assistant and repeat the process, remember to say his name and then add the command “come”. Give lots of praise and treats for this training, as this could be one of the most important commands you teach your puppy, with regards to his safety. Gradually, increase the distance between you two when using this command also, use it when he cannot see you, so that he learns to listen for your voice. Once you have mastered this command in your garden or a safe environment, take him to a doggy park where there are lots of new sights and sounds. Again, enlist your assistant in the beginning, repeating the process of calling him at a distance and rewarding his correct behaviour. Remember to be super enticing to your puppy in the park, using special yummy treats, as there are so many exciting distractions for your inquisitive puppy. Eventually, after much practice, your puppy should always come to you when you say his name and the command “come”.


You can only start with this command once you’ve mastered the “sit” command. Tell your puppy to “sit” then take one step back, while holding your palm out in front of him and saying “stay”. Hold this position for 3 seconds. If he stays then reward him. If he doesn’t stay, start at the beginning again, he will eventually get it. Once he’s got it, repeat and practice while gradually increasing the distance and length of the “stay” command.


This command is to get your dog to lie down. Don’t confuse your puppy by using this command if you want him to get off the couch, rather use the command “off”. To teach your puppy the “down” command, hold a treat in your hand with a little bit sticking out and show it to your puppy while putting your hand on the floor. He will do everything to get this treat, but will eventually lie down. When he does, say the command “down” and give him the treat with lots of praise and pats on the head. Practice this command and he will eventually learn that your hand on the floor and the command “down” requires that he lies down.

Preventing unwanted behaviour

Don’t encourage unwanted behaviour such as jumping up. Even negative reactions will encourage them. If your dog jumps up, rather turn around and ignore him, he will eventually stop. You can also use the “sit” command to stop the bad behaviour continuing and praise him when he responds and sits.