Puppy Commands

Your puppy is like a sponge, taking in his environment with all his senses.  Take advantage of this by assigning words to tasks and activities you would like your puppy to respond to.

Each time you put your puppy in his crate, say crate.”  Put your puppy in the same place each time he goes for a ride in the car and say place” when you do this.   Give names to his toys and repeat the name each time he takes it (this becomes a great trick later on).  Do something similar with each member of your family.   Be creative.  You’ll be amazed at the words your puppy will learn.


Use puppy’s name only positively, “good Fred,” “Fred hungry?” etc.

Leave it

Use this command to prevent the puppy from taking something. Correction is a pop on the leash with a verbal NO.  Praise the puppy when he does not pick up the item.

Take it

Introduce toys and food with this command whenever the puppy puts them in his mouth.

Drop It

Use this command when removing something from your puppy’s mouth.  Encourage the puppy to drop the item by pressing his upper lip against its canine tooth.  Don’t pull items from his mouth.


“Walk” (on a loose leash) – encourage the puppy to walk on a loose leash. Correct with a quick tug of the leash and verbal NO whenever the puppy pulls on its leash.  Praise when puppy walks without pulling.  Can give as “Walk” command.


Use this command while puppy eliminates. Say “good potty” in a soothing voice.


Use this command when the puppy is resting. Right now, you are just introducing the command to the puppy, so don’t say the command unless the puppy is in a relaxed state.  It is not to be used at this point to encourage the puppy to settle down.

Say Hi

Use this command to encourage the puppy to visit with people or animals politely. Encourage the puppy to allow petting by pointing to the person and saying the command.  Praise the puppy if he doesn’t jump on the person.

What’s That?

Use this command to encourage the puppy to investigate new objects. Say command with emotion and excitement, and you should show interest in the object too.  Praise puppy for approaching object but discourage chewing on the item.


Use this command whenever a puppy jumps on an item, furniture, or person you don’t want him on. Praise puppy when he returns to the ground.


Where’s (puppy’s name)? – once your puppy knows his name, use this command to encourage the puppy to find you rather than you chasing the puppy.  Reward the puppy with a treat and tons of praise.  Do not correct if the puppy does not “find” you.

Let’s talk dogs, or even better, let’s learn about dogs.  Set aside some time to receive Spike’s dog blogs by Acme Canine.


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