What are the first commands to teach a puppy?

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Just got a new puppy?  Here are some of the basic first commands that you can teach your puppy.

By Guest Blogger, Opal Miyamoto

When you’re parenting your pet, you must understand that it’s similar to being with a toddler. It means that you need to spend some time teaching and training your puppy to become a member of your family. An exciting way to start is by rewarding good behaviors such as not peeing inside the house and redirecting destructive behaviors.

There are several things that you must note when you want to start training your puppy. An excellent way to interact well with your puppy and get them to listen to you is to begin by teaching them a basic command such as a watch or look. This isn’t a trick, but a way to get the dog’s full attention before you start the training – and it’s a part of the training too. Before starting your training, though, you have to decide which words to use consistently – look or watch. Before you teach the dog anything, say “look” and give a treat when it responds. This will give you her full attention, for you to start the training.

Here are some of the basic first commands that you can teach your puppy:


Teaching your puppy to sit down is one of the first things when you start your training. It is an easy command to learn and is a good boost for the other training sessions for you and the dog. To teach the dog to sit down, hold a treat close to the dog’s nose and lift your hand with the treat in it until the puppy follows your hand with their head. Then, naturally, your dog will lower the butt to the ground to assume a sitting position. Then, tell the dog to “sit” and give them the treat once it sits.

To master any command, repetition is essential. So it would be best if you practiced it several times per day. For example, use this command to put the dog in a sitting position before placing the food they eat in front of the dog. You can also do this when you are at an intersection during a walk.

Note that if you are teaching your dog some other commands and it isn’t learning or mastering it, end that session so the both of you don’t get frustrated. However, it would be best if you did this on a positive note.


Another easy command that you should teach your dog first is to come. This command may be a lifesaver. Training your dog to understand the come command when you call out the first time is essential – given that it can slip out of the door without a leash or even slip out of the leash during an outdoor walk.

Teach this command to your dog in your house by leaving it with someone in a room and moving into a different room or another part of the room. Then call out to the dog using the ‘come’ command. Ensure that there’s some enthusiasm in your voice and give the dog some praise or a treat once it responds to your command. If you’re ecstatic each time a dog comes to you after calling out – making a fuss and petting the dog – it will learn the command sooner and will run at you every time you call out with this command.

Ensure to practice this command in a safe environment where there’s no distraction. Once the dog starts coming to you and doesn’t hesitate after you call out, irrespective of what’s happening around him, then you know he has learned and mastered the command.

Drop it

The ‘drop it’ command is important to teach your dog if she picks up something from the floor that you want them to drop so she doesn’t eat it. It may also be useful when you want to collect a piece of food, toy, or any other thing that she may be chewing on. Another variation of this command is ‘leave it.’ However, be sure to use only one of them so you don’t confuse the dog. After calling the command and the dog replies, reward her for it.

For instance, if you want to collect a toy from your dog, call out the drop or leave it command and put out your hands to receive it. You could repeat this process by handing over the toy and calling out the command if she gives it to you again, praising and rewarding her. This will help her learn the command quickly.

It is possible to use the ‘leave it’ command separately. In this case, leave an item on your floor and while she walks toward it, call out the ‘leave it’ command. If she leaves it behind and does not pick it up, then you can reward her with praise or a treat. This is one of the commands that a therapy dog will learn not to pick up a dropped medication in a nursing home or hospital.


‘Down’ is another crucial command to teach your dog. It is a potential lifesaver, too, because it can stop the dog from jumping at your guests or trying to get on the counter. They learn to stay down and face the ground with this command.

To train your dog to listen to this command, put it in a sitting position, then you can move your hands with a treat so that it moves down towards the ground. Call out the command and have the dog follow your hand till it gets to the down position. Do this repeatedly until it learns the command. Once it masters this command, then you can move on to other commands.


Training a puppy may not be as easy as it appears in this article. It requires a lot of patience from you and understanding like you are dealing with a toddler. However, one way to make the training easier is to always praise the dog after learning each command and giving them treats.

about the author

Opal Miyamoto is a freelancer and a blogger at this essay writing service. She is very friendly and communicative. Opal is always open to new connections. Her hobbies are cooking, painting, traveling, and writing of course.

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