Puppy Training FAQ

New puppy on the way? Our puppy pros have answered all of our most commonly asked puppy training questions below!

What is the first thing you should train your puppy?

The first things to train your puppy on are basic puppy manners! Puppy manners can include potty training, crate training, play biting, chewing, and socialization! Of course, sit, down, stay and come are some of the commands we initially think of, and are great for your puppy to learn. However, by starting with the basic and most common puppy behaviors you can set yourself and your puppy up for long-term success. Check out our blog “Bringing Puppy Home” or any of our other Puppy Training Blogs for more information on how to address these topics!

When should you begin training your puppy?

Puppy training should start as soon as possible. Ideally, before you even get your puppy! Breeders and foster families will often begin socialization, potty training, and crate training before 8 weeks of age. No matter what age or where you get your puppy from we recommend having a training plan before you get your puppy! Our blog “Puppy Training: When to Start, Who to Hire, and What Type of Program,” is a great resource for more details!

What are the first 5 commands to teach a puppy?

The 5 commands we recommend teaching your puppy first are sit, down, stay, wait and come. Each of these commands are very practical and can be used in a variety of settings. Stay tuned for our “How to” blogs on teaching your puppy these commands!

How Can I Socialize My Puppy?

Socializing your puppy may be the most important step in training your new puppy. The socialization period for your puppy is between 3 and 12 weeks of age (can be extended to 16 weeks). The goal is to safely expose your puppy to a wide variety of people, animals, sights, sounds, and environments and for these experiences to be as positive as possible. Plan on exposing your puppy to 20-50 new people and new dogs each week. Don’t forget, we want to make these experiences super positive! To achieve this, use FOOD! Start by giving your puppy a piece of kibble when they see or meet a new person or animal (if your puppy is a little picky, try using a small tasty treat). Feeding your puppy in new situations and environments will help them create a positive association with said stimuli. Here are a few ways you can socialize your puppy.
  • Set up a puppy play-date with a known, friendly, and vaccinated dog
  • Take your puppy to parks where they will most likely see other people, dogs, kids, and small animals. (If your puppy isn’t fully vaccinated, you can feed your puppy at a distance, this will still create a positive environment for them!)
  • Other examples of things to expose your puppy to: are traffic, cars, bikes, vacuum cleaner, blenders, dog-friendly restaurants, and the list goes on and on!
Whatever you want your puppy to be comfortable with as an adult they should be exposed to as much as possible during the socialization period.