Training a Puppy Basic Commands Overview and Why Puppies Need This Training


This post will be centered around training a puppy basic commands. This will include why you should teach your puppy basic commands and go through the most common commands.

Why should you train a puppy basic commands?

Training your puppy basic commands is relatively simple but takes time and commitment. Your puppy should be able to behave them self when in a public area and at home. In other words, they should have manners. You might not think that your puppy needs to have manners at home, but the first time the puppy chews on your favorite shoe or furniture, you’ll wish the puppy knew what is off limits.

Other benefits you may have is if you are able to have the puppy sit & stay or lay down & stay, you are able to enjoy dinner. You can also do other activities, without constant interruptions of the puppy or dog trying to invite themselves into anything and everything you do.

Even if your puppy does not go into public spaces often, you will be making trips to the vet and groomer if you need to. Having a dog step onto the scale and sit patiently while they read the weight is easy. Having a puppy or dog that doesn’t want to sit still or doesn’t want anything to do with the metal plate can be a painful process.

At the vet’s office, they may be requiring you to bring the puppy to the door and drop them off. (This is mostly due to the COViD restrictions.) If you have to leave the puppy with other people, they should be able to do everything they need to do for the exam. This statement assumes you have socialized your puppy and they are okay with people they don’t know. It is a much better situation if they are able to tell the puppy to sit or lay down during the exam.

Also, it is an added benefit when you’re walking the puppy and you are able to tell the puppy to sit and stay if there is another dog they see or if you’re waiting for traffic to pass.

Having a puppy that knows basic commands and has some manners makes life much easier.

When should you start training a puppy basic commands?

Puppies are little sponges just like children. They absorb information. The breeder may have started teaching basic commands. (Some start the training, others don’t) Either way, if you’re continuing the training or starting the training, you can start as soon as you bring your puppy home. Ideally, you want your puppy to learn as much as possible during this phase of their life.

What are the basic commands?

There are 5 basic commands. (This is the most agreed upon list of basic commands.)

They include sit, stay, lay down, come, and leave it. Here is a bit more info on each one of the commands

  • Sit:

Sit is the foundation of all training and is not extremely hard to teach. It can be useful is an array of scenarios. If the puppy is getting excited or in the way, it is an easy way for them to shift their focus to you. A lot of the time, you will want the puppy to stay where they are. Sit and stay go together a lot of the time.

  • Stay:

Stay is a very important command that all puppies should learn. It is normally used after “sit” and “lay down.” This is extremely useful when the puppy is in the way of whatever you’re doing.

  • Lay Down:

Lay Down is similar to sit. When the puppy lays down, they are more relaxed than with sit. There are two main types of laying down. If the puppy is laying down and looks like they can stand up without much effort, they are still at attention. If you can maneuver the treat to get shift their hips to one side so they are in a more relaxed position.

  • Come:

Come can be a crucial command. If your puppy is not on a leash or broke free from the leash, they might run away from you. If they head towards the street or high traffic area, they don’t know how dangerous it is and they could get hurt or worse if this situation happens.

  • Leave It

Leave it is also extremely important when training a puppy. Some puppies pick up everything on the ground. Some not as much but there are a lot of them that do. Depending on what they picked up, you may want them to leave it before swallowing. Sometimes you might not even see what they picked up. It’s best if you can tell the puppy “leave it” when they may be eating something they shouldn’t.

Bonus: Other Needed Basic Training

Depending on your puppy, you may need other training that is going to make life easier on a day to day basis and should be considered basic commands. Here’s a short list of some other training you may need.

  • Name Recognition:

Name Recognition is the absolute first item you should work on with your puppy. This is for every puppy owner. You must repeat the name constantly. You can also do exercises to move a little faster in the process.

  • Kennel / Crate Training:

There are three main ways to use a crate. The first is while potty training. The next is for sleeping at night. And the third is when the puppy is left alone. You will need to do some crate training if you plan to use one in any of the ways listed.

  • Potty Training:

Potty training is exactly what it sounds like. Everybody wants a potty trained dog. The puppy and the method used will determine how long this will take. If you’d like to learn more about a few of the methods click here.

  • Leash Training

Leash training is also what it sounds like. It is a must for puppies. Depending on your situation, you may have to take your puppy on a walk multiple times per day. Leash training is not just for people who take their dogs on walks. It is necessary for every puppy since they will be on a leash when they go to the vet, groomer, park, etc.


Puppies need to have manners and not have control over people. Teaching the 5 basic commands will result in a well-behaved puppy. And who doesn’t want a well-behaved puppy?

What are you working on training?  Have you run into any difficulties with specific commands?


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