7 Obedience Exercises to Practice with your Puppy

AKC Canine Retreat Puppy Kindergarten Class

Giving a new puppy behavioral training is one of the best things you can do. It allows you to take your puppy places and to trust that they’ll listen to you. When you have a new puppy, there are many training commands and practices that you may be excited to try. But there are 7 that are the most important and you should teach them these before moving on to more advanced commands.


The sit command is a basic, yet easy, skill and it is a great first trick to teach your dog. To teach this, hold a high value treat up to your dog’s nose. Then, move the treat up, so that your dog’s head follows it and results in them lowering their bottom to the ground. As soon as your dog sits, say “sit” and give them the treat.


Once your dog has mastered sit, move on to come. Come is probably the most important command that you teach your dog. This skill is extremely important for times when your dog gets out into the yard on their own or you accidentally drop their leash. To teach this, put your dog’s collar and leash on. Get on your dog’s level and say the command “come” while gently pulling on their leash to bring them towards you. Once your dog comes to you, reward them with a treat.


Like come, stay is an important command for your dog’s safety. Teach your puppy stay from an early age to keep your dog safe. To teach this, start by having your dog sit. Slowly back away from your dog with your hand outstretched. If they follow you, tell them “no” and have them go back into their sit. When they stop, tell them “stay.” Reward them with a treat and then tell them to come.

Leave It

Leave it is a great skill to teach your pup- dogs are very curious and tend to go up towards, or put in their mouths, things that they shouldn’t. Leave it will help with this. To teach this, put a treat in both hands. Put one hand behind your back, but have the other hand in front of you. Show your dog that you have a treat in that hand but then close your hand into a fist. Wait until your dog loses interest in the treat while telling them to “leave it.” Once they back away from the treat, give them the treat from the hand behind your back as a reward.


Down comes in handy when your dog is getting a little bit too excited and wound up- plus, it just looks cute! To teach this, hold a treat by your dog’s nose and slowly bring it down to the floor. When your dog’s elbows touch the floor, reward them with the treat. Once your dog is able to do this, begin only giving them the treat once they lay down completely. Then add the command “down” to your practice.


Teach your dog to use their bed when they get tired- and remember to only use their bed as a reward, and not a punishment! This is useful to be able to tell your dog to go to bed. To teach this, show your dog their bed, put a treat on their bed, and say the command “bed.” Let your dog get the treat as their reward!

Watch Me

Watch me is not always taught, but it is extremely important. When you and your dog are in a busy area or there are a lot of distractions, this command will come in handy. To teach this, simply hold a treat by your dog’s nose and slowly move the treat towards your face while saying “watch me.” When they look at you, reward them for their focus!

For additional help with training, please visit, or if you live in the Denver, Colorado area, make an appointment for one of their many exceptional dog training courses!

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