Early puppy training is vital to the future success of your well trained dog

Puppy training can start soon after you take your new puppy home. By now you should have picked a puppy that is right for you in both temperament and health. Your puppy should be at least 49 days old or 7 weeks. If the pup is younger than this he will miss out on vital socialization phases.

After having the puppy in his new home for a week it is time to start some early puppy training exercises. These are short sessions, about 5 to 10 minutes. Doing these sessions once or twice a day will make future training much easier. Be gentle during these short puppy training sessions. You don’t want your new pup to dread training. You want it to be fun for both of you.


The first exercise focuses on establishing you as the alpha pack leader. Dogs are pack animals and need to know they have a pack leader. If they doubt your leadership they will try to become the leader themselves. This situation is unacceptable and leads to frustration.

Sit on your knees with the pup facing away from you between your knees. Have him in the sitting position. Bring your hand across his chest and hold him gently. Put your other hand under his muzzle and hold him steady. As your doing this praise him with a calming voice and stroke him. If the puppy squirms, put him back into position firmly and give him a stern, “no, stay” command. When he settles down stroke and praise him.

Do this exercise until the puppy is comfortable with the restraint. This simple puppy training will let the pup know you are in command. You are the alpha pack leader in his world. This will help you immensely in future training sessions.

Early puppy training is vital to the future success of your well trained dog


The next exercise in puppy training is manipulating the dogs’ body. This will re-enforce you as the pack leader as well as make grooming and veterinarian visits easier.

Follow the same procedure as above, holding the puppy between your legs and going through the whole procedure again but now wrap your hand all the way around his muzzle. Praise and stroke him when he accepts this. Now move his head from side to side and up and down. If he struggles start from the beginning.

Continue manipulating him by lifting his gums and examining his teeth. Every time he accepts this treatment, praise and stroke him. Now open his mouth by holding the bottom and top and gently opening. If he resists firmly shake his muzzle and say, “no”. Continue the process by inspecting his ears and eyes. Letting him get used to such treatment will make your veterinarian visits much more pleasant.

Continue with this exercise for short sessions until the puppy is comfortable with each. Continue the process by doing some more puppy training exercises.

Follow the same process as above, putting the puppy between your knees and calming him. When the puppy is calm, grab his front paws and pull them forward forcing him to lie down. Praise and stroke him if he does so willingly. This may take a few tries before he gets it.

Now roll him on his side. Don’t let him get up, if he tries, push him down gently and hold him there saying, “no, stay”.

Once he’s relaxed grab both sets of paws and move him slowly from side to side. This puppy training is easier on a slick surface. When you are done, and he is relaxed say, “okay” and let him up.


Once each session is over give him lots of praise and reward him with play time. Making puppy training positive; full of praise, stroking, and ending with play, will make the puppy eager for each session.

Once the puppy is comfortable with these exercises its time to move on to the early phases of more advanced puppy training like leash training, coming, staying and sitting.