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How to Train a Dog: Basic Training Techniques for your Puppy

February 26, 2021
How to Train a Dog: Basic Training Techniques for your Puppy

Getting a puppy can be fun and exciting, but also intimidating when you haven’t had a dog before. You know there’s a need to train them but where do you start? How do you actually teach them what you want? For that matter, what do you teach them? Without a guide or previous experience it is very hard to know what to do! We will be exploring all those questions.

Potty Training

Potty training is one of the easiest yet most tiresome basic skill to teach your dog. However, it is a top priority when it comes to training a puppy so both of you have a clean living environment.


Some techniques to achieve this are:

  • Making a Schedule
  • Clean it up!
  • Treats

Making a Schedule

Taking your puppy out on a regular schedule helps them understand where their space to do their business is ideally, taking them out early in the morning, after meals and at night before going to bed. Stay with them on the area until you are sure they have relieved themselves. If you notice that no matter how many times you take them out they pee but do not poop take them to the vet, as they might be constipated. However, soon enough, your puppy will let you know when they need to go in order for you to take them where they can relieve themselves, and not long after that they will go on their own! Remember to keep the area accessible to them at all times to reduce accidents once they have understood where to go.


Clean it up!

Everytime your puppy has an accident in the house, be sure to clean it up right away and take them outside, not as a punishment, but to help them understand where to go. This technique will help you keep the house clean and smelling nice while the puppy learns the right place to go to! This helps especially due to the puppy recognizing where they can relieve themselves through the smell. So remember, clean it up!



Puppy learning the stay command as he obediently remains in a sitting position. Photo credit@Maria Hirlemann

Aside from taking them out, be sure to give them a tasty treat whenever they do their business in the place you want them to go. This way they may understand more quickly where the area to do the deed is, wanting more treats they will replicate what they did to get the treat until they get it right! For this technique try to keep an eye out for when the puppy begins to go on their own in order to reward them as well.

“Stay” Command

“Stay!” This is a very useful command for many situations, whether you want your puppy to calm down when they are getting too energetic during playtime, or if you see another animal that your puppy is attempting to get close to that you fear may harm them. It is also useful if your puppy attempts to run away from you on the street after managing to get free from their leash, which could happen.

Steps to teach your dog to stay:

1. Teach them to “sit”

With a treat in your hand, place it above your dog allowing them to follow it with their snout and sit while doing so. As you do this, say “sit” and give them the treat when they sit down. Remember not to hold the treat too high, or they might attempt to jump in order to get it.

2. Use your hand

Once you have taught your puppy to sit, give the command and as they are in a sitting position hold your hand in a “stop” position and say the word “stay” while slowly backing away.

3. Increase the distance

Every time you practice this with your puppy, try to back away farther. With time you will be able to get the desired distance and your puppy will remain in position for as long as you want them to be.

4. Reward your pet!

Reward them when they stay in position. If your puppy moves, give them the command to “sit” and attempt to back away slowly again. No matter how little time your puppy sits still, always reward them with a treat so they begin to understand!

This puppy has his own toys to chew on and keeps off his owner’s items. Photo credit@Maria Hirlemann

Keep Them Off Your Objects

Puppies tend to bite everything they see, including all of your household items, this tends to lose its charm as they start destroying everything. The way to keep this from happening, however, is very easy.

Some simple ways:

  • Buy them toys
  • Exchange
  • Keep it out of their reach
  • Reward

Buy them toys

You have probably already bought some toys for your pet, however, it would be wise to invest in some toys specifically for chewing, buy more than one, but only give them one to keep on the floor at first, (the reason for this will come later on). Toys specifically for chewing help satisfy their needs when their teeth itch, and they are less likely to be easily destroyed.


When you see your puppy chewing on something that they are not meant to have, instead of yelling or punishing them, get the toy that you bought them but did not give them previously and give it to them while taking away the other object. This way, your puppy will slowly understand what he is allowed to chew on and what he isn’t.

Keep it above their level

After your puppy is trained not to chew your items there will be no need for this, but as you are training them, attempt to keep all forbidden items on surfaces that they cannot reach. This way, they will get accustomed to chewing their own toys and will find no interest in your objects later on.


Everytime you notice your puppy chewing on one of their designated toys, reward them! Praise them, give them a treat, help them understand they did something right. This way they will understand more quickly what you are trying to teach them.

The girl shows love to her puppy with hugs and rewards after teaching him to “stay”,
The girl shows love to her puppy with hugs and rewards after teaching him to “stay”,

Having a puppy can be a lot of fun, but it also is a lot of responsibility and work. These basic training techniques will make you and your puppy a lot happier, but remember, the most important part is to give them love and affection!