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What's the first thing I should teach my puppy?

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

If you have just brought home a puppy, it can be overwhelming thinking ‘what’s the first thing I should teach my puppy’ as the list of potential options is endless! And, when we are faced with so much choice, we can often end up trying to train multiple things all at once, but not perfecting any and sometimes causing confusion for your new puppy.

So, to help you here’s our suggestion on the first thing you should teach your puppy…

What's the first thing I should teach my puppy?

The first thing you should teach your puppy is that good things happen when you are around.

Although this is not a behaviour, teaching your puppy first that good things happen when you're around is a great way to start building trust, connection and a bond with your puppy. This skill will set you up for success, build a happy foundation for your life together and ensure that you are clear with any further training in the future.

This will then have a positive knock on effect when you train other things such as recall, loose lead walking and focus around distractions. In fact, we would even go as far as saying that without teaching your puppy this first, you will have a hard time teaching many of the behaviours that you're going to need to enable a happy and mutual relationship.

How do I start training my puppy

Now you have the ‘what's the first thing I should teach my puppy’ decided, your next thought is likely ‘how’? You don't need fancy equipment to start training your puppy, but you do need to be committed to training every day.

To start training your puppy, pick up their favourite toy and begin wandering around the garden or house and when your puppy comes over to see what you are doing, offer them a treat (that you have ready in your pocket). Make the interaction exciting by rolling the treat across the floor, play a little bit of tug with the toy or hide a treat in the long grass and look for it together. Your puppy will soon learn that good things happen when you are around.

How to build a positive connection with your puppy

It should go without saying, but we'll say it anyway… Training your puppy should be a positive experience for you both, so you should not expose them to unpleasant experiences, such as shouting at your puppy or becoming heavy handed. Instead, use positive energy and training methods when training your puppy so they will learn that you are a predictable, safe space and that you are worthy of their trust.

Learn more with All Positive Dog Services

If you want to know more about the science and methods behind what’s the first thing I should teach my puppy or if you would just like to start building a better relationship with your puppy, check out our puppy socialisation course and puppy training courses. Or get in touch at if you have any questions!



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