Things You NEED To Teach Your Puppy

What puppies learn first, they learn best. Meet Ryan, his daughter Logan, and their new puppy, Bentley. Now they’re actually first-time puppy owners, and things are going pretty well with Bentley, but they’re still a bit confused as to what they’re supposed to be working on. Now I’m going to share with him a few things that I do with every single one of my puppies when I first get them home.

So one of the first things that we like to do with our puppies in the first week at home is do a little bit of food work. Now, luckily, we have a very willing participant because we have a puppy that’s very interested in food, but we don’t just want to feed the dog. There are lots of little things that we can do. So this is going to be super easy for, uh, your puppy, but we want the puppy to be able to follow the food. So this is called luring. The actual technique is called luring. And basically, wherever the food goes, my puppy goes. And once I know that he’s willing to do that, which is super easy for you, then I can actually start to teach him some things.

Now there’s like 1,000,001 things that you can do to teach the puppy with that method. Walking, sits, downs, and endless tricks—there’s all kinds of things. But in the first week, we want to just keep it simple. So we’re going to focus on just a couple things. So first things first, we’re going to work on. I think you said you were already doing a bit of this, Logan, working on things like sit and down.

I’m going to have you grab some treats and just kind of show me what you’ve been working on in terms of, like, the sit and the down. So typically, if we want to sit, we would take the food, put it close to the nose, and then lift it high. Perfect. And then, yes, reward them. Sit. Yes. Good. Okay. Now, two little tips.

Essential Training Tips for Your Puppy

When you do it, keep the food close to your body. So whenever he learns to sit, he sits really close, because what happens if they sit way over there and they’re used to us walking over to feed them? We kind of teach the puppy to kind of hang out at like a bit of a bubble, a bit of a distance. So if he sits out there, praise him. Technically, he’s a good boy, but just kind of wiggle your fingers and encourage him to come in a little closer. So he’s actually nice and closes notes, so you can get him to sit there. Yeah. Good. Perfect. So super simple, but like little things. Also, when we teach it, we want to try to be careful that we don’t say sit multiple times because then the puppies will sort of say, Okay, I’ll wait till the sixth time to listen. So if you’re working, Hey puppy,

This is why we have a house line. So you can’t wander away. So say I, I say sit, and it takes like a couple extra seconds for him to kind of process or work through it. I would just sort of wait quietly, and then yes, him, as soon as his butt hits the floor. So he learns one command and then does the behavior.
But then obviously, the better he gets at it, the faster and faster he will go. Okay. Okay. So keeping those things in mind, now we’re going to try the down. So I personally find it easiest to start with the puppy sitting.

I sometimes will say sit. Sometimes I just lure the puppy into a sit. Then I would say down, and then I would lure the puppy with a treat one second later. You know, I tried to fake you out there, and it didn’t work. So I would lure from the nose to the toes, and then once the little elbows hit the floor, I would say yes and then give the treat. You want to try that? Down. Go ahead,and then just kind of hold it there. No, you want to repeat it, but yes. And reward. Very go. Perfect. Good. All right.

And then what I will also do is, once he gets down, and again, he doesn’t really know any of this stuff yet. I’m just trying to kind of paint the picture. So I have the puppy sit down, then lure him, and then once he’s rewarded, I’m going to reward him a couple times. And before he gets up, I will tell him, Okay, yay. And give him permission. Because another thing we want them to learn right from the beginning is not to use us as a drive-through. I took the treat; I did my job.

We always try to give them permission to leave, but it’s just passive, like, easygoing. And the goal, because he doesn’t really know how to hold positions right now, is to beat them to the punch. So say okay before he has a chance to leave. So it kind of is your idea, even though at this point in the game he’s just happening to do it. But eventually, you’ll learn to just hold that position until you release him. Okay. Would. You say that okay is a really good permission word, or are there any other words that you. recommend using? you can use it; some people say break. Some people say free. Some people say release.

We mostly say okay; it doesn’t matter what word you use; you just have to be consistent with it. So whatever you guys decide, just everyone needs to use the same one. Another little food lure thing that I want to show you is that we have our ups and our downs, something that we work on in terms of handling. So when we have puppies right from the get-go, we want them to be really comfortable with our hands getting all around his head.

Yes, we may have been working on that before the camera turned on, and you’re brilliant; you passed. So here’s why teaching your puppy to follow food is so valuable:. Essentially, what we’re doing here is not only teaching him to do a few exercises; we’re actually teaching him how to learn. What I need him to understand is that food is a valuable resource. He wants that, but in order to get it, he needs to learn to do things for me. Now, eventually, we want our dog down the road to be able to listen to us without using food. But in the early stages, we need to use something that motivates the puppy. So food is a great resource for that.

If your puppy’s a bit hesitant to follow food in the early stages, don’t make them do too much before giving them a win. Maybe you lure them one step at a time and then reward them. Maybe you do it at times of the day when your puppy’s really hungry or there’s no distraction around. So there’s really only you to focus on. And then you can build on more complicated things. And one of the things that I’ll do is encourage my puppy to come close, and then I’ll get my hand inside the collar. If you think about it, how many times do we have to take off the collar to put his leash on or to pick him up and put him in the car? And some puppies, not necessarily in the early stages.

Most of the time, when they’re young like him, they don’t really care. But as they start to get older, maybe more nipping starts to happen, or they start to just get a little bit more sure of themselves. Mm-hmm, you go to reach a hold or call to get a hold of their collar, and they’ll avoid or they’ll nip in that moment. But from a puppy, if he’s been conditioned, I take a hold, and then you get rewarded, and then they’re basically like, Take me, take me. This is a great thing. Because they know it’s so good. Yeah. So another thing that I’ll teach the puppy within the first week of being home is how to respond to their name. Now what we’re looking for, though, is a specific response.
When we say the name, we only have to say it once. We want the dog to turn really quickly when we say it.

So there are certain exercises that we do that create that response in the puppy. Because the most common thing that people do, especially the first week home, is to be excited about the puppy.
(06:09) So it’s like Bentley, Bentley, Bentley, Bentley, Bentley. We just use it all the time, and then you’re not actually getting a response from the pup. So the first thing that I would do right off the bat before I do anything else is just play a little word association, and I think we’re ready for this. So basically, what I would do is say the name Bentley, and then I would give a reward one second later.

And I would do this when he is paying attention so he is not distracted. So it’s just name feet; your name is not name; your name is Bentley. Bentley. And then feet Bentley, and then feet literally like that. Now that looks dead easy, but most people do this. Bentley, right? Yeah. They get the treat, and then they say the name. Then he’s like, I don’t care about the name you’re feeding me. This is great. Yeah. So it needs to be named, then fed. Because then what starts to happen is if he hears that word and then goes, Oh, she’s going to reward me, I can now start working a little bit on distractions. Okay, so the next thing we’re going to do is we’re going to kind of let him get a little bit disengaged, and then we’re going to try calling his name.

There are two ways we can go about this. We can set him up for total success, and we can say his name and then automatically turn him away from the distraction. So he doesn’t have an opportunity to be wrong, or we can test him; we can say his name, see what happens, and if he turns, we can reward him. And if he doesn’t, we can train through that. So we’re going to start off.
Ryan, I think what I’m going to have you do is take a couple, maybe just hold the bowl in your hand, and then. I’m going to show you first. So you just hold the bowl in your hand. So I want him to know it, and I’m just going to show you what we’re going to do for distraction. So he sees it there.

I would say his name and then turn him away, so he doesn’t really have a chance to be wrong. Another thing that I do with puppies the very first week is introduce some toy work because when we have puppies this age, we don’t necessarily want to be taking them for really long walks, but we also make sure that they don’t get completely crazy and they need exercise. Teaching them to play with toys with you is a great relationship builder. It’s also a great way to tire them out so that you can put them in the crate and actually have some peace. So we have a puppy that’s pretty into the toy, which is great, but I want to talk first about one of the exercises that we’ll do before we do anything like fetch or anything like that, which is we want to work a little bit on the game, tugging out.

Now the reason why we do this is because it’s great engagement, but it also gives me an opportunity to kind of show some leadership in a really non-confrontational way. That’s fun. That’s super simple. He puts me in the driver’s seat, but he’s like, Ooh, this is really great exercise. So the first thing that I would do is get the puppy engaged in the toy, which is not very difficult right now. If you did let go of it, though, what I would do is keep it moving around. What a lot of people will do is dangle it above the puppy, and it doesn’t invoke it. I really want him to get into it. So how’s he shaking his head like that? Some people think, Oh, is that okay? I love that.

I want him to be crazy. If he starts growling and gets really into it, that’s perfect. Okay. I want to make it really exciting. The other thing too, I don’t know if the camera picked this up, but he just accidentally, like, bit my hand, but immediately he went to the toy. I also love that because he’s showing me that he’s learning to be respectful around my hand. I didn’t even have to do anything. He just did it all by himself. And, you know, that’s something that I would praise him for. I really like that. Okay, so here comes the control part, because we can’t just have a crazy beast. What I’m going to do. There you go.

Dog’s Treat Pouch. If you’re looking for one of those for your puppy to help you with great timing, you can get one on McCannDogs store Yes. Good. And all we do with the puppies the first week is do a bit of a trade. So I say the command again; there’s a theme here. I say the word, and one second later I show the treat so that I’m not dependent on the treat later in life. So I say the word, and then I trade him for a piece of food. Now, when I did that, I stopped tugging with him. I made that a little bit more boring, and I put the food literally in his nostrils, so that he really couldn’t resist being a good boy.
So if he’s grabbing something that he’s not supposed to, you didn’t start the game; he is just having a party and grabbing something. What I would do from there is go in and make sure he has the house line on, because then you can stop him. I would go to the house line, and right away I would tell him out, and in the early stages I would trade him with it.

As the weeks go on, you could just put your hand in his collar and hold, and then that sort of makes holding the slipper not so fun. And he’ll let go. Okay? And then when he lets go, good boy. But then quickly redirect him to something else. Grab his bone—something that says okay, not cool, but this is awesome. Okay, there are a couple things I wanted to mention about what we’ve done here. So if I was just to give him the toy, I don’t know if we have lots of puppies left to see if he’ll do this, but lots of times if I just give him the toy to play by himself, he’ll either get disengaged or what a lot of puppies naturally want to do is take it away and go and play with the toy on their own.

And I don’t let the puppies do that at all, no matter the age. So when I have the long line on, I can make sure that he’s playing nice and close because I want him to learn that this is something that we do together. So there’s going to be certain toys in the house that I will let him go and play with independently. I’m sorry. So this is a play toy, not a chew toy. Yeah, play toy or like interactive toy. So, like, when he gets this, it’s with you two or your mom, obviously, but I wouldn’t let him go and just lie on a bed and play with this.

I’m missing a perfect opportunity to do something like an US thing because this is all about building relationships. Does that also mean he’s not possessive of that toy as well? Yeah, because we’re teaching him to engage with the toy with control because I’m initiating it, I’m also ending it. So although he can be wild and crazy and have some fun, there’s underlying rules that are part of it. You don’t bite me; you don’t bite clothing. You don’t just jump up and grab it when you want to. You have to give it up when I ask you to. So there’s rules there, but it’s packaged in a really fun way.

Did you know that we’re a family-owned business from Canada? And Ryan and Logan are actually local to us. So they’re able to come and train with us here in person at our facility in Flamborough, Ontario. But if you’re not close to us, you can still join our awesome community. You can work with me and the rest of the gang on our online programs. We have a great puppy program called Puppy Essentials, and we have students from over 60 countries in the world. You can learn all about how awesome our program is by clicking the link in the description below. So Ryan, you mentioned whether you should be walking Bentley or what you should do. So I’m actually going to show you another exercise that you can do instead of walking him; that’s going to burn all that extra energy, which is going to be important but also work on teaching him some.

When we have puppies that are this young, we just takeW them home for the first week. I don’t worry at all about using the become command. What I focus a lot on is just teaching them their name. So we’re going to do something called a restraint recall. This is something you can do by yourself, or you can also do it with multiple family members, which makes it lots of fun.
essentially, So essentially one of you is gonna hold him, the other person is going to stand in front of him, and they’re going to tease him with this tug joint. Get him really wild about it. And when he kind of looks interested, you’re going to call his name and run away.

And when he catches you, which will only be like six or 10 feet, you’re going to play tug with him for a few seconds and just let him have a lot of fun. And what he’s going to learn is when he hears his name to chase, after you run back to you for, uh, control, okay? Who wants to be the holder? Who wants to be the caller? Who wants to be the caller? Okay, and you’re going to face this direction, okay? Logan, you’re going to start sort of facing him, and I want you to kind of wiggle the toy.

They get like a head of steam up, and then they’re like, Whoa, and they can’t go back. So then, basically, you just get a second little rep in there, say his name, and then run away. So let’s talk a little bit about what happened. A lot of things happened great there, Logan. You were really good about waiting until Bentley was focused before you called. And that’s going to be important because it might not always go that way, especially if there’s more distraction. So that’s a super important thing. The other thing is that because we have the theme, we want to say the command once and then get a response. When we have a puppy, they don’t know any better. We have to kind of use our gut and timing to make sure that when they’re focused and we say the name, it’s actually going to happen.

When he’s running to you, you want to resist the temptation to say, Bentley, Bentley, Bentley, Bentley. Because again, he starts hearing multiple commands, but you can literally say anything else on earth. Woo. Good boy, that’s great. Like whatever. Talking to him is perfect because it keeps him interested and focused. But that’s what he teaches them. If he gets to you and he gets to tug for like two seconds, that’s not really worth his while. He needs to feel like whatever happens when he gets to you is just something that’s so worthwhile doing over and over. Put it like, uh, regurgitating them. Okay? Look, what you’re going to do is you’re going to come in and put the food on the nose and you’re just going to sort of be neutral and you’re going to tease tease tease and you’re going to say his name once and then you’re going to back up one or two steps

Okay, now that he sort of gets to the game, we’re going to go back and forth. So as soon as you feed, you’re just going to turn him around and aim him at Logan. And then, Logan, you’re going to get down right there. tease tease tease, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, Bentley. And then go back away. Back away, back away. Be perfect. Okay, now you face him at your dad, and then, right, you’re going to do the same thing. And then, if you have more distance, you can start putting more distance in. So tease him. Ready, Bentley Ready. Don’t say his name to tease him, since he’s not focused. Just hold him. Logan, hold him like we have your hand right here. Ready? Ready, ready. Now call. This is going really well, but we need to turn this up a notch because we’re trying to build a lot of motivation in driving our puppies, and we’re also trying to tire them out at the same time.


One of the things that I am very obnoxious about, as you can probably see, and those of us who watch the YouTube channel know that I’m obnoxious about praising and cheering. It is a weird thing, especially when you’re learning something new, to do all of this talk because you’re like, Hey, am I backing up? Do I lose my left hand? Do I hold the leash? Like, there’s so much to think about, but you really wanna get like them excited. You’re going to come in when you tease ’em. I want you to say, ready or on your mark, get set with something that’s like we’re about to blast off into crazy. So tease them up. Ready? Ready, ready. Set. Set. Go Bentley. There we go. Jackpot reward. Now that you know some of the things you have to start working on with your puppy, you have to learn about all of the other things, but don’t worry, we have a plan for you.

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