The 5 Easiest Tricks Your Puppy Can Learn Now

Puppy pressing his paw against a woman hand

Some of the first and most memorable bonding moments you’ll have with your new pet puppy may entail teaching them basic obedience.

On top of providing your puppy with the physical activity and mental stimulation they’ll need to grow up into a happy, well-adjusted dog, you’ll likely have a lot of fun showing off your dog’s new tricks to friends and family and experience immense pride as a pet owner.

If it’s time to teach your young dog new tricks, it’s best to start with the easiest ones. Build their confidence and get used to a proper training regimen with these beginner-level tricks and commands:

1) Loose-Lead Walking

First, it will be essential to teach your puppy how to walk politely on a leash. Doing so will prevent leash pulling and ensure enjoyable outings and stress-free walks for both of you.

When you first start training your puppy to walk on a loose lead, start by making sure they’re comfortable wearing their gear. It’s normal for them to fidget a bit in their collar and bite the leash at first, as they may find it strange.

To get your pup used to being on a leash, give them treats and praise them for acclimatizing to their new routine. It’s also a good idea to use Martingale collars during their first loose lead training sessions.

They feature a larger loop that goes around the dog’s neck and a smaller loop that tightens when tension is applied to the leash. The tightening action of the smaller loop will prevent the collar from slipping off your puppy’s head without choking them or causing harm to their neck. 

Once your puppy gets used to their collar and leash, begin their training in earnest. Stand next to your puppy while keeping a loose hold on the leash, then take a few steps forward and encourage your pet to follow you. Reward them with treats when they do.

If your puppy pulls on the leash, stop walking and wait for them to relax and release tension. You’ll want to practice loose-lead walking in short sessions and gradually increase the duration as your pup gets used to their daily walks.

2) Sit

The “sit” command is one of the cornerstones of obedience training for puppies. It’s one of the easiest tricks for establishing further learning and communication, promoting good manners, and enhancing your pet’s focus and impulse control.

Before you teach your puppy to sit on command, make sure you’re in a quiet, distraction-free environment, as this will help them focus on their training. Then, hold a treat close to your puppy’s nose and slowly raise it above their head.

As your puppy follows the treat with their eyes, their bottom will naturally lower into a sitting position. Once your puppy sits, say the command “sit” and reward them with the treat.

3) Shake 

Owners and puppies doing a “handshake” is always an adorable sight to see. Some new puppy owners may think that this is a hard trick to teach, but it’s quite the opposite.

To teach your puppy how to “shake,” command them to be in a sitting position. Hold a treat in your hand and place it near your puppy’s paw.

Then, say “shake” or “paw” and gently lift your puppy’s paw with your hand. Whichever cue you decide to use, be consistent with it and always use the same word for this trick. 

As soon as your puppy’s paw touches your hand, praise them and give them the treat. Repeat this process on both sides and alternate between their left and right paws. 

4) Down

Teaching your puppy to go down can be very helpful when you want them to relax and settle down. It will also help them maintain their self-control in various situations.

Whether it’s during meal times, visits to the vet, or encounters with guests, this command is one of the most important ones you can teach them. Thankfully, it’s also one of the easiest.

To teach your puppy to lie down, start them off in a sitting position. Then, hold a treat in your hand and lower it to the ground in front of them.

Wait for your puppy to follow the treat with their nose, and then move it towards their chest. As your puppy’s chest touches the ground, say the cue “down” and reward them with the treat.

If your puppy struggles to lie down, you can gently guide them into the position by placing your hand on their shoulders and applying slight pressure. Reward them with a treat once they’re down on the ground. 

5) Roll Over

Another classic trick is “roll over,” which can help develop your puppy’s agility and intelligence. Start them in a lying-down position and, like in the examples above, hold a treat near their nose.

Slowly move the treat in a circular motion towards their shoulder to encourage them to roll onto their side.

As your puppy rolls onto their side, continue to lure them with the treat until they complete a full roll-over. Remember to praise them and give them the treat after successfully doing the trick.

In case your puppy struggles to learn to roll over, break it down into smaller steps. Remember to be patient with their progress and consistent with their training. 

Overall, it may not be as hard as you think to teach your puppy a variety of commands at an early age. On your part, there aren’t any fancy tricks involved in the process—just your effort to maintain a routine and to be patient with your puppy at every stage of their learning!

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