As a new Goldendoodle owner, one of the most important things to take on (in addition to their potty training, grooming, and diet schedule) is your puppy’s training! Bustling with energy and a newfound sense of joy and companionship, your dog should be taught the basics early in life so it sticks as the years go by! Here at Goldilock’s Goldendoodles, we suggest basic commands every puppy should learn before moving on to more elaborate training. Read on for the four commands to start training your Goldendoodle puppy once they’re at least 8 weeks old!

Before you start: Puppies should be trained in a space they know that has minimal distractions, so all focus is on you, the owner! The best training takes place when your puppy is alert, rested, and able to hone in on their time with you. Lastly, make sure the dog has made a potty stop before and after the training session.

1. Sit

The most fundamental command every dog should know is Sit. The trick to enforcing obedience is to have an incentive on hand, such as a treat or toy. Reward your pup for sitting with a treat and if they don’t do what they’re supposed to, do not scold them! Remaining positive keeps the training upbeat and your puppy remains more receptive to routinely learning obedient behaviors.

When you and your puppy are in a place of focus for training, the best way to coax them into a sitting position is by holding the treat no more than five inches above their head and behind. That way, the dog has no choice but to move back to have the treat remain in view, as well as look up. Instinctively, they should place their behind down into a seated position… all for a chance at the treat and for you to initiate the command! If they’re having trouble sitting but continue to look up, step closer.

It can take a few tries for your pup to understand the command, but stay vigilant as they process your verbals! Praises like “Good job!” and “Yes!” are fantastic encouragements. Your dog will eventually associate the command with the action without constant treats in hand – the sign of a successful training session!

2. Shake

Shake is one of the more entertaining tricks to teach your puppy because it emphasizes interaction between humans and canines! The best way to introduce this command is simple: Hold out your hand! Your dog will get curious about the action and potentially sniff and lick you, but once their paw lands on your hand, reward them and do it again!

Start extending the time between command and reward after each try, that way your puppy fully understands what you’re asking them to do. When there’s skin-to-paw contact, say “Shake!” so the verbal cue is connected to the action. If you want to teach your puppy to shake with both front paws, not just one, then additional training will most likely be needed. Puppies are extremely receptive to actions, so watching you switch from one hand to the other will be a step for them to mimic!

3. Roll Over

Once taught, the Roll Over command is another playful trick your puppy will love! From the Sit position, have them lay down and hold a treat at the side of their head to coax them on their side, then praise them! Do this a few times, then add the next step of the roll by moving them onto their back with an incentive in hand. When they follow the treat in the complete “Roll Over” motion, add the verbal cue and praise them!

The more effortless the motion becomes for your dog, reduce the amount of guidance and treats so they have more of a verbal cue to associate with the Roll Over action!

4. Stay

Considered the more difficult of the four basic commands, Stay requires a lot more discipline for your dog to adhere to. As a puppy, this may get tricky as they will constantly want to be by your side! According to the AKC, having a clear start and finish to the command is necessary for its success. Stay is the start, but you’ll need a release word to signal the end, such as “OK”, “Done”, or “Go”. Choose one and only use that release word for the command!

Once you’ve decided on how you’d like your dog to stay (the most popular is sitting), make sure to avoid using treats during the command – reward your dog after they’ve fully completed the command. Additionally, practice putting distance between you and your dog while they’re in Stay so you can gauge duration and distraction in different scenarios!

Want more tips and tricks on living your best life with your Goldendoodle puppy? Visit our blog for more!

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