Some people think they should wait until a pup is half grown to begin training.  But the time you miss is still training time for puppy.  He’s learning every day: that when you pick up his leash, it means he’s going out, that when you are not looking, he can grab a tasty shoe or have an “accident” on the rug, that “no” means “no,” or that it doesn’t.  He begins his education the moment he comes home, so best if you jump in early and get him started on the right track.  That’s a lot easier than changing his opinion later on.

What’s first?  A “Follow Me” game.  You want your puppy focused on you.  That focus helps create the bond that makes living with a dog not only delicious, but makes training easier and life with your dog more rewarding.  So, take a walk, in your house, and entice your pup to follow.  You will not need to use a leash and pup does not even need to be wearing a collar.  Just walk from room to room (or back and forth if you live in a studio apartment) and see if the puppy follows along.  If not, if he starts and stops, if he gets distracted along the way, no problem.  You can whistle, chirp, call him by name, sing “puppy, puppy, puppy, GOOD puppy.”  You can carry a little squeak toy and give a squeak when something else catches the pup’s attention.  You can move faster.  You can flop to the floor and let puppy catch you for kisses.  All in all, a few minutes is plenty, but try this game a few times a day.  This simple activity will teach the pup to keep his eye on you, a necessity before you teach anything else.

A simple game or teaching one new command, working for five minutes or less at a time at first, may tire out a little pup.  Working his mind will tire him more quickly than working his body and it’s just as important.

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To help your new pup become more focused, more bonded to you, easier to train and smarter, a little game of follow the leader will do the trick.

Where do we go from there?  Easy.  I’ve got you covered.

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