What are the Most Important Commands to Teach a Puppy?

Puppies are fluffy little bundles that bring us so much joy. However, they can also bring a lot of stress and frustration too, particularly in the early days when all they want to do is play and bite. It is therefore important to teach your young dog some manners from the very beginning. Moreover, there are certain commands that are more important than others. For example, teaching your puppy to recognize his name is far more important than teaching him to roll over. Once he has learned the most basic commands, you can take things a little further. Until then though, here are some of the most important commands that he should know.

To Recognize His Name

It is especially important that your puppy learns his name. The sooner he learns his name, the sooner he will start to pay attention to you when you call him, which is what you need before you can begin to teach him other things. To train him, you should say his name and then when he looks at you, say ‘yes’ and give him a treat. If he is not looking at you, hold the treat in front of him and then move it to your face. He should be looking at you then. Say his name again, followed by ‘yes’ and then give him the treat.


Recall is perhaps one of the most important commands that your puppy should know. Teaching your puppy to come when you call will ensure that he does not run away from you when off the leash. Young dogs like to be beside their owners when out walking, even when off the leash, but if something catches their eye (like another dog, a bird, or a cat), they might shoot off in the opposite direction. You need to be able to call your dog back and be sure that he will listen.

Because this is the most important command, you need to use a high value treat, such as a piece of meat. The folk at Voyager Harness say that the best way to train the ‘come’ command is to do it with a leash and collar for dogs at first. As you allow him to walk, say his name and when he looks at you say ‘come’. If he comes, say ‘yes’ and give him the treat as well as plenty of praise. Keep doing this with plenty of treats and he will soon learn to come when you call.

Leave It/No

Your puppy will explore the world with his mouth and will try to pick up almost everything he comes across. To ensure he doesn’t eat anything untoward, you need to teach him to ‘leave it’. You can do this by holding a treat in your open hand and then when your puppy tries to take it, say ‘no’ or ‘leave it’ and close your hand. When your puppy does as you command, say ‘yes’ and give him a treat from the other hand. After a while, you will be able to place a treat on the floor instead of in your hand and he should ‘leave it’ if you tell him.


The above are just a few of the most important commands to teach your puppy. Remember, training should be fun for your puppy and should never be longer than five or ten minutes each time. If you try to train him to the point where he loses interest, it will be harder the next time. Give him lots of small treats and praise every time he follows a command, and you will have a well-behaved pup in no time.

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