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Woof Wednesday: Puppy Training Tips–Sit, Wait, Come!


"Teach me, please!" Copr. Summer Hughs.

Everyone wants a polite puppy. But how does it happen? Polite behavior doesn’t develop overnight and what’s cute in Junior-Dawg can become a problem when that 10-pound baby turns into a 60+ pound dynamo.

Many folks delay training until it becomes a problem. But actually, puppies are little sponges that soak up lessons with little effort. You can train the little guys and turn it into a game! My Magical-Dawg was doing “puppy push-ups” (sit-down-sit-down) on TV at age 10 weeks. Here’s how you can turn your puppy into a genius–or at least he can play one on TV!

Note, these tips work for adult dogs, too–and also for cats. :O


This can be the canine “open sesame” to all good things. You teach kids to say the magic words, right? Well just as please-and-thank-you work for human kids, a “sit” can work for the dog. You can do this using lure training or my favorite, clicker training. I used the clicker training techniques with Magic. It lets the pet puzzle out how to please YOU instead of you trying to out-think the dog. Learn the step-by-step tips here.


These techniques also work for train the “come” command. I like using “wait” with puppies, though, because they rarely have the patience to hold still long enough to win a reward for a “stay.” The “wait” command simply means don’t move forward–but they can get up from a sit or down or whatever. Wait works really well to keep pups from dashing through a door and knocking you off your feet. Here’s how to do it.


"Come? I'd rather play keep-away!" Copr. Paige Nelson


This one is a HUGE DEAL when you’ve got a puppy on the loose. After all, the little guy learns very quickly that you can’t catch him and then–wow, watch the fun HE has while you tear your hair and pray he won’t dash into traffic! Of course a safe area to train or confine is best to prevent such awful potential accidents. But it’s also a great idea to teach your baby dog (or your adults!) to come when called. These tips work really well for puppies.  For my Magical-Dawg, his fail-safe recall command has become, “CAR RIDE!”  That really brings him running!

Are your puppies–and adult dogs–well trained? What are some must-knows for your furry crew? How did you train them? Are there any behaviors you wish pup-o-matic would do but don’t know where to begin? Please share!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

7 responses »

  1. Car ride! Works for my dogs as well. We finally got our Jack Russell to stop bolting out the door every time it was opened. That used to give me a heart attack because she would be gone in a flash and halfway to Canada before you even knew she was out. Maybe because she’s 9 now and likes her comfy life she’s decided to stick around. Who knows, I’m just glad she stopped bolting. These were the first commands we taught our dogs and continually reinforce them with positive affection. It really makes life so much easier if you just put in the effort in the beginning. People tell me all the time what well-behaved dogs I have. I love that.

    • LOL! When Magic “goes south” on us (as my husband says) the last resort is to honk the horn and he’ll come running. We don’t want to do it too often, though, or he’ll learn he gets a car ride every time.

      Yep, that positive affection makes all the difference. I want my pets to be well behaved because they want to, respect and love me–not out of fear. Even though I can do a pretty convincing growl. *eg*

  2. Nancy J Nicholson

    Amy, I’m passing on your posts to some not so well trained boat dogs. We have a boat in the anchorage with two small bundles of joy and in fact they are friendly, they just howl as if they’re in pain when anyone approaches. I’m afraid some foreign official is going to take the dogs away as if they are being mistreated.

  3. Great post Amy! I’m sharing it now on Twitter. Everyone of these, “sit,” “wait” and “come” will help dog parents save their pet’s life. No more sprinting out of the car or house, once their dog knows and responds instantly.

    I just mentioned you then put a link to one of your posts in my latest Dog Leader Mysteries. Here it is:

  4. The Golden mix is so cute being a good boy! I bgohut a Shar Pei yesterday and he’s so playful! I want to train him to do this And I’ll use the lid of a jar as my clicker


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