We understand how crucial the formative years are to a child’s development. Well, the same can be said for the first few months of your puppy’s life. What they learn in this period can set them up with the foundation for lifelong behaviours, emotional response and bonds.

Teaching your puppy basic training cues is fun, rewarding and an important part of learning puppy manners. There are many different cues you can teach your puppy. The following ‘How To’ basics are great for general puppy manners and are the basis for more advanced cues or tricks!

Before you get started though, don’t forget, puppies learn by association, repetition and reward. And always keep things short and positive to create a love of learning.


Show your puppy your have some of their food or treats. Wait for them to sit, when their bottom hits the floor, immediately say “yes” and promptly give them a treat. Step backwards or sideways to encourage them to stand and wait for them to sit again. Give another treat as soon as they sit. After a few repetitions, you can begin saying “sit” at the moment they begin to sit.


Hold a treat in your hand to your puppy’s nose and slowly lure down to the floor. Give the treat when the puppy’s elbows touch the floor to start. After a few practices, their elbows will relax and they should lie down. Give the treat as soon as their chest meets the floor. When they can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.


Stand with your puppy in front of you and simply ask them to go into the easiest position (sit, stand or down). Wait a second or two and give a treat. Extend the time that your puppy is in the position before you give a reward, up to 5 seconds. A release cue is important so your puppy knows when the ‘wait’ is finished.

“MAT” or “BED”

Lure your puppy onto the mat with a treat. Once they have all four paws on the mat, say ‘yes’ and immediately give them a treat. The main thing you want your puppy to learn is that placing their paws on the mat = treats!

puppy-school-training“COME” (RECALL)

Start your training in a slow, low-distraction environment. Show your puppy a toy or a treat, praise them as they are coming to you, and then give them the treat or toy. After a few repetitions, whenever your puppy looks at you and starts to move towards you, say ‘come!’ Make sure to only say ‘come’ when you are confident your puppy is moving towards you.

Whilst you can teach the basics (and have a lot of fun in doing so!), to ensure that your puppy gets the best start possible, attending Puppy School is recommended. Here at Your PetPA, our online Puppy School offers expert advice and unwavering support all from the comfort of your own home. Each live session will guide you and your family to ensure you are creating a safe, secure and stimulating environment for your puppy to grow plus allow you to ask any questions you may have in real time.

Click here for further information about our 4-week online course.