What’s the first command to teach my puppy?
The first thing your dog or puppy should learn is his name; by that, I mean he should look into your eyes when you say it. The easiest way to teach him his name is to give him a treat each time he looks into your eyes, regardless of whether or not you say his name. He’ll soon learn that making eye contact with you is worth his while. Then, once he’s offering eye contact, add his name just prior to when he looks at you. Follow immediately with a reward. He’s now learning that the sound of his name paired with making eye contact results in a treat. Remember: do not use his name when disciplining–especially when he’s first learning it.
The ability to get your dog’s attention is fundamental to all aspects of training. Therefore, reinforce his “attention-paying behavior” by rewarding your dog’s “check-ins” and times when he looks to you for guidance or cues. In dog training, lack of attention is like swinging a tennis racket without aiming at the ball. It’s a good bet you won’t get a hit!