Top 5 Cues to Teach Your Puppy

Essential Training for a Well-Behaved Canine Companion

Training a puppy involves more than just teaching tricks; it’s about instilling good manners and behaviors that will last a lifetime. There are certain cues that are essential for every puppy to learn, not only for their safety but also to enhance the bond between you and your furry friend. In this post, we will explore the top five cues that are crucial for every puppy to master.

1. The “Sit” Cue

Foundation of Obedience Training

The ‘Sit’ cue is often the first command taught and is a cornerstone of basic obedience training. It’s a simple yet powerful cue that lays the groundwork for more complex commands.

Steps to Teach ‘Sit’

  • Start by holding a treat close to your puppy’s nose.
  • Slowly move your hand up, allowing their head to follow the treat, causing their bottom to lower.
  • Once they’re in a sitting position, say “Sit,” give them the treat, and share affection.

Applications in Daily Life

‘Sit’ can be used in various situations, such as waiting at doorways, calming down when excited, or during grooming sessions.

2. The “Stay” Cue

Teaching Patience and Self-Control

‘Stay’ is crucial for teaching your puppy patience and self-control. It’s particularly useful in potentially dangerous situations, like stopping them from running into the street.

Training Steps

  • Ask your puppy to sit.
  • Open your palm in front of you and say “Stay.”
  • Take a few steps back. If they stay, reward them. If not, repeat the process.

Gradually Increasing Difficulty

Start with short distances and durations. Gradually increase the distance and time before rewarding them.

3. The “Come” Cue

Ensuring Safety and Responsiveness

Teaching your puppy to come when called is essential for their safety. This cue is invaluable in preventing potentially dangerous situations and ensuring they respond to you in public places.

How to Train

  • In a secure area, go a short distance away from your puppy.
  • Say their name followed by “Come” in a cheerful tone.
  • Reward them with treats and affection when they come to you.

Consistent Practice

Practice this cue in various environments with different levels of distraction.

4. The “Leave It” Cue

Preventing Unwanted Behaviors

‘Leave it’ helps prevent your puppy from picking up dangerous or unwanted items. This command is essential for their safety.

Steps to Teach ‘Leave It’

  • Hold a treat in both hands.
  • Show them one enclosed hand with the treat inside, and say “Leave it.”
  • When they stop trying to get the treat and move away, reward them with the treat from the other hand.

Reinforcement in Real-Life Situations

Reinforce this cue consistently in real-life situations to ensure they understand its application.

5. The “Down” Cue

Promoting Calm and Submissive Behavior

‘Down’ is an excellent cue for promoting calm behavior, especially in hyperactive puppies. It’s useful in situations where you need them to settle down.

Teaching the Cue

  • Ask your puppy to sit.
  • Hold a treat in front of their nose, then slowly bring it down to the floor.
  • As their head follows the treat, their body should naturally go into the down position. Once they’re down, say “Down,” give them the treat, and show affection.

Importance in Various Settings

This cue is particularly useful in public settings, during meal times, or when guests are visiting.


Training your puppy with these fundamental cues is key to a well-behaved and well-adjusted dog. Remember, patience and consistency are crucial in puppy training. Use positive reinforcement techniques to make training a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your puppy. By investing time in teaching these essential cues, you are setting the foundation for a lifetime of good behavior and companionship.

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