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Published: Oct 13, 2011

Training a puppy takes dedication and time, as puppies often view the world as their playground and don't understand the dangers associated with running into the street or chewing on household items.

VCA Animal Hospitals reports the most important commands a puppy needs to learn is to “stay” or to “come” when it is called. These simple commands may prevent a puppy from being injured or getting into trouble with other dogs, and it allows the puppy to understand from the start that their owner is the boss.

Basic training should begin around the three or four-month mark, as this is the time that puppies generally begin to gain independence and curiosity.

Start teaching the “stay” and “come” commands by putting a treat or toy in front of the puppy's nose, then back away from it about one to three feet while firmly commanding your puppy to “stay." Next, say the pup's name and the word “come”, in a happy, inviting tone. When it listens to directions, reward it with praise and the treat. Repeat this activity daily and start to move further away as each day passes.

Make sure to use the commands for fun activities, not just to get your puppy to come inside, or to have it go lay down in its crate. By using the new commands for positive experiences, like staying for a treat or to be served dinner, or coming to take a walk, the pup will learn that staying and coming to its owner means getting a reward.