Tricks You Can Teach a Puppy Early On

Jamie Highland writes about various family and baby topics. For more info or to check out the puppy baby shower theme or some baby shower gifts, visit My Baby Shower Favors. If you want more articles, visit our site and click on the Contact Us link.

By Jamie Highland

Young puppies can be very easy to train. You can make them do various tricks, as long as you approach the issue in the form of a game. A puppy can easily understand what you want and do it, especially if you provide a special award for each successful attempt.

A puppy is a very intelligent creature. As every young and inexperienced being, it is keen on exploration and games.

You can train a puppy and make it do various tricks, as long as you have the right approach. It is very important to be positive about the process and to turn it into a game that both you and the puppy will enjoy.

Understand that puppies are very intelligent. They will observe and repeat what you want from them, as long as you provide the proper stimuli. Little dog treats can be used to increase the effectiveness of the training session. Naturally, you will have to be patient and calm, even if the puppy fails getting there after few attempts.

Puppies can be though various relatively easy tricks. The techniques for teaching those are all uncomplicated.

Sit Down

This is a basic trick that each dog should be familiar with.

Get the puppy standing still on all fours. Say the command out loud: ‘sit.’ Your tone should be calm. Refrain from sounding intimidating or too commanding. You need to pronounce it clearly, so that the puppy gets acquainted to the verbal command. This tip is valid for all tricks.

Once you say sit, put one hand in front of the puppy’s front legs. This will provide it with support. With the other hand, gently push the puppy’s behind until it sits on the back legs. Once you get the puppy to sit, pat it and say ‘well done.’ Give it something tasty, so that the puppy knows it did something right.

Repeat the game several times until the puppy starts sitting without your interference. Provide it with an award each time.


This is a very simple and effective trick. Everybody loves a puppy that extends a front paw out, as a form of a greeting. To teach your puppy this paw-shake trick, you will need some treats and some patience.

Make the puppy sit. Hold one front paw in your hand and say out loud a relevant command – for example ‘greet.’ While you hold the puppy’s paw, give it something tasty and let go of the paw.

Repeat until the puppy starts stretching out the paw on its own. Most puppies will start alternating from one paw to the other if you refrain from giving them a treat. Have fun together.


Have you heard dogs barking after they have been asked to ‘speak’?  This trick is easy to teach and hilarious.

For this trick, you will need lots of patience. It cannot happen on its own and you will have to wait for the puppy to act first.

Wait for the puppy to start barking. Once it does, say out the command ‘speak’ clearly. Give the puppy a treat. Wait for it once again. As soon as the puppy barks, let it know it has done the right thing.

Soon, the puppy will establish a connection between barking and tasty dog treats. It will begin barking when you give the command. Make sure that you train it properly, otherwise the puppy will keep on barking ceaselessly until you give it some praise.

Once again, teaching your puppy tricks should be an enjoyable process for both parties. If the puppy feels scared and abused by you, it will do the tricks out of fear. Make sure that tricks are connected to a positive emotion and a way for you to bond with your pet.

Book Review: The Dogs of Proud Spirit

By Melanie Sue Bowles

Pineapple Press, Inc.
Hard Cover, 2010, $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-56164-478-0
Available at Amazon or

Sale proceeds help care for the rescued horses at Proud Spirit

Reviewed by Carol M. Upton

And so, this was our life: challenged, but always enriched by the animals who somehow found their way to the gates of our sanctuary and into our hearts.  Encompassed by our love, they loved us back. ~ Melanie Sue Bowles

There is no stronger message for animal-lovers than that found in The Dogs of Proud Spirit.

Proud Spirit sanctuary began with one horse in need on five acres in rural Florida and evolved into a 320-acre facility in Arkansas, where nearly 200 horses have come to live out their lives in peace. Melanie and Jim Bowles are the founders of Proud Spirit and this book offers incredible stories about the dogs that have also found their forever home at the sanctuary.

From Molly, the skinny hound running loose in a parking lot, to Gunner, the Corgi mix languishing in a shelter, to Dusty, the Rottweiler cross who took them past their “two dogs is enough” rule, Jim and Melanie kept adding to their pack. As happens to many with big hearts, strays continued to show up in their lives. The dogs fit in well, developed various ‘jobs’ for themselves, and got along with the horses.

Like all rescued animals, these dogs were mixed challenges and blessings. Molly and Gunner narrowly escaped death by alligators. Dusty didn’t like the existing pack and even showed initial aggression toward sanctuary visitors. Then, there were the infant hounds, dumped in a ditch, who grew into working dogs named Trixie, Trudy and Daisy.

Proud Spirit is one of the most successful, long-lasting sanctuaries for horses in the United States. These animals are not adopted out, but live their lives surrounded by compassion and kindness in an ideal environment. The stories in this book feed the reader’s soul and inspire new faith in the process of adopting and rescuing animals in need.

Melanie and Jim Bowles currently live with 72 horses, 12 dogs and one talkative barn cat. Melanie is also the author of The Horses of Proud Spirit and Hoofprints: More Stories from Proud Spirit. Visit Proud Spirit at: