These are the most critical stages of a puppy's life, the time when his attitude toward and perception of us "humans" is shaped. Indeed puppyhood should be a time of playing and fun, but correct training at this early age will help in producing a dog that is spirited and eager to work and learn as he matures.
Teaching the stress free sit:
Get the puppy's attention. Have one of his favorite treats (at this age they think with their stomachs so it should be something that he really likes!) in your hand and let the pup sniff at it. Slowly raise the hand with the treat up and back over the pup's head saying the word "sit". As the pup's nose and head go back - following the treat - his rear end will go down ... into the sitting position! Praise him and of course give him the treat. Your puppy will quickly associate the word sit, the treat, and the action of sitting. Four or five repetitions a few times a day. No stress, no corrections.
Teaching the stress free down:
This one is a lot easier on your back if you have some steps to work on where you can place the pup at the top and then sit in front of him. You can also use a sturdy table if the puppy is not nervous about being on it. As before, get the puppy's attention with one of his favorite treats in your hand and let him sniff it. Slowly lower your hand to the floor while saying "down". Following his nose, the puppy will lie down to get the treat. Praise him and give him the treat.
Your puppy is now learning two obedience commands with no leash, no collar, no corrections, and no stress. He probably thinks you are even greater than you were before, his doggie reasoning being: "WOW, I follow his smelly hand and I get a treat!"
Enjoy your puppy, he'll be a lifelong friend!
Article submitted by: © Chris Amick (Biography & Additional Information)