Dog Training Checklist - Towards Molding a Cultured Pet

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Are you looking for a comprehensive dog training checklist? If you bring home a puppy or older dog, the training bit is something you want to get right. You have to teach your puppy to be what you envision as a cultured adult dog. 

Training is part of the proper growth and development of your new dog. You may never get to experience the intelligent, friendly and sweet side of your fluffy buddy if you don't get training right. 

To succeed in dog training, you have to have all the needed items at a given stage and know when and how to impart a skill. And it's always better to start early, do not wait until it's too late. 

If you are looking to train your new dog, there is nothing more to worry about. It may come out as an intensive activity, but we got you covered in this article. 

This training puppy checklist should get you a well-cultured and well-socialized dog. 

Shall we get started on how to train a puppy? 

Dog Training Checklist Essential Items

shiny brown puppy

Before you bring home a new pet, you need to shop for all the essential items. Here are dog training checklist items you need to get:

  • Dog treats such as food rewards,
  • Dog toys such as chew toys,
  • Dog crate,
  • Long leash, collar and harness,
  • Dog car seat covers,
  • Your dog’s favorite dog food,
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste,
  • Nail clippers,
  • Brush,
  • Shampoo and conditioner ,
  • Dog training book or resources.

Basic Commands 

Basic obedience commands are the foundation of training your puppy (1). 

The goal should be to teach your dog to obey simple, short and basic commands such as:

  • Come(the most important in this category)
  • Sit ( for when they have their meals)
  • Leave it
  • Stop
  • Lay down

It would be ideal to start training your puppy in simple basic commands as soon as you bring them home. They learn this command best when they are typically around 7-8 weeks old. 

Basic obedience Commands Training Tips for Puppy parents

woman training a puppy

You can demonstrate the position you want your dog to be in. For example, you can sit while holding a food reward in your hand. As the dog attempts to get the food reward, pull it lower so that your dog gets in the sitting position to obtain the food reward. Always repeat the word as your dog does the action. 

The secret to succeeding in making your puppy learn simple commands is making sessions very short and fun. Training should last 5-10 minutes but spread out throughout the day. 

As Chad Mackin would say, any dog and puppy training goal should be to always challenge and never overwhelm.  

Always remember this as you train puppies; they have a short concentration span. Also, for this reason, you need to choose an area in your house with no distractions. 

Tip: Ensure the entire session is full of positive energy, praises and dog rewards or toys. 

Potty Training

french bulldog puppy sitting on the toilet

Potty training needs to begin as soon as you bring your new canine buddy home. First, you will have to start using absorbent house pads, which your puppy can use in between potty breaks.

As a new puppy parent, you will have to be patient to successfully potty train your dog. 

Besides, you will need to create a schedule for potty breaks. For young puppies, you can take them out every two hours. You can, however, increase the time as your puppy grows old.  

Remember: Puppies have small bladders; they may not hold it in for longer like older dogs. This is why we recommend that you use a timer to keep up with potty breaks. 

At 3 months old, you can start taking your puppy after 3 hours, and so on until your puppy is 7 months old. After that, it's ideal to keep taking your dog for walks and potty breaks after 7-8 hours. 

Crate Training

the puppy lying on a pillow in a crate

Crate training is essential because it helps you protect your dog when you are not around to watch over them. 

Besides, crate training will save the destruction of your items such as rugs, carpets, sofas, cables, shoes and furniture. If left alone, without proper crate training, they may chew on anything they find around. 

Dogs take crates as their safe haven or a spot to chill when they want some alone time. They also learn to hold in while. So, this goes hand in hand with potty training. Just remember to take them out after every few hours. 

Also, learning to associate the crate with happiness will help solve separation anxiety. They will happily spend time in the crate when you ask them to. To build this association, consider giving food rewards and food while the pup is in the crate. 

Leash Training

jack russell puppy holding a leash in his mouth

Pups are not used to walking on a leash yet. This is why they will dart in different directions when you first walk them on a leash. 

Luckily, if they receive leash training, they will keep good manners all through their lifetime. 

When you bring your new puppy home, put on his collar and harness when he is in the house. Allow him to play and run around with his leash on. It's good to have it on during play sessions. 

Just allow him to drag the leash until he does not mind it anymore. 

 When they seem to not mind it, you can take them on a short walk around your house. From then, you can move to your yard. If you hold the leash and he starts following you, then it's time to try a walk in the neighborhood. If he doesn't, you can try simple commands they already know like, "come" or gently pulling them. This way, they will soon know that they are supposed to walk with you if you hold their leash. 

Disclaimer: never leave the leash on the puppy unsupervised. Remove the leash when the puppy goes in his crate too. You do not want the leash tangling your new dog. 


labrador puppy playing with a man

Your puppy needs to be well-socialized. This will help it be a well-adjusted adult. 

By socialization, you need to train it to get along well with other dogs, children and adults. You need to be present during any interactions. It is at this stage that you introduce other commands such as bite inhibition. Your presence will help unlearn bad behavior. 

Take older puppies to different places, and let them interact with other people and animals. You may also need to help pets get used to unusual sounds such as those of motorcycles. So, get your dog car seat covers for trucks on, and take your dog on a ride. It will help him adapt to any unusual sounds in the first few months after their arrival. 

Socialization is also essential if you want your dog to guard you. You don't want to have to lock your dog whenever a visit shows up in your house. 

Train it for Vet Appointments 

veterinarian giving a vaccine to a husky puppy

Many dogs have a difficult time when they visit the vet. Start handling your dog's teeth and ears from an early stage. This way, they will grow up adapted to people examining their ears or teeth. 

Start by lifting their lip to give him a food reward. You can then separate the lips and give him chew rewards. This way, the puppy will have an easier time at the vet. 

You will also have less trouble when you have to give your dog pills at home. Be sure to ask your vet to demonstrate how to give your pup pills. You can then practice it with treats. You will soon be there. 

Training For Hygiene

It would help if you taught your pup to let you access and examine its body parts. The trick is to introduce everything early. 

Create a schedule to start brushing his teeth from an early stage. From this point, he gets used to it. Remember it will become difficult for you to introduce brushing at a later stage. Set a schedule on when to brush your dog's teeth. You can have it just before or after playing with their favorite toy while excitement is at its peak. 

The same applies to nails. Puppies can react violently when you suddenly introduce nail cutting. For the first few weeks, touch the nails and examine them. Watch how they react before you take any steps. You can start with trimming before you start cutting the nails. 

The same applies to brushing and bathing your dog. When your new dog arrives home, introduce hygiene practices from this point. If you wait for longer, you will have to negotiate with a defiant pet.

Always remember to start slow as you build your way up. 

Training for Car Rides

If you plan to tag along with your dog for rides, you need to start training it early. Many dogs experience motion sickness, and they need to be helped out of it. 

You do not want to wait until you have to drive to the vet, only to realize your dog won't settle in the car. 

 To train your dog for car rides, get your best dog cover for a car on your seats, and sit in the car. You can then drive in the neighborhood. Constant short trips will train your dog to stay calm even during long trips. 

Getting car seat covers made in the USA will save you any burden of cleaning fur after the rides. 

Successful Training Tips for Puppy Owners

Training a new puppy is not a small feat. We all want a cultured dog, but getting there is certainly not straightforward. For this reason, many people send their dogs to dog training classes (2). However, if you want to create a stronger bond and friendship with your new puppy, you gotta take this role up. 

These tips will be super helpful when you teach your puppy from the basic socialization skills to the most complex of skills. 

Use Reward-Based Training

man training a dog

Reward-based training entails using rewards such as toys and food treats to keep encouraging correct behavior. 

How practical is reward-based training? 

  • It will build your dog's trust in you
  • It encourages your dog to learn and master new skills and commands
  • Imparts a long-term positive experience in your puppy
  • Lets them recognize you as their leader

Careful, though, do not reward fear. A lot of puppy parents reward fear during puppy training, which makes them fearful all their life. It would be ideal if you allowed your puppy to deal with situations it finds fearful. However, you need to ensure your puppy is safe by protecting it from anything truly dangerous .  

Be Patient and Consistent

training german shepherd puppy

Patience, dear new puppy parents. Puppies are still young and may easily make mistakes in a training session. They may forget what they had previously learned or may become defiant if the training session is too overwhelming for them. Besides, they will not get everything right from the first try. 

You don't give up at this stage. If you want to keep them on track, you become consistent. 

Have your puppy training schedule; this will help it learn the training steps faster. Have specific time for:

  • Potty breaks
  • training sessions
  • food 
  • nap and sleep
  • play

A set schedule helps promote good behavior during training. 

However, it would be ideal if you understood the difference between consistency and rigidity. If you are rigid, you are most likely to discourage your dog. We recommend that you treat genuine effort as a success. Take every opportunity to encourage your new pup. 

Keep Practicing 

a puppy in the arms of a man

With dog training, you have to keep practicing to get it right. 

Put aside some time to review what the puppy has already learned. While still young, you can set aside 5-10 minutes sessions to remember already acquired knowledge. 10-15 minutes works perfectly for older dogs. 

Practicing hack: Allow them to work and earn their meals. Before breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can make the puppy remember and act out already learned knowledge before they can have food. This way, they will always look forward to the new training session. 

Always remember to keep all sessions short and fun. 


Dog training at home can be intensive. However, in the long run, it will almost always result in a rewarding and strong bond. One thing puppy owners fail in is when to start training a puppy; start as soon as you have . Start training your new puppy or dog as soon as you bring him home. 

Also, we would love to remind you that just like humans, all dogs are different. Do not teach your dog as you compare it to other dogs. They all have different capacities, just like humans. 

Remember, consistency and patience will get you there. With consistency, your family will soon have a friendly and cultured dog. 

Step by step, you will get there.









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