Basic Dog Training for Your Christmas Puppy


Did you get a new puppy for Christmas or has your family recently adopted a pandemic pup from an animal shelter? It’s been fun so far with the snuggling, the games, and watching him or her do the funny things that dogs do. But perhaps there’s also been some struggles like eating things he shouldn’t or the pulling while taking daily walks or dragging you across the park after the squirrel that caught her eye. Perhaps your new pup has taken off on you and scared you to your bones!

Now is the time to begin puppy training or brushing up on the basics for your adult dog. It will help you set expectations for your dog so he knows what to do and ease your mind that your dog will be safe no matter where you take him.

The SpotOn Fence certified dog trainer, Nicole Skeehan, has created a series of 8 videos that outline the top 8 Puppy Training Skills your dog should know. They are weekly exercises that will help you walk your dog through each command, step-by-step. It’s best to master the skills in order as they build upon each other. 

The top 8 Skills are:

  1. Watch
  2. Touch
  3. Leave It
  4. Stay
  5. Loose Leash Walking
  6. Come When Called
  7. Lie Down
  8. Heel


Dog Training Skill  |  Watch

Watch is the first skill your dog will learn at puppy kindergarten. The cue ‘Watch’ or ‘Eyes’ is used to get your dog’s attention by looking you in the eyes. It’s effective for resetting them if they are distracted by other animals or busy tearing apart something they shouldn’t. It will stop them in their tracks. It can also stop pulling towards people and picnics when you are walking them through the park or around the block.

Dog Training Skill  |  Touch

Touch is an extension of Watch that not only involves pulling your dog back from a distraction, but creates a physical connection or pause. It can also be used when training proper manners for greeting new people or dogs. The idea is that when you say Touch, your dog refocuses on you (not that squirrel) & touches their nose to your hand. 

Dog Training Skill  |  leave it

Leave it will keep your dog from harmful food or situations (like Poop!) as well as stop him from chewing up your stuff. In this video series, our dog trainer, Nicole, teaches you in small steps to get your dog to leave anything – even piping hot pizza!

Dog Training Skill  |  Stay

Stay keeps your dog in the space you want and out of any activity you don’t. This 4-part set of videos teaches you the basics stepping up to highly distracting situations where you can proof your dog’s skills.

Dog Training Skill  |  Loose leash walking

This is your first step to good manners while walking on a leash. This set of videos will build from the prior videos to teach you how to train your dog that they belong at your side while walking. Filled with tips and tools that will help you show your dog that pulling or getting out ahead of you will only result in frustration.

Dog Training Skill  |  Come when called

Come When Called or just Come is a necessary skill for your dog to master before you take them anywhere off leash. This video series takes you from the basics on a short lead to mastery of a long lead and eventually to the point Come When Called or just Come is a necessary skill for your dog to master before you take them anywhere off leash. This video series takes you from the basics on a short lead to mastery of a long lead and eventually to the point when you let them off leash. It also helps you decided which types of foods, treats, or toys your dog likes best for rewards.en you let them off leash. It also helps you decided which types of foods, treats, or toys your dog likes best for rewards.

Dog Training Skill  |  Lie Down

Teaching your dog to lie down and then stay there is great for indoors both when you are at home and want to relax or when you are visiting other people’s homes. It’s a dog command that makes your dog the ultimate polite pup.

Dog Training Skill  |  Heel

Heel is an advanced and more controlled version of Loose Leash Walking. It requires your dog to be closer to you and move with you in any direction you move. It’s good for walking in busy areas like rail trails or attending outdoor events. 

With these 8 basic dog training skills, you can keep your dog safe and controlled when you take him or her on walks, errands, and vacation. It also makes for an easier to live with dog that has proper manners in the family and with new visitors - dog or human.


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