As if picking out the perfect name for your pug puppy wasn’t challenging enough, you’ll have to begin thinking about your pug puppy training timeline before you even bring your new furry friend home.
When should you start pug puppy training? Which commands and behaviors should you focus on first? Will you have to keep training your pug forever?
In this article, we’ll answer all of these questions and provide you with a foolproof training timeline that’ll turn your feisty new pug puppy into a well-behaved angel. Let’s start by exploring the timeline, which will detail each command you’ll need during pug puppy training and when you should begin teaching them.
Pug Puppy Training Timeline
Establishing a timeline for pug puppy training will help you achieve your training goals and set expectations for your new pet. Let’s start with the best part: homecoming.
First Days at Home
Training begins as soon as your puppy takes their first steps in their new home. By starting work on five key behaviors from day one, you’ll make future parenthood much more manageable.
As soon as you take your pup home, put their leash on and take them outside for a potty break. When they go, praise them and reward them with a treat.
Keep a militant potty break schedule at first—set alarms on your phone to take your pup out every thirty minutes during their first two weeks at home. And, yes: Keep this schedule even at night.
The sit command is one of the easiest for your pup to learn, and it’ll help them make connections between obedience, praise, and treats, which are crucial to the training process.
Hold a treat in your hand while standing in front of your pup. Say “Sit!” and raise the treat back over your pup’s head. As they look further up, their backsides should eventually sink into a sitting position. Praise, reward, and repeat.
The stay command should also be high up on the docket for pug puppy training.
Use the sit command (and reward obedience). Hold another treat, use your treat hand to make a “stop” gesture, and say “Stay!” Slowly walk backward a few steps and then return to your pup. If they stay seated, praise and reward them.
Lay Down Command
Once your pug has mastered the sit command, try combining it with the lay down command. Once your pup is sitting, hold a treat, and use your treat hand to gesture downward while saying, “Law down!”
Your pup should follow your treat hand to the floor. When they settle onto their belly, praise, reward, and do it again.
Leash training is critical to taking your pup out for potty breaks or bringing them out in public, and you should start it as soon as you take them out for their first potty break.
Hold a treat in your leash hand to encourage your pup to walk beside you, and provide treats as they do so. If they start to pull on the leash, stop, say “No pull!” and proceed again while giving treats for staying close.
A Few Months Into Pug Parenthood
You should spend the first few months refining and solidifying the commands and skills above. But, where do you go from there? Let’s explore some more advanced commands.
Leave It Command
The leave it command is one of the most useful in pug puppy training. It’ll reduce their begging at the dinner table, encourage them not to chew shoes, and keep them from overreacting to stimulus.
Practice this command by placing their favorite toy on the floor, walking them to it on the leash, and saying “Leave it!” while pulling the leash away. Reward, repeat, and try without the leash.
Roll Over Command
A fun party trick, the roll over command requires mastery of the sit and lay down commands, and it’s a more complex motion.
Once your pup is on their belly, hold a treat and circle your treat hand around the back of your dog’s head while saying, “Roll over!” Your pup’s head will follow the treat, and they’ll roll over onto their back in pursuit.
Another fan favorite, the shake command, is a bit more complex than the basics.
While your puppy sits, put your flat palm upwards. Don’t hold a treat. Say “Shake!” and use your other hand to place your dog’s paw into your palm. Shake their paw while you praise and reward, and practice until they move their paw into your hand on their own.
Go to Your Place Command
The go to your place command will teach your dog to sit or lay down in a location where you’re pointing.
Make your dog sit and stay, and place a treat where you want them to go. The leave it command is a helpful supplement. Say “Go to your place!” and point at the treat, and praise your pup for going there.
After the First Year
The four commands above are complex and can take time to master. But, by the time you’ve spent a year with your pup, they should be ready to hone their training and stay on their best behavior.
Refine Basic Discipline Training
As your pug ages out of puppyhood, don’t let them forget their basic training. Perform a daily discipline series (complete with treats) to remind them of your expectations and keep these crucial commands fresh.
If your pup is still struggling with some commands, place extra emphasis on them during your daily training session.
Identify and Address Bad Habits
If you start to notice undesirable habits, train them out of your pup. If you want to keep them from shedding on the couch, for instance, and they can’t resist climbing up with you anytime you sit down, say “No!” and guide them to their favorite toy on the ground.
After your first year with your pup, you can tailor their training to their specific behaviors and your daily needs.
Pug Puppy Parenthood: Training Is a Lifelong Goal
As our guide suggests, pug puppy training doesn’t end when puppyhood is over. Training your pug is a lifelong process, but it will require less time and effort as your pup ages.
Even though the training during the first few months of pug puppyhood will be taxing and tedious, it’s a worthwhile time investment in your pup’s behavior, your sanity, and your lifelong bond.
About the author
Rachael is the co-founder and editor at Pug Facts. Owner of one elderly Pug, she’s dedicated to helping other Pug owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.