yellow lab with blue collar being fed a training treat

Puppy Training Checklist

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Did you get a new puppy and want to start training them as soon as possible? The first steps in training your puppy can be a little intimidating, especially if you are new to the world of puppies. Any number of online guides and books can give you tips and advice on how to make the process go smoother, but how do you know you’re doing everything correctly? Puppy training should be fun and easy, which is why we have put together this free puppy training checklist.

Consider the breed of dog so you can get in a better mindset on how to train your dog: Border Collie, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, or Doberman Pinscher. You know the temperament of your pup best, but researching your dog’s breed will help you determine how much time and effort you need to begin your training journey. Some dog’s are more stubborn than others, so mentally preparing for more extensive training will help you get in the correct mindset before starting!

The other important step before you start training is creating an environment in your home where your puppy feels safe. Build a relationship with them and create a bond where your pup feels safe, and that will make the whole training process much easier and more enjoyable¹. Expose them to the outdoors in a casual setting as early as possible so they learn that the outside world is not scary! Traffic noises, ambulances, and other loud noises could distract your puppy when you try to start training them if they already aren’t used to it.

Puppy Training Checklist

Puppy Potty Training

Your puppy’s potty training schedule is one the most important steps in your puppy’s training. Have a designated potty spot outside and use lots of positive reinforcement whenever your pup uses this spot: treats, vocalization of praise, petting². Plan a schedule and stick to it– that’s the key. For example, if your pup is 2 months hold, then can hold if for 3 hours, max; the magic potty number is calculated by their age in months, plus one. So again, if your pup is 3 months old, then they need to go out to potty every 4 hours. Another great product to help with potty training is Poochie Bells. They allow your dog to let you know when they need to go outside. Watch this short video of Savannah from Hollywood Feed Union explain the benefits of Poochie Bells and other training quick tips!

Potty Training Supplies:

Potty Pads

Poochie Bells

New York Made Stain & Odor

Nature’s Miracle House-Breaking Potty Training Spray

Basic Commands are Key in Puppy Training

The next step is teaching your pup basic commands, like, “Sit!” This can be done as soon as possible². Some quick commands to teach your puppy are:

• Their name

puppy sitting outside waiting for command
Use training treats teaching your pup basic commands.

• Come

• No bite

• Wait

• Lay

Using training treats are a great tool for positive reinforcement when doing basic commands. After your pup performs the command correctly, immediately praise them and give them a training treat! A training treat is a smaller, low-calorie treat you can give your dog more often than regular treats to help with longer training sessions without making them unhealthy.

Basic Command Training Supplies:

Company of Animals Multi-Level Clicker

Coachi Training Products

Company of Animals Target Stick

Training Treats

Crate Training

Introduce the crate by leaving the door open in a high-traffic area of your home; don’t isolate them in a part of the house that is never used. Puppies will gravitate towards a safe space, almost like a den! Place treats in the open door crate and use a cozy Snoozepad or other crate mat to associate positivity with the crate.

Check out our Crate Training Guide: A Guide to Getting Your Dog Acquainted to a New Crate for more tips and tricks on crate training!

four puppies sitting politely in a crate
Crate Training Guide: A Guide to Getting Your Dog Acquainted to a New Crate


Crate Training Supplies:

Dog Treats

Hollywood Feed Wire Crates

Mississippi Made Snoozepads

When to Start Leash Training a Puppy

Introduce a collar or harness in short spurts. Have the collar, leash, and harness near their bed so it’ll start smelling like them, but make sure the items are out of reach so your puppy doesn’t chew on them. That will make the objects seem less foreign. If your pup wants to pull, then remain still³. Don’t lunge, don’t pull back, but remain still. This step of puppy training will be a lot easier once you’ve taught your puppy basic commands. This will help them learn to come to you instead of pulling. Teach them a cue noise so they know when to come to you without the need to pull on their leash or jerk them towards you.

Leash Training Supplies:

Mississippi Made Collars and Leashes

Julius-K9 Harnesses

Training Treats

Puppy Training Takes Time and Patience

Whether you are getting a new puppy or training a new puppy, it’s important to follow the basics when getting started. This puppy training checklist will give your training a jump start on the right paw and save you time. But remember: thorough puppy training takes time and patience, but in return, you will find that your dog has grown into a well-behaved family member!

Related Blogs: 10 Training Secrets Every Pet Parent Should Know, A Place for Everyone: Place Training Your Dog, Should You Use Training Pads with Your New Puppy?, Highlights from Puppy Training: Certified Trainer Tips on Puppy Training Basics, Crate Training Guide: A Guide to Getting Your Dog Acquainted to a New Crate

Related Master Class Videos: Puppy Training with Amy Lear

¹ Kearl, Mary. “Puppy Training Timeline: Teaching Good Behavior before It’s Too Late.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 14 Jan. 2022,

² Rabideau, Camryn. “Training a New Puppy? Here’s Your Essential Checklist.” Family Handyman, Family Handyman, 1 Dec. 2021,

³ Donovan, Liz. “Leash Training: How to Leash Train a Dog or Puppy to Walk on a Leash.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 7 Sept. 2021,

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Julia

    Love all of these tips! I have to add, though, it’s important to be cautious when putting anything in a puppy’s crate with them. In this case, with snoozepads it is important to supervise them while they are in the crate with the comfy padding in case they possibly try to chew it up. Of course, always supervise your puppy with any chew and do not leave them in their crate with anything in case they might choke.


      Hey Julia,

      That’s a great point! Always supervise your pup, especially if there is a toy or chew involved. Thanks!

  2. Morgan

    If you’re planning on crate training, make sure the crate isn’t too large for your puppy. You can utilize a crate divider panel so your crate can “grow” with your puppy while encouraging their safe space and discouraging using the excess space as a potty area.


      Hey Morgan,

      That’s a great tip! Crate dividers are a more economical alternative to buying more crates as your pup grows. Shop crate dividers here!

  3. Puppy training Austin

    After reading the article “Puppy Training Checklist,” I believe that having a comprehensive training plan is crucial for the successful integration of a new puppy into a household. Consistent and patient training can help foster a strong bond between the puppy and their owner, creating a happy and well-behaved furry family member.

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