Who’s A Good Boy? 45 Useful Things To Teach Dogs While They Are Still Tiny Pups

By Bruna L

There is a reason why dogs are considered a man’s best friend. Not only are they super loyal, but they’re also incredibly cute, goofy, and just great company to have around. There are dogs for everyone out there, and with a quick Google search, you, too, can find the perfect breed for you!

The only problem with dogs, besides living far too short lives, is that they are creatures of habit. That means that if they get used to doing something a certain way, it’s almost impossible to break them away from this habit. So, the best thing you can do for your buddy is to teach them how to behave properly from a very young age.

If you have no idea how to get started, don’t fret – this list will help you. Here are 45 things to teach dogs while they’re still puppies. Enjoy!

Not just for goth kids

If you adopted a big, powerful breed, then you better get them a harness instead of a collar, especially if you plan on taking them for long walks. They won’t love it initially, but it’s better if you train them now while they’re still young and small.

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No matter how well-trained your dog is, you need to be aware that something may happen during your walks to agitate them, like spotting a cat or a squirrel. If they’re too strong, they can get injured while pulling on the collar – but that wont happen with a harness.

Clip, clip, clip

This is not usually a problem if your dog has super short fur, but if you’re the owner of a really furry baby, getting them used to clippers is a must, even if they’re from a breed that doesn’t need regular grooming. Sanitary trims and mat removals are super important, after all.

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Usually, dogs are scared of the noise that clippers make and their vibration. So, the easiest way to get your puppy used to these devices is to turn them on and let your dog safely sniff and explore them. Soon enough, they’ll stop getting scared.

Let it rain

For some reason, dogs are terrified of umbrellas, especially if they live in warmer climates and are not used to seeing people out in the rain! They’re probably thinking, “What is this big bat-looking thing that’s not scared of water? It must be dangerous!

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If you want to avoid raising a scared dog, you need to get them used to umbrellas as soon as possible. Show it to them, let them sniff and play with it, pay attention to their body language, and you should be fine!

Sunglasses are a threat, apparently

Some dogs can be quite quirky when it comes to things that spook them. For example, if you don’t live somewhere bright or warm, the chances of your dog seeing people wearing sunglasses are pretty low. That can be a problem, especially if they’re the easily-scared type.

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The reason why so many dogs react badly to sunglasses is that suddenly they can’t see your eyes anymore. As we all know, the eyes are one way they can read us, and taking that away from them can make them agitated. So, introduce your puppy to sunglasses as soon as possible.

Green pup

If you’re the athletic type or simply dislike cars or other motorized vehicles, it’s quite possible you ride your bicycle everywhere. That’s fine most of the time, but if you’re planning on getting a puppy, you may need to introduce them to your bike.

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That’s because some dogs hate bicycles! No one knows exactly why – some say it’s because of the noise they make, while others suggest they remind them of a big animal. Either way, acclimate your pup to your bike before taking them on your cycling adventures.

No more barking at cars

As we all know, dogs have super sensitive ears. Their hearing is about four times better than ours, after all. With that in mind, it’s not that difficult to see why they get so upset when cars drive past our yards. Vehicles tend to be pretty loud.

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If you want your puppy to be happy and relaxed, you need to get them used to loud noises as soon as possible. Start indoors first, with music, and gradually introduce louder sounds. Your neighbors will be more than happy if you do this.

Cats v. Dogs

Did you know that the breed of your dog influences not only their physical appearance but also their behavior? That’s true. Some dogs are genetically programmed to be workers, while others are to be sweet companions. And then there are those that are born to become security dogs!

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In spite of their genetic tendencies, it is still possible to train your fur baby to be more accepting of other animals, especially cats. Cats and dogs don’t genuinely hate each other, and they can easily co-exist. You just need to make that happen.

Shopping friend

When you love your pet a lot, it’s hard to leave them alone at home when you have to run errands or go shopping. Many stores understand what pet owners go through, and that’s why it’s not hard to find places that call themselves “pet-friendly.”

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But you can’t just barge in with your furry baby if they’re not ready yet. Stores are usually crowded and full of items they can break. You need to train your dog from early on if you want to bring it along on your shopping sprees.

Sociable puppy

If you think about it, it’s almost impossible to find someone out there who doesn’t like dogs. What is there not to like? They’re cute, fluffy, and super derpy most of the time! The only problem is: sometimes, dogs don’t like it when you have guests over.

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That’s a huge issue, especially if you have kids who often bring their friends over to play. The solution is simple, though: acclimate your dog around strangers from a very young age, even if the “strangers” are actually family, friends, and neighbors!

Scary ladders

If you think about it, small dogs and puppies are like sheltered children – if you don’t go out of your way to teach them how to survive through life, they’ll probably stay afraid of the world forever. Even things as simple as ladders can be scary for them.

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Ladders are big and heavy, and dogs don’t know how to climb them, so, of course, they would be scared – especially when we climb stairs the way we do (on our two legs). Make sure to take your ladder out and get your dog used to it as soon as you can!

Runners aren’t enemies

When you take your dog out for walks, you need to be super aware of your surroundings. It doesn’t matter if your path goes through an urban area, the woods, or the local park – there’s always something to distract and spook your furry friend.

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That’s why it’s so important to not only use a leash every time you’re out but also to train your dog properly. Runners, for example, can agitate your dog quite easily, but if you start training them from a young age, they’ll soon stop caring about running people as much.

Not a hunter

Dogs love running and goofing around all the time; that’s basically their thing, especially when teeny tiny wildlife is involved. If you have never chased a dog that was running after a squirrel before, are you really a dog owner? This seemingly harmless habit can be deadly, though.

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What happens when your dog starts chasing a bird or a squirrel and ends up in the middle of a busy road? What if they run away and you can’t find them afterward? That’s why you need to break this habit as soon as you can. It’s dangerous!

King of the park

Not many people know this, but dogs are sociable creatures, just like humans. And just like us, if they don’t interact with other people and other animals for a while, they’ll get aggressive and forget how to behave in society. That’s why dog parks are so important.

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Dogs are also territorial creatures and need to learn how to share their space with other dogs. So, if you want your dog to socialize with other animals, you better work on its social skills at home first. All the people and animals visiting dog parks will thank you for that!

Itchy teeth

If you’ve ever had puppies around before, then you’re quite aware of how destructive they can be. Dogs of any age have strong jaws and teeth, after all, and keeping them busy is necessary if you want your furniture to stay as intact as possible!

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But how do you do that? Well, it’s simple. Make sure to buy a diverse range of toys and reward good behavior. Also, pay attention to your dog’s likes and dislikes and act accordingly. Soon enough, all they’ll ever care about chewing is their precious toys.

A healthy pup is an active pup

Lots of people ignore this fact, but dogs can actually become obese! Leaving food out at all times, not playing with them, and not taking them out for walks are some of the factors that contribute to this particular situation.

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An overweight dog will have joint issues and can even develop diabetes. So, the best thing you can do for your fur baby is to take them out for walks as much as possible and also encourage other exercises such as swimming and climbing.

Leashed up

Something you need to be aware of when you get a puppy is that you’re basically signing up for a couple of walks every day for the next decade or so of your life. As such, it is important to teach your dog their leash is actually a friend.

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The sooner you start training your dog with a leash, the better, especially if they’re a big breed. There will be way less pulling and struggling with an agitated dog in your future, that’s for sure! Also, your neighbors will thank you for not being that person with a loose dog.

Nail saloon

For some dog breeds, constant walking on different surfaces is enough to keep their nails short. Others tend to have longer nails, especially if they’re indoor pets. It’s important to clip them in these situations; otherwise, your furry friend may end up injuring themselves.

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We all know that’s easier said than done, though. That’s why you need to get them used to the nail clippers from a very young age. Make sure to touch their paws, do mock clippings, and shower them with treats and positive words. Your groomer will thank you later.

Crate training is good, actually

This one is a bit controversial on discussion boards online, so it’s up to you to decide if you want to train your dog on this or not. But we do think it’s important, so here we go: Get your dog crate trained as soon as possible!

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Some people think they’ll never need to put their dog in a crate, but it’s better to be prepared if you ever have to, right? What if you have an emergency and must contain your pup? They’ll also be much calmer during car rides and at the vet. It’s a win-win situation.

Barely any difference

If you think about it, dogs are very good with faces and can recognize their owners even if they haven’t seen the person in years. Unfortunately, they’re not very good with changes, especially when it comes to their owner’s appearance.

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Beards, for example. They may get spooked if you’ve always had a long beard and suddenly decided to shave it. The opposite is also true, so make sure to introduce your dog to different kinds of people with different beards and hair situations.

Well-behaved shopper

If you think about it, supermarkets aren’t exactly the best place to take your dog. They’re big, loud, full of strangers, and have many other distractions. It’s a big no-no in our books! We understand, however, that sometimes we don’t have much choice in the matter.

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So, to avoid making a scene with your angry or scared dog, make sure to train them from a very young age to behave when you’re grocery shopping. It will be hard at first, but it’s necessary. Trust us; your future-self will definitely thank us.

Not a scaredy-cat

Depending on their breed, some dogs can be either incredibly smart or ridiculously dumb. Sometimes, they’re both things simultaneously! Either way, there is a bunch of human stuff they don’t understand, no matter how clever they may be. Wheelchairs, for example.

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If they have never seen a wheelchair before, they may get spooked once they stumble upon one in the wild. And that’s not good at all. Make sure to introduce your pet to lots of different things at a very young age, so they don’t become scaredy-cats in the future!

Don’t chew that!

We can all agree that puppies are the most adorable creatures in the universe. It’s almost impossible to resist those chubby bellies and teeny paws! No matter what they’re doing, we’ll always smile and go, “aww” when we see them. That can be a problem when they’re all grown up, though.

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Dogs love chasing the broom when we’re trying to clean the house. That’s cute when they’re small, but they’ll eventually grow up, and it’ll be hard to do the chores. You need to stop their bad behavior when they’re still young. Remember that puppies are way easier to train than adult dogs.

Different surfaces

We don’t really think about it that often, but dogs need to be introduced to different walking surfaces if we want them to be happy and stress-free babies. They should be familiar with, at least, the flooring you have at home and the pavement and grass around the house.

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Some people raise their dogs completely indoors, with no contact with the outside world. These dogs end up not liking the texture of the ground when they’re finally introduced to it. Hence why walking your dog is super important. The sooner you start, the better!

Stand guard!

For the longest time, people liked to have dogs around for security reasons, even if they weren’t bred for this particular duty. That’s why some people today still think it’s normal to have a dog that barks for literally everything. Spoiler alert: It isn’t!

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It can be super annoying to your neighbors and the delivery folks that approach your house to do their jobs. For this reason, teaching your puppy how to behave around strangers is wise. If you get them used to delivery people from an early age, they’ll never bother these hard workers.

A jumpy boy

If you think about it, we’ve all met a jumpy dog at some point or another. We’re talking about dogs that are amazing for the most part but would go absolutely bananas after hearing any sudden noise. Heavy objects falling, fireworks, drilling, and that sort of stuff freak them out.

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But did you know you can actually work with your dog to eliminate this kind of reaction? That’s right; you can easily do that. The sooner you start working on this, the better. So, if you just got a puppy, you should start training them immediately.

It’s like a car wash for dogs

We all love dogs here, but let’s be honest for a moment – they stink sometimes. They can’t really help it, and we’re not shaming them for it, but they do have a distinct smell that’s not too pleasant to be around. That’s why groomers are so important.

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Not everyone has the time, tools, or knowledge to groom their dogs at home, but most dogs hate going to the groomer. Here’s a solution: just like the vet office, you need to teach them how to behave and acclimate them to that environment while they’re still young.

Not the biggest fans of fireworks

When we think about a dog’s biggest enemy, we always end up with a few different characters in mind. Maybe it’s the delivery guy who brings packages to your doorstep. Maybe it’s the neighbor’s cat and their never-ending taunting. Or maybe it’s fireworks!

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Think about it: fireworks are loud, bright, and come out of nowhere! It’s obvious that these things will scare your dog. That’s why getting them used to these sounds as soon as possible is important, so they don’t suffer through New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July too much.

World’s biggest sandbox

The love or hate a dog feels towards water is connected to its breed. Huskies, for example, hate water and will try to escape throughout the whole bath. Labradors, on the other hand, love water so much that they’ll probably refuse to leave when bath time is over.

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If you have a dog that loves water, a great outing is bringing them to the beach. It’s also a great teaching opportunity for both your dog and yourself. You could teach them about discipline and get some training on cleaning up after your pet at the same time.

It’s a bird…it’s a plane

It’s hard to move somewhere else when you have pets. No one wants to leave their best buds behind, after all. If you’re moving across the country or the world and want to bring your dog, they need to get used to planes first.

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The first step is to get them crate-trained no matter how big they are. Also, getting them car-trained is wise, too, all things considered. Make sure to take them with you on shorter plane trips if possible, and you should be good to go!

Obedient baby

We all love watching dogs obeying their owners on movies and TV shows, even if it’s basic commands like “sit” or “stay.” Those commands are great for outdoor situations, and we all want to teach our dogs to obey us the same.

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But more important than teaching your dog some basic commands is to teach them to obey you even when there are a bunch of distractions around. So, take your dog to your local park or the beach and practice with them at those locations.

Easiest way to identify your dog

It doesn’t matter if the puppy you’ve just brought home will be an indoor or outdoor dog: collars still are super important. They’re the easiest and most popular way to show that your pet has an owner. If your dog ever gets lost, people will know how to contact you.

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It doesn’t have to be something crazy expensive or technological. As long as it is size-appropriate for your dog, you should be fine. Just make sure the collar is not too tight or too loose; otherwise, your dog can get hurt or end up removing it altogether.

Bath time

Some dog breeds absolutely love water, while others hate it., as we mentioned before. Either way, they’re all still dogs; if kept unwashed for too long, they will stink up the whole house! But how do you teach your dog that baths are good?

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First, they need to get used to your bathroom, so give them a tour of the place a couple of times. Acclimate them to the water with some short mock baths. Make sure to give them plenty of treats and talk to them calmly. Soon enough, they’ll get used to taking baths.

Fast and Fur-rious

Don’t let all those movies and TV shows fool you: not all dogs enjoy car rides. The noise, the speed, the other cars…all of those things can end up scaring your baby. If they’re not used to it, they can even get car sick.

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To avoid having an agitated dog around while you’re driving or, worse yet, a dog vomiting everywhere, make sure to get them used to your car first. Start with the car completely still, let them sniff around and get comfortable, then take them on gradually longer drives.

The Mad Hatter

Dogs are creatures of habit, just like humans, and they also don’t like sudden changes. This is especially true when they are young, small, and scared of the world. Simple things like wearing a hat can be enough to spook them.

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So, if you’re going bald or just going through a fashion change and decided to wear hats, make sure to acclimate your dog to your new style. Otherwise, they may think something is wrong with you and become agitated. Or worse, they can get aggressive.

Kid-friendly pet

Let’s be honest here: kids can be a tad annoying when it comes to pets. Depending on their age, they’ll grab, squeeze and generally pester the poor animal non-stop until it either manages to get away or snap back at them.

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If they’re your kids, you may be fine with that – but your dog will eventually encounter other children, and their parents may not be as understanding if your pet gets violent. So, train them to behave around kids as soon as possible in order to avoid problems down the road.

Rad boy

Taking your dog to the park is one of the most popular activities out there. You need to be careful, though, because if it doesn’t specifically say it is a dog park, you may end up bumping into skateboarders, for instance, and that can be a problem.

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You see, skateboards are loud. Like, really loud. And the last thing your dog wants is to have an unidentified object flying past them, making a whole lot of noise. The best thing you can do for your pup is to get them acclimated to skateboards.

Fear the vacuum cleaner!

If you’re a dog, home appliances are one of life’s biggest mysteries. Think about it: most things in your house don’t move on their own, have lights, or make noises. How are dogs supposed to process that with their dumdum brains?

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Well, they don’t. The vacuum cleaner is loud and makes things disappear. If we were dogs, we would probably be terrified as well. That’s why it’s so important to get your friend used to different objects from the time they arrive at your house as puppies.

Three’s a crowd

Dogs are territorial creatures; we’re well aware of that. There is a reason why they pee so much when we take them out for walks, and it isn’t because their bladder is super small. They’re actually tagging the territory with their scent.

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That’s why some people find it hard to bring their dogs to the park, for example. Some of them may get violent because of their territorial nature, and no one wants that, hence why it’s important to acclimate your puppy with other dogs from a very young age.

Well-behaved explorer

It’s important to take your dog out for walks, but did you know that not every dog is ready for the big, scary world out there? That’s true, especially when it comes to hiking, climbing, or other adventures out in nature.

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How many times has your dog run after a squirrel in your local park? Now imagine the same situation in the middle of a forest. If you don’t want that to happen, you better start training them while it’s still easy for them to learn and acquire safe and healthy habits.

Separation anxiety

When we have dogs, there is nothing we want to do more than spend all of our waking hours surrounded by them and playing with them. Unfortunately, we can’t really do that. There is always work or school to grab our attention.

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Some dogs will be fine on their own, but others need some training to endure the long hours we’re away. For those dogs, it’s necessary to start their training while they’re still young, so they don’t become anxious adults in the future.

The scariest place in the world

If you have ever brought your dog to the vet, then you know how hard it is to get them to stay calm while in there. Not only is it an unfamiliar place full of strangers, but it is also an unfamiliar place full of other scared dogs.

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There are many tricks people use to convince their dogs to go to the vet, but you won’t need them if you teach them how to behave properly when they’re young. Treats, encouraging words, and toys are all your dog needs to survive a visit to the vet.

Party pal

There’s a reason why people don’t bring their dogs to big concerts. Pets absolutely hate big crowds and loud noises. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about your neighbor’s endless parties or a completely packed stadium. Those aren’t good environments for your puppy.

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However, there are times when we can’t really avoid loud music. It’s common to see concerts in public parks or beaches. What are you going to do, then? If you train your dog well, they won’t get as stressed, and you’ll be able to enjoy these outings together.

Definitely not a toy

If you think cats are the only threat to your domesticated bird or hamster, you’d be surprised to learn what dogs can do to them. For some dogs, smaller creatures are nothing but toys or prey. So, be careful with your tiny pet if you’re bringing a puppy home.

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The best thing you can do for both your small pets and your dog is to introduce them slowly, making sure to reward good behavior. But even then it may not be a good idea to leave your puppy alone with your tiny buddy for too long.

Camping buddies

Living in such a fast-paced society can be draining, especially if you live in an urban area. That’s why camping is such a great activity. It’s just you, your dog, a cozy campfire, and the whole of nature surrounding you. Perfect outing, if you ask us!

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You just have to be careful because sometimes your dog won’t perceive how dangerous fire actually is until they get burned. That’s why you should teach your dog to behave around campfires if you want to bring them camping. Now, who wants a delicious s’more?

Ears, belly, and paws

We all know how much dogs hate going to the vet clinic. It’s kind of understandable if you think about it. A vet office is an unknown place full of unknown smells and a bunch of unknown dogs. How could they feel comfy in such a place?

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Not only that, but the vet will always poke and prod your dog, and we know just how much dogs hate that. So, if you want your dog to behave, you better get them acclimated with all the poking and prodding while they’re still a baby.