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Puppy Training Blueprint: A 6-Week Journey to a Well-Behaved Best Mate

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Congrats on welcoming home your new puppy. "Setting your puppy up for SUCCESS" is what we at "Bonnies Dog Obedience and Puppy School" strive to achieve through all of online and in person training. Understanding your puppies needs is essential, and appreciating that in the first few weeks and months, what your puppy learns, it retains for life. An "Imprint Period" This was told to me by Val Bonney, a globally respected Dog Trainer and Dog Psychology expert. Oh and mum, to me.

As you embark on this exciting journey of puppy ownership, knowing your puppy is going to be fearful and anxious for the first few weeks - which is perfectly normal, may help you to understand that they need to relax, and not be played with or even engaged with, every 10 minutes. Setting up a proper environment is crucial for their well-being and training. Ensure you have all the essential items, including a crate, playpen, food and water bowls, chew toys, toilet training supplies, collar, leash, grooming tools, blankets, and puppy food. I have a list of these things at the end of the article.

To help you get a good start, here is the "Puppy Training Blueprint: A 6-Week Journey to a Well-Behaved Best Mate". This guide will walk you through a possible training schedule, you can choose to utilise, providing some insights and techniques, referring you to other articles and to help you foster a strong bond with your Best Mate. Remember, while it's tempting to treat your puppy like a fur baby, they are Canine animals and need Alphas in the house to guide and teach them.

To, set the rules, from the first day they come home. Consistency is key to establish a healthy new family pack in their new family and ensure your puppy follows your lead.

Here is a daily training program for the first week (Day 1 to Day 7) to help you in training your new puppy. Keep in mind that patience and consistency are vital throughout the training process. When enrolling in puppy school, it's essential to inquire about their training methods. Remember, true puppy school involves more than just letting puppies play off-leash; it includes structured training sessions and taking you through everything possible about your puppy. While play is crucial for socialisation and learning canine body language, dedicated training is absolutely necessary. It's worth noting that 90% of dog problems arise from owners not fully understanding their Best Mate and lacking proper management, training and understanding skills. While owners may genuinely love their dogs, they may unintentionally give them what they think the dogs want, rather than what they truly need. So, be attentive to your Best Mates needs, invest time in training, and forge a strong bond with your puppy on this exciting journey!

Puppy learning on time.
The time to train is right now.

Should Puppy training be fun?

To embark on this training journey, it's crucial to understand that training should not be seen as a tedious chore. Keep it fun and light hearted. Engaging or disengaging with your new puppy is part of the training process, as they learn not just through direct instruction but also by observing. The first few weeks of puppy training is particularly significant as it lays the groundwork for your puppy's development and fosters a strong bond between you both.

How long should I train my puppy for?

Clients often ask us, "How long should a training session be?" and the answer is that it varies. For young puppies, it's best to keep training sessions to 3 to 4 minutes, as they, like very young animals and humans, have limited focus and concentration spans. Aim for short training bursts, around 3 minutes, repeated 4 or 5 times or more, throughout the day. In reality, you are always training whenever you are with your puppy, so staying attentive and realising they are constantly observing and learning is essential. Embrace this exciting journey with your puppy and enjoy the rewarding experience of building a strong and positive relationship together.

What Rules should there be for the Kids?

To be CLEAR: When there are young children living in your house, then you need to manage them and their expectations. Keep the rules 'simple' for the kids to know and understand.

Rules for the Kids with a new puppy
House RULES for a new puppy

What do I need to do to train my puppy?

I have written an in depth first week training schedule for you. If your puppy is older or if you have just found this article then much of this is still of value to you. No matter the age of the puppy. For many reasons people

Bonnies Dog Training schedule Day 1
Day 1 - Bonnies Puppy Training Schedule

Day 1:

  • Introduce your puppy to their new home and the crate/playpen.

    • Why: Familiarises your puppy with their safe and comfortable space, reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of security.

    • Where: Set up the crate/playpen in a quiet area of your home, away from high-traffic zones, where your puppy can feel relaxed and undisturbed. Yes you can set this up in your bedroom if you like - particularly for the first few weeks. Please read

    • Best Time: Morning or early afternoon when your puppy is alert and curious about their new surroundings.

  • Begin crate training by rewarding them with treats for going inside.

    • Why: Creates a positive association with the crate, making it a calm and happy place for rest and relaxation.

    • Where: Place the crate in a central location where your puppy can still be part of family activities, ensuring they don't feel isolated. This is how we get the puppy used to the crate. They need to get used to the crate before you even think about closing the door. If your puppy has been crate trained by the breeder you can skip this step.

    • Best Time: Before mealtime or after playtime when your puppy is more likely to be relaxed and receptive to treats.

  • Have a collar on the puppy and begin using a house leash.

  • Why: Introduces your puppy to wearing a collar and familiarise them with the sensation of being on a leash, setting the stage for leash training. Some people believe that this is not required. We have had many issues with this as the puppies begin to fight the collar and the leash as they get older.

  • Where: Put the collar on your puppy while they are exploring their new environment, and allow them to drag a lightweight house leash under supervision. There is more on this in another article. Do not use a Cat Collar. They are often too thin for a puppy. We recommend Leather Collars but getting on the right size may be a problem.

  • Best Time: With the addition of the collar and house leash, you can begin introducing your puppy to the concept of wearing a collar and being on a leash, which will be beneficial for their future leash training. Remember to supervise your puppy while they have the house leash on to ensure their safety and comfort.

  • Start using their name consistently and positively.

    • Why: Helps your puppy recognise and respond to their name, forming a crucial foundation for further training.

    • Where: Use their name in various locations around the house and during playtime, reinforcing the association between their name and positive experiences.

    • Best Time: Throughout the day during interactions and play sessions.

  • Provide appropriate chew toys to prevent destructive behavior.

    • Why: Satisfies your puppy's natural chewing instincts, protecting household items from damage.

    • Where: Offer a variety of chew toys in different rooms to redirect your puppy's chewing behavior from inappropriate objects.

    • Best Time: Throughout the day, especially when your puppy shows interest in chewing on furniture or household items.

  • Introduce the concept of toilet training: Using pee pads or an outdoor toilet area. This is mostly for people who may love in a Unit or apartment. The secret of using these is to - Take them away as soon as you come home. Training them to go to the toilet in your home is not a great idea. USe them sparingly.

    • Why: Establishes proper elimination habits, preventing accidents inside the house and promoting cleanliness.

    • Where: Set up the potty pads or designate an outdoor area (e.g., backyard) that is easily accessible to your puppy, ensuring consistency during the training process.

    • Best Time: After meals and waking up from naps when your puppy is likely to need to go potty.


Bonnies Australias number 1 puppy school
Day 2 - Bonnies Puppy Magic

Day 2:

  • Begin basic commands: Sit and Come.

    • Why: Teaches essential obedience commands for safety, control, and communication with your puppy.

    • Where: Start training in a quiet, low-distraction area of your home (e.g., living room), in their Playpen, gradually progressing to more challenging environments like the backyard or a nearby park.

    • Best Time: Morning or early evening when your puppy is more focused and energetic.

  • Verbal Cue (Sit): Say "Sit" in a firm but friendly tone.

  • Hand Signal (Sit): Hold a treat in your hand and raise it above your puppy's nose, then move your hand up and slightly back. As your puppy follows the treat with their eyes, their rear end should lower into a sitting position. When they sit, reward them with the treat and praise. Don't forget this is called "Marking" each and every success. A crucial step.

  • Best Time: During training sessions when your puppy is attentive and eager to earn rewards. I often get clients to come to training without feeding their puppies before they come, or, they get a little food at Dinner time and the rest of their dinner are High Value treats - as a reward for being great.

  • Verbal Cue (Come): Say "Come" or use your puppy's name followed by "Come" in an enthusiastic tone. Tone and Pitch makes a big difference. Be exciting. It's all Here:

  • Hand Signal (Come): Extend your arms out and UP with your palm facing towards your puppy - Make a big V with your arms up above your head. Use an inviting gesture, encouraging them to come towards you. You can also crouch down to their level to make it more appealing - this is OK to start the training but once you go outside you need the BIG V. When they come to you, reward them with a treat and lots of praise.

  • Best Time: During playtime or when your puppy is at a short distance from you. I often get clients to practice the recall at the end of our training session - this is helpful as when we train a puppy or any dog we must be calm and relaxed. This signals the puppy that all is OK and keeps them focused on you. The recall should be exciting - when they come, get excited.

Puppy Magic School at Bonnies
Day 3 - Puppy Magic at

Day 3:

  • Continue training Sit and Come.

    • Why: Repetition reinforces learning and helps solidify the association between the commands and the expected response.

    • Where: Vary the training locations to generalise the commands, practicing in different rooms of the house and in various outdoor settings.

    • Best Time: Morning or late afternoon when your puppy is active and receptive to training. We also make sure our clients practice this when they are opening a door. The Crate door, The Playpen door or an

  • Watch Me Command: Teach your puppy the "Watch Me" command to establish eye contact and focus on you.

    • Why: "Watch Me" helps to redirect your puppy's attention to you in distracting situations and strengthens your bond. NOTE: Please remember - if your puppy does not respond to their name - and look directly at you - then they may not be listening to you. This takes time - can be 2 months of training to get this right - every time. Get this correct early and your training journey will have a happy and significant outcome. More in other articles.

    • How: Have a treat in your hand. Let the puppy scent it by bringing the treat down to your puppies nose. Say their Name - then immediately follow by bringing the treat close to your eyes and say "Watch Me" in a clear, upbeat tone. When your puppy looks at you, reward them with the treat and praise.

  • Work on their first grooming session, making it a positive experience.

    • Why: Builds trust and comfort with grooming activities, making future grooming sessions easier and stress-free.

    • Where: Choose a calm, well-lit area for grooming (e.g., bathroom or a designated grooming area), using a non-slip surface to prevent your puppy from slipping and feeling uneasy.

    • Best Time: After playtime or exercise when your puppy is more relaxed and less likely to be restless.

The "Watch Me" command is a valuable tool in redirecting your puppy's attention to you and fostering focus and responsiveness. With consistent practice, your puppy will learn to make eye contact with you, which is essential for building a strong communication foundation. Continue reinforcing positive behaviors and enjoy your training sessions with your adorable puppy!

Puppy Magic day 4 @Bonnies
Day 4 - Bonnies Dog Training - Puppy Magic

Day 4:

  • Praise and reward them for using the designated toilet area.

    • Why: Positive reinforcement encourages your puppy to repeat desired behavior and helps them associate the designated area with going potty.

    • Where: Always offer immediate praise and treats in the designated potty area to reinforce the connection between the behavior and the reward.

    • Best Time: Right after they use the designated potty area, so they associate the reward with the correct behavior.

We Love Dogs at Bonnies Puppy Magic Day 5
Day 5 - Puppy Magic

Day 5:

  • Reinforce Sit, Come, and Leash walking training.

    • Why: Continual practice strengthens learning and encourages consistency in responding to commands.

    • Where: Practice commands in different areas of your home and during short walks around the neighborhood to reinforce obedience in varying environments.

    • Best Time: Morning or early evening when your puppy is alert and focused.

  • Watch Me Command: Continue incorporating the "Watch Me" command during training and outdoor walks.

    • Why: "Watch Me" helps to keep your puppy focused on you and enhances communication during walks and training sessions.

    • How: Hold a treat close to your eyes and say "Watch Me" in a clear, upbeat tone. When your puppy looks at you, reward them with the treat and praise.

  • Start working on the "Stay" command, for short periods.

    • Why: Instills impulse control and teaches your puppy to remain still and patient in various situations.

    • Where: Begin training in a quiet, distraction-free area and gradually add more distractions, such as toys or family members moving around.

    • Best Time: After exercise or playtime, when your puppy has expended some energy and can better focus on the training.

  • Start working on the "Wait" command, for short periods.

The wait command refers to when our puppy is with us. EG: Sit, Good Boy - Wait. And a hand signal similar to the stay command. We use the Stay command when we are walking away from our puppy.

Bonnies Dog Obedience and Puppy School Day 6
Day 6 - Bonnies Puppy Magic

Day 6:

  • Continue training Sit, Come, Leash walking, and Wait - Stay.

    • Why: Consistency and repetition reinforce the learning process, improving obedience and responsiveness.

    • Where: Continue practicing in both familiar and new locations to generalize commands and behaviors in different contexts.

    • Best Time: Morning or early afternoon when your puppy is attentive and eager to learn.

  • Watch Me Command: Continue practicing the "Watch Me" command during all training sessions and daily activities.

    • Why: "Watch Me" strengthens your puppy's focus on you and fosters a deeper connection between you and your furry friend.

    • How: Hold a treat close to your eyes and say "Watch Me" in a clear, upbeat tone. When your puppy looks at you, reward them with the treat and praise.

  • Begin socialising your puppy with friendly people and other dogs (if vaccinated and safe).

    • Why: Socialisation helps your puppy become well-adjusted and confident, reducing the likelihood of fear-based behavior later in life.

    • Where: Start with controlled and safe interactions in your home or with known, vaccinated dogs (e.g., friends' or family's dogs), then gradually introduce new environments and people. Go to Puppy School ASAP.

    • Best Time: After completing essential vaccinations, schedule socialization during quiet times when your puppy is relaxed and open to meeting new individuals.

Brisbane's number 1 dog trainers.
Day 7 at Bonnies Puppy Magic dog training Brisbane

Day 7:

  • Review all commands learned so far.

    • Why: Regular reviews reinforce training and ensure that your puppy retains what they've learned.

    • Where: Conduct a review session in various locations to ensure your puppy can perform commands reliably in different settings.

    • Best Time: Morning or early evening, when your puppy is attentive and refreshed.

  • Watch Me Command: Continue incorporating the "Watch Me" command into daily activities and training.

    • Why: "Watch Me" helps maintain your puppy's focus and responsiveness during various situations and reinforces positive behaviors.

    • How: Hold a treat close to your eyes and say "Watch Me" in a clear, upbeat tone. When your puppy looks at you, reward them with the treat and praise.

  • Practice leash walking with more distractions.

    • Why: Exposure to distractions gradually challenges your puppy's focus and self-control during walks.

    • Where: Take your puppy for short walks in busier areas or parks where they can encounter mild distractions like people and other dogs. Please remember that this is ONLY for puppies who are fully vaccinated. If your puppy is not fully vaccinated then train in your home and in your yard.

    • Best Time: During quieter times of the day, such as mid-morning or mid-afternoon, to avoid peak traffic.

  • Continue socialisation with various environments and stimuli.

    • Why: Expands your puppy's experiences, making them adaptable and comfortable in different situations and settings.

    • Where: Continue introducing your puppy to new places, surfaces, and experiences, such as car rides, pet-friendly stores, or outdoor events.

    • Best Time: Throughout the week, integrating socialization opportunities into your puppy's routine.

By incorporating the "Watch Me" command throughout the entire training program, you'll enhance communication and strengthen your bond with your puppy. Enjoy the journey of training and bonding with your adorable puppy!

Remember to keep training sessions short (5-10 minutes) to avoid overwhelming your puppy. Repeat exercises multiple times throughout the day, and always end on a positive note. As you progress, gradually introduce new commands and behaviors in the following weeks.

It's also crucial to prioritise positive reinforcement training, consistency, and patience. Never use punishment or force as this can lead to fear and anxiety in your puppy,

For Week 2 and beyond, you can continue building on the foundation established in Week 1 and introduce new commands to further enrich your puppy's training. Here are some additional commands you can consider incorporating into your training program: DON'T Be in a HURRY. Take your time and enjoy the expierience with your puppy - WORK as a TEAM.

Week 2:

Down Command: Teach your puppy to lie down on command. Use a verbal cue like "Down" and a hand signal, such as a sweeping motion downward.

Leave It Command: Train your puppy to ignore or leave objects or food items when instructed. This command can help prevent them from picking up dangerous or inappropriate items.

Drop It Command: Teach your puppy to release items from their mouth when asked. This command is useful for preventing resource guarding and promoting safe play.

Week 3:

Wait Command: Train your puppy to wait, with you, in a specific spot until given permission to move. This command is handy for situations like waiting at doors or crosswalks.

Heel Command: Teach your puppy to walk calmly and closely beside you on a loose leash. Use a verbal cue like "Heel" and walk with treats to reward good behavior. We call this walking on the dominant side. In Australia we always walk our dogs on the Left. Remember dogs read Body Language so be consistent.

Speak/Quiet Command: Teach your puppy to bark on cue (Speak) and stop barking on cue (Quiet). This command helps you control excessive barking.

Week 4:

Stand Command: Train your puppy to stand up on all fours. Use a verbal cue like "Stand" and a hand signal, such as holding a treat above their nose.

Go to Your Bed/Place Command: Teach your puppy to go to a designated spot, such as a bed or mat, and stay there until released. We call this mat or place training. This is really crucial as it gets your puppy to stay in one place and not follow you all over the house - when they are not in their playpen. This is invaluable as it really helps the puppy NOT to get separation anxiety.

Week 5:

Fetch Command: Teach your puppy to retrieve objects and bring them back to you. Start with simple fetch games and gradually increase the distance.

Roll Over Command: Train your puppy to roll over on their back. Use a verbal cue like "Roll Over" and guide them with a treat to follow the motion.

Week 6:

Spin/Twirl Command: Teach your puppy to turn in a circle. Use a verbal cue like "Spin" or "Twirl" and guide them in a circular motion with a treat.

Paw/Shake Hands Command: Train your puppy to offer their paw for a handshake. Use a verbal cue like "Paw" and gently lift their paw with your hand.

Remember to continue reinforcing good behaviors and practicing the commands learned in previous weeks. Gradually increase the difficulty and duration of training sessions to challenge your puppy appropriately. Always be attentive to their individual needs, and if you encounter any specific challenges or behavioral issues, consider seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer who can provide personalized advice and support.

Enjoy the journey of training your puppy and building a strong bond with them!

Here is a basic list of THINGS you may need: More comprehensive information is on these items in Articles:

  1. Crate: A comfortable and appropriately-sized crate serves as a safe space for your puppy to rest and sleep. It also aids in house-training by preventing accidents at night or when you're away. It is a SAFE ZONE. How to:

  2. Playpen: A playpen allows you to create a secure area where your puppy can play and explore without wandering off into potentially hazardous areas. It is a SAFE ZONE. How to:

  3. Beside your Foot: This refers to teaching your puppy to walk and sit and stay beside you on a leash. A good leash and collar/harness are essential for training walks.

  4. Food and Water Bowls: Provide separate bowls for food and water, preferably made of non-toxic material.

  5. Puppy Food: Choose a high-quality puppy food that is appropriate for your puppy's breed and size. Speak to your Vet about what is best - Ask your Breeder.

  6. Chew Toys: Puppies love to chew, so provide appropriate chew toys to satisfy their natural instinct and prevent destructive behavior.

  7. Grooming Supplies: Depending on your puppy's coat type, you may need a brush or comb for grooming.

  8. Toilet Pads/Outdoor Toilet Area: If you're using toilet pads indoors, have a designated area for them. Otherwise, set up an outdoor toilet area.

  9. Training Treats: Use small, soft, and tasty treats to reward your puppy during training sessions. Remember they don't have to be meat products. Cheese, Apple, Blueberries, Carrots, Chicken all work great.

  10. Puppy School: Time to BOOK into Puppy Magic at

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Aug 07, 2023

wow a lot to do. thanks


Aug 04, 2023

Well i will give it a go. The puppy comes home at the end of the week. Reading your other articles and happy to share with friends. Very good.

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