When you’re working on preschool puppy training, it’s important to have your puppy trained to expect a 10 minute walk daily and you should have taught him that treats and positive praise go together. As you take your walks, you should try to notice if he is paying attention to you or if he’s absorbed in his surroundings and not noticing what’s going on with you. If he’s distracted, you can work to get his attention by getting down on his level and saying your puppy’s name. After you say your puppy’s name, you should tell him to “come”.
If he looks like he is confused, gently pull him to you and give him his treat while offering him lots of “good boy’s”. Try about four treats and give it about 10 minutes. At nine weeks old, this is all the time you have before your puppy loses focus, so work with him in this time to train him well.
It may seem like four treats in ten minutes is an awful lot, but you are working to teach your puppy the basic command, so by giving him all these treats, you are reinforcing that listening to you is a good thing. At this point, you are showing your puppy how to learn and realizing that offering all the “good boy’s” and love alone aren’t going to get your little friend’s attention very well. So, this is why you are making sure to teach him the basics of learning to obey you.
By the time your puppy is nine weeks old, you will have taught him that he doesn’t get to play until he will let you make him sit. When he sees playing as a reward, it will become easier for you to train him and easier for him to learn what you are trying to teach him. As he learns that you will toss his toy for him when he listens to you, he will also know that by playing nicely with you he will get a treat when the game is over.
Don’t begrudge your puppy his treats for being a good boy and working to learn with you because otherwise, you will find that you don’t get the results you would if you used the treats. Much like children, puppies need a big reward for working to learn; it’s a lot like offering a small child ice cream if they finish all their homework or clean up their room, so make it worth it for your puppy and keep the treats on hand for him, but make sure he does what you want him to first. Keep the praise for after the treat, because as he gets older, praise will be enough, but for now, it’s just not.