When training a dog, especially a new puppy most people want to give them a chance to get things right. That is a good thought and an invaluable training principle. You should always give your dog the most chances to do something right and control situations so that they do not make the wrong decision. This will lead to less headache, and faster training. But there is one guideline that must be followed. Do not let your dog try too many times without you showing what is wanted. What I mean is this. Do not ever ask your dog to do something more than once during training. Give a command and follow through. If you tell your dog to “sit” it needs to sit. Do not give the command twice. When teaching a new dog, or puppy especially, you should show them the behavior first, and then put a word to it. After you have done that several times your dog will begin to show you that they understand by automatically assuming that position. At this point, give the command without luring or shaping the behavior. If your dog does it (and they probably will if using the right reward) then reward them and continue practicing or teach something new. However if you give a command and your dog does not do it (assuming you have properly shown them what they should do) then place your dog into the position without asking a second time. Why does it matter? Dogs are smart! So smart that they can count. Yes count! If you always repeat a command several times before finally making your dog do what you said your dog will always count how many times you say something, then do it at the correct number. For example, if you say “Sit Buddy” and buddy doesn’t sit, so you push down on Buddy’s but and pull up on his collar so that he sits. Then reward. Buddy learns, “Sit” means bottom on ground, now. On the other hand, if you say, “sit” and Buddy does not sit so you say, “sit” “sit buddy” “sit.” Then make Buddy sit or perhaps Buddy gets tired and sits on his own Buddy has just learned this: You don’t mean now. I will do it eventually. You don’t mean what you say. Or, I sit after I hear “sit” “sit” “sit!” Let’s talk safety for a moment. All dogs should know what is called an “emergency down.” This can be taught at close distances or as a down at a distance but should eventually be practiced at all distances. Now here is a story to get my point across. One day you and Buddy were walking in the park. You had been practicing down at a distance or the “emergency down” but you had to ask several times and you did not follow through. So as you walk in the park Buddy sees a squirrel and just cannot contain himself. You may have had him on leash but he jerked so quickly he ripped the leash from your hand and is running straight into a busy street. You immediately know to use the emergency down that you have been practicing. You scream “Buddy Down!” but he keeps running. You repeat the command again as you usually do. But you usually have to say “down” three times. By then buddy is in the street and has been hit by a car. This may seem like an exaggeration but I promise you it isn’t. Always follow through on your commands. Tell your dog once, and then follow through. Soon your dog will know that “sit” means “sit now.” Good Luck and Happy Training!