How to set dog training goals for your puppy in 2021

Setting training goals for your puppy is vital.


It gives you a structure to work through and keeps you motivated to continue to train.


Keep reading to find out how you can set training goals with your puppy

Why should you set goals?

Goals are the same as having a destination before you set out on a road trip.


Without the destination, you cannot map out the journey and it will guarantee that you get lost (unless that is the goal!)


By having a training goal, you can figure out the behaviors that are most important to you and create steps to achieve the overall goal

This creates your training plan.

Can you set goals before you get a puppy?


In fact, I believe this is exactly what you should do, however, not everyone has that knowledge beforehand.


If you need help on what to train whilst you figure out your goals then check out how to start training your puppy today.

So how do you set goals?

Step 1. Review your current lifestyle

Write down your current lifestyle, the more detail the better.


Do you have kids? Travel? 

How much time do you get off work?


Knowing what your current lifestyle looks out BEFORE you get your puppy will determine what breed, behaviour and even the breeder or rescue you go for.

Step 2. Train the dog in front of you

The main reason why a goal is so important to have before you get a puppy is that you need to get a puppy that is genetically capable of that goal.


This decreases the chances of needing to rehome the puppy in the future.


Training can only do so much until you hit a wall due to genetic predisposition.


Your Belgian Malinois will bite.

Your border collie will herd.

Your greyhound will want to chase small fluffy things.


And if you already have your puppy – be realistic with your goal.


You cannot expect a working line to sit on the sofa for 5 hours without physical and mental stimulation.

Step 3. What behaviour do you need?

You may need a trainer to help with this, but now list the behaviours you need that fit perfectly with your current lifestyle


Love a casual evening stroll? Loose lead walking may be a desired behaviour.


Want to go on family adventures? An amazing recall will make your adventure that much more fun.

Step 4. Write the steps

So by now you should have written down your current lifestyle, realistic goals and the behaviour needed.


Now we need to write the steps for that behaviour.


Let’s do the steps of a recall together.


  1. Keep puppy on the lead until they have consistent recall
  2. Hand-feed all meals to increase engagement
  3. Exposure puppy to loads of environment to build trust and confidence
  4. Increase engagement indoors and then in the garden
  5. Make sure puppy wants to with you over distractions before moving outside
  6. Work on engagement outside, slowly increasing distractons
  7. Play recall games to proof speed
  8. Continue to practise before your puppy comes back no matter what
  9. Let puppy off lead!!!

The end result –

Puppy should be able to be in any public space with any distraction and return back to owner on the first command every single time.


This behaviour could take anywhere from 6 – 12 months to reliably train depending on consistency.

Step 5. Rinse and repeat

Creating steps for certain behaviours is about reverse engineering everything and writing down how reliable you want that command

Do you need help setting your goals?

If you’re ready to set goals for your puppy and start achieving them then my 4 week perfect puppy programme is perfect for you!

2 thoughts on “How to set dog training goals for your puppy in 2021

  1. Hello there. I discovered your blog by way of Google even as searching for a related subject, your website came up. It seems to be good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then. Claire Hakim Trip

    1. thank you so much! I hope it is useful. Check out the podcast too! There’s even more info on there

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