No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
I also do several short sessions a day with a young puppy. Definitely before a meal rather than afterwards. With some puppies it wouldn't matter (both Keefer and Halo worked well for food even after a meal) but generally, it's better to do it prior to feeding. You can use some of the dog's kibble as a training treat, or mix it with something more interesting.
I found "stay" to be a bit more complex of a concept, so I saved that for a little later. But you can start with sit and down immediately. You can also work on name recognition, focus, and a recall right away too, using food rewards. Rather that putting a cue to any behaviors right away I start by luring, as ausdland and Dainerra mention, and also by capturing behaviors the puppy offers up spontaneously by marking and rewarding them - puppy lays down: "yes!", toss a treat. Wait for puppy to lay down again, mark and reward. Rinse/repeat. Once it's clear that the puppy is going to lay down, use your verbal cue right before he does, then mark and reward. Basically, anything you want to encourage him to do, you can reinforce by rewarding him when he does.
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short