Your puppy didn’t come into this world with the ability to understand. Many of our clients are ones that acquire a puppy, get home, and then say, “What do I do now?”
Like any new parent, they usually are in a state of confusion and panic by the time they have reached out to me. Well meaning family and friends, fellow dog owners, their vet and/or a breeder have kindly (and sometimes not so kindly) offered their two cents on what they should be doing:
- Should they crate their puppy or not?
- Should they use a Wee Wee pad or strictly outdoor potty training?
- How will they get their newest family member to interact with their human siblings or for that matter older canine ones?
All that contradictory “good” advice and intentions seem to go out the window as soon as this cuddly, warm ball of fur gets home. The tired, baffled and concerned new parents are left scratching their heads instead of their new best friend’s belly. Early puppy training is a foundation that will give lasting results.
When Should You Start Training a Puppy?
If you’re wondering when the best time to start training your puppy, the American Kennel Club says that puppies can begin socialization and learning basic commands as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Socializing early can help to avoid behavioral issues from developing (fears, anxiety, aggression). Training your dog is not a process that will be perfected overnight, so the sooner you start, the better the results will be. In many cases it is also easier to train new puppies than it is to train older dogs who may have gotten into habits that need to be unlearned in order to learn the proper behavior.
Puppies begin learning behaviors very early on so even by waiting 6 months (as has been traditionally recommended in the past) you run the risk of the puppy solidifying behavioral problems that will need to be undone and re-taught in the correct manner.
How Much Time Should Be Spent Training a Puppy?
You don’t want to overdo your training in the early stages. Puppies have a lot of energy but they can also get exhausted very quickly. Focused training should be done for around 15-30 minutes everyday, but with command training you can simply integrate the training throughout your daily routine. Practice briefly in many different locations so your puppy will learn to feel comfortable and relaxed in different places in the future.
Puppy Training Services
Puppies have an advantage over older dogs in that they do not have learned behavior that has been reinforced over time. If your puppy is exhibiting poor behavior or is not responding to your attempts at training, we offer a variety of puppy training programs using positive reinforcement to help train your new friend.