Knowing when it's puppy training time can be tricky. Read this guide to learn when to train and how to help your pup today!
If you've just got yourself a new puppy, after you're done with all the fun and games during playtime, you'll want to start looking into training your pup.
Training can significantly impact your puppy's quality of life, and it's a good idea to start early. But how early should you start, and what should you teach?
This article will cover all you need to know about starting your puppy training, so keep reading to find out more.
Before You Start Puppy Training
Training a puppy can be quite a task to undertake, depending on your puppy's temperament. Some dogs take to training quite quickly, but others can take a little time.
Here are three crucial things to remember when training your puppy.
Patience - you need a lot of patience when dealing with a puppy as their attention span is relatively short
Positive Reinforcement - an essential part of puppy training, if you rely on punishment too often, it can undo the progress you've already made
Repetition - the only way to get results is through repetition, whether your dog is a quick learner or not
What Is The First Thing You Should Teach Your Puppy?
Housebreaking, or potty training, should be the first lesson on your list. You can start potty training once your dog has reached 12-16 weeks of age. However, if you start before then, you may find your puppy can't control its bladder, and training will be more challenging.
You can gather a few things to help with potty training, such as:
A crate or playpen if you're using the crate training method
Dog training pads if you're training them indoors
Cleaning detergent for any mishaps between training
Poop bags or a scooper for collecting waste from the garden
Patience because it may take some time for your puppy to 'get it'
What Age Do I Start Training?
Essentially you will start your training as soon as you bring your new dog home. Puppies begin learning from as soon as they are born, and a good breeder will have exposed the puppy to handling and socializing.
Some training can begin immediately, like potty training, but for best results, you can start teaching the basics like "sit," "down," and "stay" from as young as seven to eight weeks of age.
Traditionally, formal training is delayed until around six months of age, but in reality, starting this late misses means that your puppy misses out on the formative weeks where they are learning how to behave.
During this age, the puppy begins to learn adult behavioral patterns and advances through the fear stages.
Training At Seven Weeks
When starting this young, you will need (as we discussed before) positive reinforcement, patience, and a gentle approach to teaching. In addition, your puppy will have a short attention span so keep training sessions to a maximum of five to ten minutes long.
Training treats can be used to coax the puppy into sitting, lying down, or staying with notable effect. This method is called food-lure training. Provided the treat is sufficiently appealing, your puppy can be prompted to give the desired results with great success.
Puppy classes are great for teaching your new puppy to be more social around other dogs. They also learn more of the basics and valuable skills in focus, engagement, and the ability to ignore distractions.
Puppy classes are usually for puppies between the ages of 12 weeks and 16 weeks. After that, they can potentially find the whole experience somewhat overwhelming. So the earlier you start your puppy in puppy class, the better.
Most often, puppy classes are done in a group setting, so your dog will have many chances to become friendly with other dogs. This is especially beneficial if you're dog is the only one you have at home. It's essential for dogs to socialize regularly for their mental health.
When you're ready to branch out into something more formal, it's time to look into puppy obedience training. You can enroll your puppy in a dog training class that will teach all the basics and reinforce what your dog already knows (if you started at home).
Most dog schools will have options to choose from, like private classes, group classes, and agility classes.
Private lessons give you, the owner, the benefit of being the sole focus of the lesson. You work closely with your dog and the trainer to achieve the results you want, and you are free to ask questions throughout the class.
Group classes are great to work through distractions with your dog. Additionally, group classes will have two instructors, one directing the class and another who simultaneously assists the owners with their dogs.
You'll find that most group classes have different sub-programs like Basic Obedience Class, Intermediate Class, Advanced Class, Puppy Class, and Agility Class.
Puppy Board And Train
Sometimes life gets in the way, and you might be too busy to put all your focus on training your new puppy. But, don't despair because there are options available to you, such as our Board and Train option.
Your dog will stay with us for a while and learn obedience and structure while they are here. After that, we will pass the knowledge of your dog's training to you through private lessons or ongoing group classes.
If you don't want to be away from your dog, a Day and Train option is available.
Enroll Your Puppy Today
As you can see, there are many benefits to starting your puppy training at the right age.
Learning how to care for your puppy's well-being by training them to be well-behaved in different situations can allow you and your puppy to live a happy and fulfilling life together.
If you're a dog owner in the Dallas, Carrollton, and DFW areas (within a 50-mile radius of Carrollton, TX), click here to book a consultation so we can get you and your pup on the road to a happy, healthy life together.
A Dog that is a JOY to Live With!