Just like toddlers, puppies are at that developmental stage where they constantly learn from their environment, socializing, or from formal dog training.
Getting formal training establishes a stronger foundation and will set the stage for how they behave during their adult stage. By combining adequate socialization with effective puppy training, your pup will grow to be a well-behaved and confident dog.
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In this article, we will not only talk about how soon you should start training your puppy but will also give you some tips on how to successfully train your puppy. If you’re ready, let’s get started!
When to Start Puppy Training
In the past, dog trainers and veterinarians recommended that dog owners start training their puppies when they are old enough to have all of their vaccines. This means some puppies have already adopted undesirable behaviors before they even get trained. It is more challenging to teach your dog to unlearn these problem behaviors than to teach them more desirable ones early on.
According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), puppies who don’t have any health issues can be trained as early as 7 to 8 weeks of age. At this point, they should have already received a minimum of one set of vaccines at least a week before the first class and a first deworming.
Failing to socialize your pup during the first two to three months may lead to behavioral problems such as avoidance, fears, and aggression. Such problems can continue until later on into its adulthood.
Training Timeline for Your Puppy
Do you have no idea when you should train your dogs to learn different skills? Below is a training timeline that can serve as your guide.
7 to 8 Weeks of Age
- Basic Commands (Sit, Stay, Come)- Start with the most basic commands as early as 7 weeks old.
- Leash Training- At this point, you can start leash training indoors. It is not recommended to take it out for a walk as it doesn’t have its full set of vaccinations yet. You can start by letting your pup wear its dog collar for a limited amount of time while rewarding it with treats and then increasing the duration gradually. Practice walking your puppy around the house with the leash on, and when it has all its vaccinations, you can move the training outdoors.
- General handling- Get your furry friend accustomed to being touched. You can do this by gently rubbing its paws and ears while rewarding it with tasty treats. Trust us, having your puppy used to being touched can make visits to the veterinary and pet groomer much less stressful.
8 to 10 Weeks of Age
- Crate training- You should get your puppy a crate and bring it to the crate for 10 minutes at a time. Give it tasty treats as it goes in and feeds it in the crate so it will view it as a safe and calm environment.
10 to 12 Weeks of Age
- Not biting- Puppies tend to be playful and use its mouth to explore the world. However, it’s crucial to train it not to bite your hands or feet by redirecting it towards a more appropriate object to bite on, such as a chew toy.
12 to 16 Weeks of Age
- Potty training- For dogs, routine is important. With this, you must maintain a schedule for potty training so your pup will learn faster. It is recommended to take your puppy out first thing in the morning, after meals, and after playtimes throughout the day. At this stage of development, your pup will already have good bladder control and learn to hold it. Every time it goes to relieve itself outside, reward your pet with a tasty treat and verbal praises.
As your puppy reaches 6 months of age, it is entering the adolescence stage in dogs. When it reaches this point, it becomes challenging to train. With this, experts recommend starting training your furry babies as young as possible.
Always keep in mind, though, that training should never stop. Dogs can continue to learn from basic to advanced skills and even cool tricks as long as it gets proper training consistently. Dog training will not only benefit your dog by stimulating its mind and body but will also make your experience as a dog owner much more pleasant and fulfilling.
How Long Should I Train My Puppy Every Day
Besides the age of your puppy, the consistency and duration of your training are also crucial factors. While you don’t necessarily need to train your pup in a set session every day, your goal should be to conduct training for a total of at least 15 minutes each day.
These can be three 5-minute sessions spread throughout the day, and these sessions can be facilitated by any of your family members if you’re not available. It is recommended to train in every room of your house so your puppy will behave and feel comfortable in these places.
In order to have a well-trained dog, you must commit to training your pup on almost a daily basis during its first year. Training should start in an environment with as few distractions as possible, and the reward must be highly motivating in order for it to be more effective.
Some puppies can be more difficult to train. For such cases, you don’t necessarily have to train them longer as dogs have a limited attention span. You can use a leash and a head collar for additional control until it gradually learns the desired behavior.
Puppies can be a lot of work, so if you find it difficult to facilitate your pet’s training, it is recommended to hire professional dog trainers. Delaware K9 Academy can tailor the instruction depending on the age of your puppy. Aside from puppy training, we also offer private lessons and 2-week boot camps depending on your particular needs and goals for your pet.
Not sure what to choose? Let us help you explore your options by getting in touch with us today!