When Should I Start Training My Puppy?

Have a new puppy and don’t know when you can start training?

Well, you can actually start right away. If your puppy is 8 weeks old or older, it’s time to jump into training because the earlier you start, the more obedient your dog will be as an adult. 

But puppy training can be overwhelming, so here are some tips on how to start, how often, and in what order you should train to get you started.

Why puppy training is important

Puppies are cute but they can be a handful. Starting puppy training early is important because it sets the foundation for a well-behaved adult dog and helps to build a strong bond between you and your pup.

Puppies are like sponges and can learn anything quickly. They also start picking up bad habits easier, so it is important to take action right away!

When to start training my puppy

What’s the best age to start training a dog?

You should start training your puppy as soon as you bring them home as long as they are 8 weeks old. If your puppy is older than that, it’s ok, but you’ll want to start training today so you don’t miss any more of this important training time.

It might feel like they are too young, but a puppy’s brain has the ability to learn anything even at a young age, and this is the time to lay all of the groundwork.

As they get older and have more self-control, they will be able to learn more complicated tasks and commands, but young puppies can learn all of the basics.

In what order should I train my puppy?

 

ATTENTION: If you are training a puppy, it’s best to start by teaching them to pay attention first. If your puppy doesn’t pay attention to you when you say their name, you won’t be able to teach them anything else.

BITING: The next most important thing is how to control their bite strength. Puppy can only learn this until they are 6 months old. After that, you can only teach them to bite less frequently, but not with less force. So jumping in with training right away is essential.

BASIC COMMANDS: You can now move to the basic commands including sit, stay and leave it. You’ll want to create a word that consistently works to make your puppy come to you at this point. Often we have to choose a new word like ‘cookie’ because we have used ‘come’ so often in the wrong way. Make sure you create a situation where your puppy will need to come to you when you use this word (like using a house leash inside).

LEASH TRAINING/JUMPING: Next, you’ll want to work on leash training, not jumping up, and how to sit and greet people to make them more polite.

The amount of time you’ll need one each step will vary depending on how consistent you are, and how much time you spend training.

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How long should training sessions be for puppies?

Young puppies don’t have a very long attention span and tire out quickly. Training for 5 minutes at a time, a few times a day, is the most they can handle. As they get older you can move to longer sessions.

Training should always be fun for your puppy, so stay upbeat, and use some healthy, high-value treats.

What is the best time of day to train a puppy?

The best time of day to train your puppy is in the morning when they are most likely to be awake.

However, training them at night before bedtime can help prevent any bad habits during the night since training can tire them out as well as running (although you always want them to be doing both every day)

Whenever you decide to train, keep it consistent, so your puppy starts to know the schedule, and is excited to train. Remember, always keep it positive and fun for both of you!

Is it okay for me to use treats when training?

Worried that uyour puppy will get too spoiled and not listen anymore if you use treats all the time?

Training doesn’t have to always involve treats, but they can definitely help your dog learn faster. Make sure you only use treats with natural ingredients (or make your own!) for training so your puppy stays healthy!

Also, keep in mind that we don’t want to reward bad behavior with a treat. Never give them a treat if they are jumping on people or chewing anything other than their toys (positive reinforcement is key!)

Is there anything else I need to know about training a puppy?

Yes, you need to know that the Schedule for Puppy Training will help your puppy learn what is expected of them and how to be a well-behaved adult dog. Make sure that everyone in the family follows this schedule so your puppy has consistency!

Also, socializing should happen every day as well since puppies need to be exposed to all kinds of situations, people, sounds and smells while they are young.

Conclusion

Training is one of the most important habits you need to develop with a new puppy. All of the groundwork you put in place now will help your puppy grow into a happy, well-adjusted, and well-behaved dog.

Make sure to take the time (just 5-15 minutes a day!) to teach your puppy all the things you want them to know. Don’t wait until the bad habits set in.

And, remember to be patient and celebrate the small wins. They are babies, so it will take some time for them to master behavior. But this stage will not last forever, and someday soon you’ll be wishing they were puppies again. So enjoy, relax, and focus on their progress, not their missteps.

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