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When’s the best time to start puppy obedience training? Probably earlier than you think… here’s an intro to when and why to introduce your young dog to new skills.
Maybe you know ahead of time that you want your puppy to attend puppy training, or maybe something in your puppy’s behavior has put the idea in your head (yikes!). Either way, puppy obedience training can help get your life together off to the best start possible!
Stages of Puppy Growth and Development
From the moment you bring your puppy home, changes will be taking place. The main stages of puppy growth and development involve both physical and emotional maturity, plus healthy weight gain.
Skilled trainers (like, ahem, ours!), can teach you how to understand what makes your dog tick, and how to make the most of each stage—so you grow along with your puppy. Over time, you’ll find they’re increasingly able to understand and implement more complicated skills and behaviors.
Good Puppy Manners
You’re probably familiar with commands that many people say to their dogs, regardless of age: Sit, stay, leave it, heel, go to your place.
Maybe you’ve tried one or two with your puppy with no results. While there are age-appropriate methods you can use to help your puppy be more successful, there’s not one single prescription that works for all dogs. Each has their own unique personality that must be taken into account.
But good manners—like NOT jumping on guests, or toileting outside rather than in—are always in fashion!
Sometimes people think that if they teach these behaviors, they’ll discourage their dog from behaviors they DO want—like giving affections to others. Not to worry; it’s absolutely possible to train your puppy to use good behavior, and still have a dog that’s… well, a dog!
And you can have even more fun together when you don’t have to worry about them running off, scaring neighbors, or getting into other trouble.
Timeline for Puppy Obedience Training
Most puppies can start puppy obedience training at about seven or eight weeks old. This would include very simple commands that fit with your puppy’s early capacity to understand.
Just like you might show your toddler how to eat and a first grader how to tie their shoes, a puppy’s ability to learn more complex things changes as they get older. Your puppy might seem a little wild at about six months old, not unlike a teenager who loves the thrill of getting on your nerves. Breathe… this will pass!
But it could be time for some tough love. Reinforce rules that have already been taught and continue to reward good behavior. As the lessons in puppy obedience training become second nature, you might be ready to take training to the next level.
Advanced training for puppies can usually start at around this rebellious period of six months or so. Keep in mind that your puppy’s learning curve might not be the same as a puppy you see at the dog park. That’s okay. Just continue being consistent, practicing and rewarding their good behaviors.
A Little Love Goes a Long Way
From the first time you see your little furry one, show them that you love them and will take care of them. Food, a warm and cozy place to sleep, and protection from harm will often be the key to your puppy becoming your lifelong companion.
We love puppies! Call us today at College for Pets to learn more about puppy obedience training for your new addition. You and your puppy can learn together as we guide you through the basics and maybe later more advanced training for your puppy.