Puppies continuously learn new information from their surroundings, from interacting with humans and other animals, and from direct training. These early learning experiences form a critical groundwork for their lives as adult dogs. Supplying puppies with proper socialization and basic skills training through positive reinforcement helps them grow into maturity with confidence and a balanced temperament.
You begin teaching your puppy from the moment you bring the puppy home and start house training. Puppies start to learn from the time they’re born, so you can begin handling and interacting with them immediately. Some types of training can be initiated the minute the puppy is able to open its eyes and walk. Young puppies have short attention spans, but they can start responding to basic commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as seven or eight weeks of age.
Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until dogs are six months old. However, the juvenile stage is not the best time to start training a dog. Dogs learn from each experience they have, and delaying training causes them to miss many opportunities to learn good conduct. As juveniles, dogs begin to settle into adult behavioral patterns and go through periods of fearfulness. Thus, inappropriate actions learned in puppyhood may need to be adjusted. Also, any behaviors that have already been incorrectly learned or taught will need to be re-taught. Puppies are capable of learning a lot from a young age so it’s wise to start training as early as possible.
When training is begun at seven to eight weeks, it’s important to use methods based on positive reinforcement and gentle teaching. Since puppies can’t pay attention too long, training sessions should be brief, but should happen daily. Puppies can be taught “sit,” “down,” “stand, and “stay” using the technique of food-lure training. In this approach, food treats are used to entice the dog to follow its nose and assume the proper position.
To let your puppy experience top-quality, compassionate early training, come see us at Dog Training Now Charleston, or call 843-830-4466 to set up an appointment.
If you’re thinking about putting your dog into training, you probably have questions. All dogs…