When to Start Training a Puppy
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Having a puppy at home is incredibly exciting and heartwarming. At this stage, dogs are usually very playful and fun as well as sweet and adorable. However, having a puppy also involves taking on a responsibility that requires you to train them properly and teach them good manners. We don't want them to become a small destructive monster or an animal that the family is unable to control!
That is why AnimalWised want to talk to you about when to start training a puppy. The right time to do it is of vital importance because it will make the job easier for you and your pet.
Do you have a rude dog?
Broken shoes, ripped cushions, dirty carpet and excessive barking is what awaits you if you do not dedicate time and energy into properly educating your dog as they are a puppy. As with people, there is a certain age at which it will be easier to teach your dog basic commands and habits to follow in order for them to live a life in harmony with their human family and perhaps other pets.
A puppy that has not received any training can become a problem and generate tension between the different members of the household, but we know that this can be corrected with useful guidelines.
When to start training a puppy
Despite the process of domestication, a dog is still an animal accustomed to follow the pack, so from a very young age they can be educated on the rules governing the herd, even if this herd is a human family. Waiting for your pup to reach six months of age or a year to commence training is just wasting precious time. They can perfectly learn instructions on what parts of the house they are forbidden to enter or where to do the toilet for example.
From 7 weeks on, when your dog has already gained independence from their mother (from that age onwards, adoption is recommended, for example), your puppy is ready to learn the first rules of coexistence and commands they need to become a member of the family group.
The learning process
A dog learns throughout their life. Even when you think that you have finished the education and training process, if you neglect your pet, they may acquire other habits that are unwanted. Educating the puppy at a young age is necessary, not only to avoid inconveniences with the family or end up having an undisciplined dog, but it facilitates the retention of information and makes them more receptive.
Of course, as with humans, each stage has a different level of difficulty, so you must adapt what you want your puppy to learn at each age. In this way, we can divide the puppy's training into:
- From 7 weeks
- From 3 months
- 6 months and up
From 7 weeks
At this stage your puppy has just come home, or it is time to help the mother in the education of the puppy or litter. At this age you can teach your puppy only a few things, but they are very important:
- Control their bite. It is normal for puppies to chew everything in their path, because teething causes them discomfort in the gums. To avoid destroying your personal items, buy special dog toys for them, and congratulate them whenever they use them.
- Where to do the toilet. Since they still do not have all their shots, you should assign some space in the house for them to go to the toilet, either in the garden or on newspapers. Be patient and take them right after eating.
- Don't cry if they are alone. If you get complaints because your dog barks or whines when you're not there, just pretend you're going out and come home as soon as you notice their moaning. You will portray an annoyed attitude, without using violence towards the animal, and soon you will notice these unjustified noises will fizzle out. Another very effective option is to provide a kong for puppies in order to keep them entertained while you are not there.
- Respect the space of others. If you do not want your puppy to pounce on people or sleep on the furniture, pushing them away with an energetic "no" will be enough to achieve this in a short time.
- Where to sleep. It is necessary that you define a place of rest for the animal and that you remain firm in this position. This is because you will only confuse them if one day you allow them to sleep with you and the next you send them to their bed, for example.
From 3 months
With the previous rules learned, this phase should be easier for you and your dog. During this stage, the puppy can learn to:
- Do the toilet outside or in one place. If what you really want is for your dog to do his/her needs during walks, and they have all their shots, this age is ideal to teach them this. Start by removing the newspapers away from home, in places that will attract their attention and, little by little, they will find their favorite bathroom!
- Walking. Keeping track of their human companion during walks is an essential part of puppy training, so you don't have to run after them when they start pulling on the leash. Pull the leash when you see them trying to get away and start teaching him orders like "quiet", "come" and "walk".
From 6 months
Between 6 and 8 months, your puppy will be able to pick up more complex orders. Commands like paw, lie down and other tricks you want them to learn will be easily assimilated at this stage. It is also a good time to start interacting with other dogs. To do this, do not miss our article where we tell you how to socialize your puppy.
From this point, your dog will already know the basic rules and will have acquired the necessary habits to live with their human family.
Useful tips for puppy training
In addition to all of the above as to when you can start educating your puppy, you should keep the following tips in mind when starting training:
- Be patient. If you are upset when your dog fails to comply with the order as you wish, do not press or force them: the method you are using may not be the most appropriate. Leave them for that day, analyze what is wrong and resume the next day.
- Be loving. Signs of affection, pampering and congratulations when the dog meets your expectations are the positive reinforcements they need to learn faster.
- Be consistent. From the first day it is crucial to establish what the norms are that they must comply with, and these must be followed by the whole family. Mixing signals will only confuse the animal.
- Be understanding. Long training sessions will only deplete you and your dog. Try to reinforce the order and behavior you want them to follow for five minutes, a maximum of 10 times a day, and the results will be more impressive.
With these tips we are sure that your puppy will be able to transform into a well-behaved educated dog in a very short time. If you have an adult who has never received training, do not despair. It is also possible to train them, whether you do it yourself at home or attend training courses and workshops. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
If you want to read similar articles to When to Start Training a Puppy, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.