Puppy Training: How Early Is Too Early to Start?
Along with a new puppy comes advice about puppy training, whether you want it or not.
Even the most well-meaning friends, family members and strangers will offer bits of unsolicited advice about managing house training, socializing, chewing and barking. Beware, however, as many incorrect and potentially damaging myths surround this topic.
Of course you want to give your precious new pet a great start in life, and training is a big part of that. So what is the right way to do it and what age should your dog be when you start?
Read on for our professional advice on training the newest member of your family.
Start off Right
In many ways, puppy training is an ongoing process that begins at birth.
A young dog stays with its mother and littermates for the first eight weeks of life. During this time, a pup learns how to be a dog through mom’s patented training program of teaching bite inhibition, pack order, play, canine communication and discipline.
When it’s time for puppy to leave the fold and go home with you, it has already got a bit of a start. It’s up to you to continue the work that mama dog started.
By about eight weeks, your puppy’s brain will have developed enough for it to comprehend basic training, so be prepared to get started as soon as you bring it home.
When You Bring Your Puppy Home
Bringing your new dog home is exciting. You and your family will want to spend time playing with it and doting on it. He’s tiny and cute and probably appears way too small and young to learn, but don’t be fooled.
By the time you get your pup, it is ready and able to learn, so it’s important that you start this process immediately.
After you have visited your vet for a checkup and your puppy has been given a clean bill of health, it’s time to start with housebreaking.
Every dog understands from a very young age to never eliminate in its den. A new puppy will pick up the concept of housebreaking easily if you simply follow along with the natural puppy programming.
Start by establishing a safe and consistent spot for the puppy to relieve itself. Familiarity is the key, so first thing in the morning, take your pup outside to this designated area.
Next, establish its “den.” For most people, a crate is the easiest and most secure way to contain a puppy. If it’s not with you or otherwise under supervision, keep it safely tucked away in its den.
As long as you are consistent with taking it outside regularly and keeping it crated when it can’t be supervised, house training will be a breeze.
Start Early with Walking
Puppies need exercise, and a safe way to do that is by taking it for a walk.
A daily walk — on a leash of course — will teach your puppy that you are the pack leader and you wield the authority. Make sure that you are the one in control of the walk at all points, from when you leave the house to when you return.
If you’ve ever seen a person being walked by his or her dog, you’ll understand how important this is — especially if your puppy grows into a large dog!
At Innovative K9 Academy, we specialize in all types of dog training, but we especially like working with puppies. We offer puppy boot camp programs that will help you turn your little pal into a trusted companion for life. Contact us today to learn more about how puppy training can benefit you both.