If a young pup has entered your life for the first time, congratulations! These energetic canines are sure to add plenty of excitement to your life. However, they can be a handful to deal with while they are still learning how to be a dog. The good news is that you can help them along with the proper training.
Most owners eventually start training their pups themselves, or they may choose to enroll them in a professional program. In either case, you might be wondering when to start training a puppy.
Today we will look at the ideal age range to start puppy training as well as the importance of starting training at the right time.
Why Training is Essential for Every Puppy
First-time puppy owners may be wondering why training is essential and whether it is actually needed. As professional trainers, we would urge every puppy owner to enroll their canine in a professional training program or offer them basic training at the bare minimum.
So why is puppy training essential? Some of the reasons include:
Building the Right Connection Between You and Your Pup
Puppies are constantly being drawn to various visual, audio, and olfactory stimuli at any given moment. That is to say, they are being bombarded by various sights, sounds, and smells all the time. It is natural for them to be curious about the world around them at this impressionable age. However, this curiosity may also distract them from building the proper connection with their owners.
Puppy training helps owners establish a healthy line of communication with their puppy and teaches them to follow their leader. This connection helps provide stability in the puppy’s life and makes it easier for owners to teach them commands.
Teaching Then Valuable Life Skills
The right training can also teach your puppy valuable life skills. This includes basic potty training that shows them how to seek out a suitable spot to do their business and avoid making a mess at home. It also teaches them to follow a structured schedule that relies on self-control.
Training also helps your puppy learn about boundaries. For example, you can teach them to avoid sitting on the couch or keeping their cool when passing strangers and other dogs on the street. These skills are valuable and help your puppy function acceptably and healthily while they are still impressionable.
Helping Your Puppy Stay Safe
Training also indirectly helps your puppy stay safe. Owners with trained pups can summon or command them to perform a specific action to avoid danger. For example, they can command their pooch to stay put if they spot a stray cat near a busy road with traffic.
Similarly, they can teach their canine to avoid eating foods they have not been offered. This helps them avoid poisonous foods that could be deadly for them.
When to Start Training a Puppy
Ideally, owners should start training their puppies or enroll them in training classes once they are 7 or 8 weeks old. This range is perfect because it is the age at which they are still impressionable but are developed enough to understand and learn commands.
The adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is still valid, so it is best to start training your canine sooner rather than later.
What Type of Training is Best for a Young Puppy?
Owners should note that puppy training is a gradual process that requires time and patience. It is best to start your puppy off with training that exposes them to different environments while they are between 8 and 16 weeks of age. This includes taking them to crowded areas, places with vehicular traffic, and spots with other dogs while keeping them on a short leash.
You can also take them to the vet and other places where they will become familiar with being touched or handled by new people. Owners can also use this time to teach their puppy basic obedience commands such as “sit” or “stay” using positive-reinforcement.
Should I Start Training an Older Puppy?
If you have recently adopted an older puppy that hasn’t undergone any training, it is best to start as soon as possible. This is because it gets progressively more difficult for a canine to learn these skills as they get older. However, you can still make plenty of progress if you are willing to put in the right effort.
Why You Should Enroll Your Puppy in a Training Classes
Puppy owners may benefit from enrolling their puppy in training classes rather than training them themselves. Some reasons for this include:
Aiding With Socialization
Enrolling your puppy in training classes gives them exposure to other dogs and people. This is important for socialization, which teaches them how to behave around others.
You can certainly attempt to teach your puppy socialization yourself through outings and exposure exercises. However, the consistent exposure that classes offer helps them rapidly make considerable developments in this area.
Learning More Advanced Skills
Owners may find it easy to teach their puppy basic obedience and commands. However, they may struggle to teach them more advanced skills and commands associated with canine sports, therapy work, or trick training.
Tracking Their Progress
Professional puppy trainers can identify what skills your puppy lacks and train them accordingly. The average owner may be unfamiliar with these skills and may therefore neglect them. Consider enrolling your puppy in training classes at All Dogs Unleashed. Our trainers understand the training needs of puppies of all ages and can provide the right guidance for owners who like to raise a healthy and obedient canine. Please contact us today to enroll your puppy and take control of their development.