When to Start Puppy Training

If you have recently gotten a new puppy or are thinking about getting one,  early training is one of the most important things you can do for your dog and your family.

It is Never too Early to Start Training

Puppies begin learning long before you bring them to their new home. They continue to learn every day from every interaction with you and their environment whether you specifically train them or not. Considering this, it becomes apparent how important it is to provide suitable structure and training from the start to prevent your new puppy from learning the wrong lessons. Many behaviors exhibited by puppies are cute and relatively harmless, but these same behaviors exhibited by an adult dog could be dangerous.

Puppies do not “grow out” of poor behavior

Behaviors that puppies exhibit when theyare young will typically persist unless you teach the dog a more acceptable alternative.  Kindergarten Puppy Training classes (often called KPT) and puppy socialization parties can be a good way to get your puppy started. These classes are available in many communities and typically enroll puppies beginning at 8-10 weeks of age. Do not wait until 6 months of age to begin training your puppy. By 6 months of age, your puppy has had 3-4 months to develop undesirable habits that must be corrected before good behavior will be established.

Keep the training sessions short and frequent

Puppies, like young children, do have short attention spans, so training sessions must be short. Short sessions (1-5 minutes) spread frequently throughout the day are more productive than one or two longer sessions. These training sessions should be incorporated into your daily routine and made fun for the puppy. Your puppy should not be able to distinguish real life from training.