This is a two-part blog post on training your new puppy. Make sure to come back next month and check out the second part of this blog on basic commands and how to properly teach them.
When to Start Training Your Puppy
Whether you start training right away or not – your puppy is learning. They are taking in the world around them and figuring out how to act as a dog. You can help with this by starting training as early as your puppy is able to. Typically, this is around 8 weeks old when she has gotten old enough to listen and remember commands. At this age, they can begin learning basic requests like “sit”, “down” and “stay”.
Training early in your puppy’s development will make the process much easier. This is a valuable window of time in which they able to learn much more quickly and readily. This is also a good time to correct bad behaviors. This can prevent your puppy from making them into a regular habit that could persist into adult years.
Make sure to keep training sessions brief (around 10-15 minutes) during this time as they will probably get tired quickly. As they get older you can increase the amount of training time but be sure to keep an eye on how the puppy is doing. It’s better to end a session early with success than to let it get derailed by a frustrated or bored puppy. It’s also important to end each session on a positive note, even if the puppy is having trouble with the commands.
Basics of Training
The best way to train your puppy is by focusing on positive reinforcement. You don’t want to treat this as a bribe. Instead, it’s simply rewarding good behavior. You can start by using treats, pieces of food or even just a favorite toy. This is a good way of getting your puppy’s attention and encouraging them to model the behavior you want.
Avoid negative behaviors like yelling or spanking. This can confuse your puppy and prevent them from understanding exactly what you want from them. It can also bruise the relationship you have and make your puppy nervous. Make sure to always give them praise right after executing a command correctly.
In dog training it is called the “two second window” for positive or negative reinforcement of behaviors. The farther removed the reinforcement is delivered the harder it is for the dog to understand why it was received. This will let your puppy know that you’re happy with the behavior they are exhibiting and want them to continue.
What We Can Offer You
Training a puppy takes a lot of hard work and dedication. If you’d like to make the process easier, Landheim offers multiple different training services that might be right for your puppy. We offer Puppy Kindergarten for all breeds aged 8 to 16 weeks. In this course, we teach skills like socialization and confidence in the most critical stage of your puppy’s development. This course also will help you to prevent unwanted behaviors and bond with your puppy. This is a great course that will help lay the foundation of a well-behaved adult dog.
If you’ve been wanting to train your older puppy but haven’t made much progress yet, it’s not too late! We also offer a Basic Dog Training and Obedience course for dogs aged 5 months and older. Call us at 219-365-8897 or click here to register now for either course. We wish you the best of luck in your puppy training journey!