How To Start Training Your Puppy: Where to Start Puppy Training

How To Start Training Your Puppy

Puppies are always learning from their environment, how they act around people and other animals, and what they are taught directly.

This establishes a crucial foundation that will pave the way for their adulthood. Puppies can grow up to be confident adult dogs if they are socialized and trained well as puppies.

To set yourself and your puppy up for success, follow this step-by-step puppy training guide.

When Can You Start Puppy Training?

Puppy training begins as soon as you bring your puppy home, which is usually around 8 weeks old. They can learn basic puppy training cues like sit, stay, and come at this young age.

Puppy Training Suggestions

To get you started, here are some basic puppy training tips.

Positive reinforcement should be used.

You may have heard about or even seen in person with a dog trainer a variety of methods for training your puppy. But there is only one way to train that is both good and supported by science, and that is positive reinforcement.

Giving a reward to encourage the desired behavior is known as positive reinforcement. Punishment, such as harsh corrections, correcting devices like shock, choke, prong collars, and dominance-based handling techniques, should be avoided because they can have long-term consequences that cause your dog to develop fear and anxiety as an adult.

To put this into practice, first determine which rewards are most effective for your puppy. Some puppies will be happy to train with a piece of their regular food, while others will need something tastier, like a special training treat.

Then there are puppies who are not at all motivated by food! Try to find a toy that they enjoy that they can get when they do a good job for those puppies. Positive reinforcement for a puppy can also be accomplished through praise. Basic puppy training may only require petting or showing excitement and saying “good job!”

Shorten your training sessions.

Keep the sessions short, around 5 minutes each, and aim for a total of 15 minutes per day when training a basic cue. Because puppies have short attention spans, end your session on a positive note to keep them interested in the next one!

When training your puppy, be consistent.

It’s important to maintain a consistent approach to cues and training. When teaching your puppy basic cues like sit, stay, and come, use the same word and/or hand signal.

It’s also important to consistently reinforce desired behaviors, even when it’s inconvenient. So, if your puppy is at the door and needs to go outside to pee, stop what you’re doing, let them out, and praise them for going outside to pee.

Practice in a variety of settings.

Taking your puppy to a new location, such as a park or the beach, and asking for a cue is very different from training in an environment. This is because they will be exposed to a wide range of new sights and smells outside the house.

Make an effort to practice in various settings to set your dog up to be confident in any situation. Please keep in mind that puppies shouldn’t be around big groups of dogs until they’ve had all of their puppy shots.

Wait patiently.

Puppies, like young children, are growing and learning. They are bound to make mistakes and may not always comprehend what you are asking.

Stick with it and don’t get frustrated because all puppies learn at different rates. Keeping a regular schedule for feeding, going to the bathroom, napping, and playing will help your puppy feel safe. A safe puppy is ready and able to learn!

Timeline for Basic Puppy Training

So, when do you teach your dog the various cues? When do you start housebreaking? You can use the following puppy training timeline.

7-8 Weeks of Age

Basic cues (Sit, Stay, Come)

As early as 7 weeks old, you can start with basic cues:

  • Say a cue once, such as “sit.”
  • Position your dog in a sitting position with a treat.
  • Once your puppy is sitting, reward him with a treat and some praise.

Training on Leashes

At this age, you can start leash training indoors. Because puppies do not yet have all of their vaccinations, it is dangerous for them to walk around where other dogs do.

Begin by putting them in the collar/harness for short periods of time and rewarding them with treats. Slowly increase the duration. Once your puppy knows how to come to you, you can walk around inside on a leash with no distractions. Once your puppy has received all of its vaccinations, you can take the training outside.

Handling in general,

Allow your puppy to become accustomed to being touched. While rewarding them, gently rub their ears and paws. This will make them accustomed to having those areas touched, making future veterinary visits and nail trimmings less stressful!

8–10 weeks old

Crate training

Your puppy should regard their crate as a secure and relaxing environment. Start by bringing them to their crate at 10-minute intervals when they are calm. Reward them with a treat for entering their crate. To create a positive environment, you can even feed them in their crate.

10 to 12 weeks.

Learning to Avoid Biting

At this age, puppies become obnoxious. They explore their world by putting things in their mouths, but it’s important to teach them not to bite their hands or ankles. Redirect them to a more appropriate object to bite, such as a toy, when they start biting at you.

12 to 16 weeks

Toilet Training

For potty training, sticking to a schedule is important. Take your puppy out first thing in the morning, after eating, and after playtime and naps all day. They should have enough bladder control at this point to learn to hold it. Every time your puppy uses the bathroom outside, reward them with a treat.

6 months of age.

By this time, puppies have reached adolescence, which is the most difficult stage to begin training at. That is why it is important to start training them at a young age! At this stage, you’ll keep training them to solidify and improve their skills in more public and distracting places, like dog parks.

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