Pet owners often wonder when they should begin training their new dog or puppy. Are they too young to understand, or are they too old to learn something new? The answer might surprise you.
You can start basic obedience training with your puppy as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Not only do they have the ability to understand, but you should begin teaching good manners and obedience at a young age before bad habits are formed.
It’s all cuteness and laughs when the new pup runs through your house full of guest with your laundry, until he begins chewing your favorite pair of shoes or steals food off your toddler’s plate.
Simple commands like sit, stay, down, off, leave it and no are your building blocks to a great behavior foundation. But be sure to stick with the important one or two word commands. By the time they are 3-4 months, you can begin teaching them some fun tricks like shake or roll over.
Repetition, consistency, patience and rewarding good behavior are the key to training success. These four items are your go-to training tools. Remember to always keep training treats in your pocket, or in a treat bag that’s worn around your waist. If you keep them in your pocket, prepare for one of three things to happen:
You will inevitably wash your treat stash at least once come laundry day.
You will attract every neighborhood dog within a 2 block radius.
Prepare to routinely have your pockets sniffed up – training or not.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Training sessions of basic commands should be completed 15 minutes each day consistently – followed up with a reward for their compliance to commands. This can done in one sitting or broken up into 5 minute segments throughout the day. Be sure not to overload your dog with too much – too fast. Choose a handful of commands to concentrate working on.
If your puppy/adult dog tends to have a short attention span, then they may respond better if you opt for 5 minute segments throughout the day. Additionally, high energy puppies and adult dogs respond better during training if you ‘burn them out’ with exercise prior to training sessions.
As your dog begins to learn their commands, you should begin to change the setting. Move your training from one room to another, and even outside. This will teach your dog to comply regardless of location and distractions.
To clear up any misconception, old dogs can learn new tricks. But re-training and breaking bad habits requires your steadfast patience and devotion to tough love. If this is your first puppy or adult dog and you’re not comfortable training them – or you’ve tried and it’s ended in an epic failure – give our professional training staff at Bed and Biscuit a call. We make training affordable and fun for the both of you.
Now available in two locations!
(512)343-0723 North Austin