It is important to be clear from the outset, that there is no general consensus – among both dog experts and owners alike – as to when to start training a puppy.
Below is a summary of what you will read in the rest of this article.
- Train your puppy as early as possible
- If you are concerned about its size, do it within its first year
- Do it while everyone is still excited about the new puppy
- Consider waiting for it to complete its vaccination
- Wait 7 weeks for its brain to develop
1. Start early
One argument that cuts across the divide, though, is that a puppy should always be trained as early as possible. The training can either be done by the owner, or by a hired professional. It is recommended that you ask your veterinarian to recommend a trainer; you could also look in your local newspaper for a trainer in your area.
When answering the question about when to start training a puppy, most experts respond, ‘as soon as you bring them home.’ This is because – they say – if you do not do this early, you will not be able to correct any bad habits that your puppy (or dog) may have already developed. Such habits may include car chasing, begging, climbing on furniture, excessive barking, and so on.
For those puppies that are born in your home, it is recommended that you wait for around 6 – 12 weeks; give the puppy enough time with its mother and its littermates. It is not good to separate the puppy from them. However, when you start the training, be stable, strong and consistent with your puppy from the outset.
2. Puppy Size
Some people are very concerned about the size of the dog. They recommend you start training your puppy during its first year. They particularly put an emphasis on the first six months.
You see, they argue that puppies grow too fast. A little puppy for instance – they say – will weigh a whopping 75 pounds in only six months! They argue that it is better and more rewarding to train an animal you can control easily. They also argue that puppies are easier to train when they are younger.
Also, experts advise you not be fooled into thinking that puppies are too young to learn. According to them, puppies learn a lot through inter – dog relations (with fellow puppies and mother).
By the time you set off to buy one, they will have already learnt something about bite inhibition and some canine body language. So immediately, you bring a puppy home, start training it. If it is too tired, start training it the following day!
3. Family buy in
When you take the puppy home with you, it is imperative that you set the training programme in motion when everybody is still enthusiastic about it – usually during the first week. You will notice that during this time, everybody in the home is usually competing for its attention and treating it lavishly.
They even fight amongst themselves as to whose bed the puppy will sleep in! But this all changes when the puppy starts urinating in their beds and everywhere else. they begin to realize the numerous challenges associated with owning and training a puppy. Then the enthusiasm goes down. So take advantage of allocating the training chores before this happens!
Some experts introduce a very different perspective when you ask them. They tell you that you should wait until the puppy’s vaccination is completed before starting the training. These are the experts that recommend that you go to dog training classes with your puppy so that it can train in the company of other dogs.
They say it is important because it helps you avoid distractions and to focus more. Your puppy – they say – needs to be fully vaccinated before it comes into contact with other dogs that may be carriers of various diseases. This will protect your puppy. Vaccines are usually first administered to puppies at 6 weeks of age. This is followed by another dose 2 – 4 weeks later, after which you can begin your dog training classes.
5. Brain development
Others will recommend to you the age of 7 weeks when you ask them when to start training a puppy. This is because research has shown that by the age of 7 weeks, a dog’s brain has developed adequately. So this age is very ideal for commencing dog training. By this age, the dog is capable of understanding and responding to training commands. Besides, the 7 – 16 weeks period is the critical age for socialization and learning for your dog.
Learn more on Best Tips For House Training a Puppy