Puppies require training, and this process can be challenging. Knowing when to start and what to teach them will set you and your puppy up for success, and the following guide will lead you in the right direction.
Start training your puppy right away
Puppies start learning from birth, and you must train your puppy from the moment you bring them home. Some training can begin as soon as the puppy can open its eyes, and although they have short attention spans at this age, they can start to learn simple obedience commands like “sit,” “down,” and “stay” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age. Use methods that rely on positive reinforcement and gentle teaching methods during these early stages and keep training sessions brief at this time.
The time you spend training your puppy at this age can serve as the foundation for your inseparable relationship over the years.
Use small pieces of food or a favoured toy to motivate your puppy to perform a task
Showing your puppy the reward will prompt them to give you the desired response. For example, you can hold food up over the puppy’s nose and coax them backwards to get a ‘sit’ response. Pairing a command phrase or word with each action and giving the reward for each appropriate response will teach your puppy the meaning of each command.
Strive for 15 minutes of training every day
You can spread short, 5-minute sessions throughout the day and train in every room of your house. They need to obey your commands everywhere, not just in the training location, which is why you must practice everywhere to ensure your puppy behaves and feels comfortable. It would be best if you committed to training tasks daily for the first year of your puppy’s life to have a well-trained dog, building a loyal, lifelong companionship at the same time.
Train in quiet environments with few distractions
If you find that your puppy is too distracted or excitable to control, you can leave a leash attached and use a head collar for additional control. This will help your puppy perform the desired behaviour and respond appropriately. You can prompt the puppy to the correct response if they do not obey, and you can release the pressure as soon as the desired response is achieved.
Start socializing your puppy right away
This usually starts at seven weeks of age, and puppies naturally accept new people during this time. This period is when you should introduce them to new situations as they are eager, exploratory and expressive during this time, and you must take advantage of this enthusiasm. Protecting your puppy during this time is equally important by ensuring all experiences are positive, fun, and not fear-evoking.
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