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Puppy Training - How Soon Can I Start To Train My Puppy?

Updated on January 4, 2008

Many puppy owners want to know when is the best time to start training their new puppy. For me, the answer is simple, and that is you can start training your puppy about the same time you bring him across your threshold. Now certainly, I am not advocating that you start puppy classes with an 8 week old puppy, not beyond puppy preschool anyway, but be aware that the moment you get your puppy, you are starting to teach him. Within the first days and weeks, he learns what it means to become part of your family unit, and he sets about finding out what he can and cannot get away with. If you are indulgent in these early weeks and wait until he is 4, 5, or even 6 months old to teach him anything, you are no doubt going to have a rather large problem on your hands.

Depending on the breed, puppies as young as 8 weeks old can learn to sit on command. Attention span and willingness to work will vary from puppy to puppy, so do try to work with your own puppy's individual abilities and preferences.

There are certain things you can begin to work on immediately when you get your puppy. Feeding time is a great time to establish his role in the house. Make him wait before feeding him, and make sure that you 'give' him the food. By this I mean make sure that the puppy knows exactly where his food is coming from, don't let it be something he wanders up and finds on his own. Some people prefer to 'free feed', and simply leave food down all day for the dog, but this is rather a wasted opportunity for training. It may also lead to later dominance issues in some dogs.

Establishing boundaries is also important with a young puppy. If you are not intending to let him on the couch or on the bed later in life, then don't let him up now. This is a good rule of thumb for many behaviors, don't let your puppy do anything now that you won't be tolerating or wanting him to do as an adult. This includes biting people, chewing on the furniture, barking into the night, and a myriad of other behaviors that your little darling will no doubt come up with.

Basic commands can be fun and easy to teach with the aid of treats, like the aforementioned sit. Another command you will want him to learn early on is "come". It is always invaluable to teach your dog to come to you when you call, so when he does, plenty of treats and praise are in order! You can also try teach him to lie down on command, and perhaps to stay.

Much of what your puppy will learn depends on your dedication to training, and the temperament of your dog. Keep the sessions short and fun, that way the puppy will come to associate commands with good things, and be infinitely more likely to obey them later on in life. Having "sit" and "come" down pat when you start obedience classes will certainly be a help too!


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    • L A Dreamin profile image

      L A Dreamin 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I definitely agree, start as soon as you get your puppy and be persistent and consistent! Another great Hub Hope!

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      Armando 6 years ago

      I received my puppy at only 6.5 weeks, a white bull terrier, needless to say he started trying to rule the house immediately showing some behavior typical of alpha dogs... but not on my watch. Although I had read a couple of books it seemed that my method weren't getting through to the puppy, so I had to adapt. It's been 5 days and my 7 week old puppy sits on command and knows to do it's business outside! Right now I'm dealing with the play biting, which is also getting much better every day.

      Keep it short, fun, and interesting... with some tasty treats your dog will learn quickly and sooner than you think. Patience and knowing your dog's tell tale signs is a must, so close observation is extremely necessary.

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      Train A Puppy 7 years ago

      Dog owners need to remember that training is, for the most part, all about actions and reactions. You cannot rely on training a dog at set times of the day. You have to be aware of what you are allowing and not allowing all the time you are in contact with the dog to ensure you are creating the wanting behavior. For example - you cant allow your dog to pull you over to the park and then start your training session on loose leash walking when you get there. You have to train it all the way to the park, at the park, and on the way home again. Consistency is key to successful training.

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      Allan Mckenny 7 years ago

      I guessed we have to start dog training as soon as we adopt one. This is one necessary thing to be done in petting a dogs.

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      dog obedience tips 7 years ago

      I agree that we must train our puppy as soon as we have them. Glad to drop by reading this post. Be back for more updates.

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      dog obedience tips 7 years ago

      I never based my training ability into some pet guru. The idea of training pop out in my system involuntarily. I guess there is no specific time to train your pet. It just goes on the way.