When To Start Training A Puppy

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A question that I get frequently, is the one of When to start training a puppy ?. Formerly it was said that it was not good to start training with the dog until it was 6 or 7 months old. At present it is known that you can start training with your dog at the same time that he is with you, as long as he has spent the appropriate time (3 months) with his mother and his brothers.

If you think about it, the dog starts to learn new things from birth. He learns from his mother and his siblings: when they play, when they eat, when they explore the environment, when they perform their needs.

Puppies have a short attention span, but simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “lie down,” and “stay” as well as many other things can begin to learn as early as 11-12 weeks of age.

What are you waiting to train with your puppy?

So why not train with our dog from the moment he gets home? It is clear that we have to adapt the training to his age, but we can begin to mold the dog’s natural behaviors.

I am going to leave you several things that you can train with your puppy once he gets home. 

Teach your puppy hygiene habits

At this stage we can begin to mold the puppy’s hygienic habits, the sooner we start the sooner it will learn. In this section I am not going to elaborate much since we recently wrote about this topic.

Puppy resting

Proprioception

This word may sound like Chinese to you, but it is something beneficial for our puppy, as it has many benefits.

Honey doing a proprioception exercise

Tell you that we should not force the puppy to perform these exercises, but rather motivate him to do them, but NEVER force him to do them since his body is in full development and we can generate an irreversible injury.

Train our dog with the basic training commands

We can teach our dog some basic training commands: go to the call, lying down, standing still. we have to adapt to his rhythm taking into account the training and rest times, the latter being very important.

Puppy practicing permanence

We will do short training sessions of 1 minute, being able to do 2 or 3 a day leaving a space of time between each session. We must be aware that we are in a learning phase and it is normal that the puppy does not perform the commands perfectly, nor do we need them at this time.

I recommend you not to focus all your efforts on this issue, since it is not the most important and you can train and reinforce them later.

Socialization

It is important for the future of our puppy to carry out a correct socialization since it will largely determine its character. 

Cubs playing as part of socialization

Many times, trying to protect our puppy in excess, we do not allow him to socialize in a correct way, something detrimental to his future. Just as bad is not helping our puppy when the situation he faces overcomes him since he will learn that he cannot trust you and that the problems he has to solve himself, being able to learn to attack to solve them or to start generating fear of not solving the situation you are facing.

Remember that socialization not only focuses on dogs and people, but we have to socialize them with all the stimuli that they will find in their usual environment: cars, motorcycles, other animals (cats, horses …) and other sensory stimuli.

The game

A great learning tool for the dog, just as we help to expend energy. By making a structured game, I mean structured to have a beginning and an end, as well as some rules during the game, we can improve self-control in it as well as improve language. 

Playing with the puppy

Habituate the puppy to the carrier

I always say that all dogs should have a carrier, since it is their resting place (nobody bothers them in the carrier) and security. As it is one of the safest methods when traveling with our puppy or adult dog in the car.

To think that the carrier is like a caravan, this where it will always take its home with it.

Get the puppy used to being alone

For the dog, the fact of being left alone is an unnatural behavior and from the moment he gets home we have to gradually teach him to remain alone. We cannot arrive the first days and leave him only 8 hours to go to work, we should start leaving him short periods of time, and gradually increase the time progressively.

Dog resting on the couch

This point is quite important since if we do not do it well, the puppy can start to generate future problems when it comes to being alone, being able to bark, destroy, fulfilling his needs at home … this is what we call separation anxiety.

Now that you know a little more about the subject of puppies and what can be trained with them, I am going to tell you the benefits of training with the puppy at an early age.

Mental stimulation and small challenges

Something fundamental for a good cognitive development and favoring the generation of new neural networks are mental stimulation games or small challenges. We can give our puppy mental challenges appropriate to his age.

Pup with Kong

We must monitor the time it takes for the dog to solve the challenge or interactive toy, as it can become a frustrating activity.

Establish rules and limits

It is a good time to establish rules and limits for coexistence at home as well as on the street, to ensure their safety and proper integration into the society in which we live.

Puppy on leash

Starting to teach him to walk on a leash is a way to put limits through the leash so that the dog cannot go where he wants, in areas where there may be dangers for him, such as nearby roads. Or just not go investigate everyone. 

In short, establish a series of rules and limits with the aim of creating a healthy and balanced relationship.

The benefits of early education

Early education in puppies has many benefits, as well as favors the creation of new neural networks and the possibility of increasing our dog’s freedom.

That is why it is necessary and important that we start with the education of our puppy from the first moment. Now I’m going to tell you what are some of the benefits of early education.

When To Start Training A Puppy

1. Prevent future behavior problems

It cannot be ensured that a dog that is educated at an early age does not generate any kind of problem in later ages, since much depends on the time spent with the mother and her siblings and the quality of it.

But if it is true that a puppy with an early education we are minimizing the probability that he will have them. If we carry out a correct socialization with other dogs, we will prevent them from having aggression and fear problems towards them.

dog showing teeth

If we teach the puppy to stay only for short periods of time and we gradually increase them, we will get a dog that does not have anxiety problems to stay at home while you are at work or you have gone shopping.

If we help you to manage noise or movement, we will help you avoid having a problem of fear or over-excitement in the face of those stimuli that produce noise or that move. d

2. Get a more self-confident dog

By making a correct socialization from an early age and having made an exposure to the different stimuli found in their daily environment, the dog will better manage new situations.

Puppy managing an urban environment

If we have performed proprioception exercises, we will have a dog that is more aware of its body and therefore more self-confident. If we have done mental stimulation or we have proposed small challenges to overcome, this will help you when you have to face new solutions, since you will remember that on previous occasions you have managed to overcome the challenges that were posed to you, improving your self-esteem.

3. Know the needs of our dog

Training before having the puppy or during the first months of our puppy’s life will help us to have a minimum and super necessary knowledge to know the needs that dogs have. This will help us to get to know you better, and we will adapt in the different stages of your life to cover all your needs. 

4. Learn to communicate with him 

Just as it is essential to know your language to have a good understanding, it is just as important to create a clear and simple communication code. Both communication, knowing your language and what you want to tell us at all times, allows us to help you you need in situations that you do not know how to manage on your own.

This makes the dog trust you, since he sees you as a reference to be able to count on. 

5. We improve the link

All this set of things, such as play, training, correct communication … help to improve the bond (human-dog). 

Early education will bring us many benefits, as well as allowing us a greater integration of the dog in society, thus being able to provide it with more moments of freeing without a leash, more power of decision, more interactions with other dogs and people. Definitely:

Give the dog a better life, knowing its needs and being responsible for meeting them.

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