When Should Dog Training Begin?

>> 9/14/09

Most owners will agree that dog training is mandatory but few actually know when dog training should start. Common questions include how old does the canine need to be and what should or shouldn’t be taught in the beginning? The answers to both of these inquires are very simple. Training should be started immediately and only housebreaking and basic obedience is required in the beginning.

That’s right, as soon as you welcome your pup home you need to begin his education. He should be at least 8 weeks of age when he joins your family and is old enough at this point to begin learning some commands. The initial lesson that needs to be taught, however, should be house breaking because it is important for your dog to understand right away that he eliminates outdoors.

Nevertheless, just because you are house training him doesn’t mean that you cannot begin teaching him other simple commands, such as Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Off and other basics. Just remember to take it slow and teach them one at a time. In addition, you can also sign him up for puppy school if you would like to learn from a professional.

Why teach them so early? Puppies are born without bad habits but will quickly develop them within the first year of their life. The sooner you can teach him, the less resistance there will be because there won’t be any previous issues you will have to overcome first. Understand, this doesn’t mean that you cannot train an adult dog; it simply means that it often takes longer because they are already set in their ways and have developed certain behaviours that can make understanding and responding to commands a struggle.

Is there any training I should avoid while my dog is a pup? Yes, while fundamental obedient lessons are ideal, agility training should be avoided until your pooch is fully developed. The jumping and other vigorous actions that is required for this particular activity is hard on the dog’s joints and muscles and could seriously damage developing and growing bodies.

Thus, begin your pup’s education immediately and remember to be patient, persistent and consistent for optimal results. On a final note, don’t ever lose sight of the fact that while training should start early it never really comes to an end. Even after you pet learns commands they must be used on a frequent basis to ensure he doesn’t forget or become less obedient.

Content written by Katie Spears of ohmydogsupplies.com, the top ranked place to find discount dog beds online.

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