The excitement of bringing home a new puppy is often tempered by the realization that along with this adorable bundle of joy comes some work. And some of the first questions new pet parents have are how will I train my puppy? When is the best age to start obedience training a puppy? If you want to get started on the puppy steps training in Lehi UT here are a few things to keep in mind.
The best person to train a child is its mom, and the same goes for puppies. However, when you bring a puppy home, you become the pet’s parent and primary caregiver. As such, it’s your responsibility to train or arrange for its training.
That takes us back to the question, when is the best age to start obedience training a puppy?
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior consensus is that puppies can start learning simple commands like sit, stay, come, and down as early as 7 to 8 weeks. At this age, puppies are still very impressionable and open to learning.
7 To 8 Weeks: What Should You Focus On During Puppy Obedience Training?
The first few weeks should be focused on socialization, good manners, learning some basic commands, and building a bond with your puppy. Here are the steps to take:
Establish A Daily Schedule For Your Puppy
A puppy learns best through repetitions and routine. So, it’s important to establish a daily routine, including mealtimes, potty breaks, walks, playtime, and training sessions. This will help your puppy know what to expect each day and reinforce what it has learned.
Teach Basic Obedience Commands
This is also the best age to teach your puppy basic obedience commands. Start with just one or two commands like sit and come, and be sure to use positive reinforcement such as treats or during meal times. For instance, you may allow your puppy to smell the food in your hand, then walk backward, saying “come,” and rewarding him with the food when he follows.
For the “sit” command, say “sit” while gently pushing your puppy’s hind end into a sitting position. Again reinforce with a treat. It’s important to be consistent with the word you use for each command.
As your pup begins to learn basic commands, you’ll also want to start working on potty training. The best way to do this is to select a spot outside where you want your puppy to go and develop a routine around taking him there. For instance, you may take your puppy to the spot after every meal, nap, and play session. Again, always use the same word or phrase when you take him to that spot, such as “go potty” or “do your business.” Reward your puppy with a treat when he goes to the desired spot.
Crate training helps your puppy develop independence and self-control. It also provides a safe space for your puppy when you can’t supervise him. When you open the crate’s door, teach your puppy to pause at the crate’s door before coming out. This will help him learn to control his excitement and wait for your permission before exiting the crate. Thus helping him develop self-control, an important skill for puppies to learn.
Your puppy will inevitably contact other puppies and people at some point. That’s why socialization is so important. It helps your puppy learn how to interact appropriately with other animals and people. The best way to teach your puppy socialization is by gradually exposing him to different people. You can start with family members and friends and then move on to strangers.
Socialization also involves introducing your puppy to new environments, sounds, and experiences. This can be done by taking your puppy on short walks around the block, to the park, or to pet-friendly stores.
Some Helpful Tips
To successfully obedience train your puppy, keep the following tips in mind:
Be consistent – It’s important to be consistent with the commands you use, the tone of your voice, and the rewards you give. This will help your puppy learn more quickly and effectively.
Be patient – Puppies have short attention spans and need to be trained in short sessions. Making mistakes is part of learning, so be patient with your puppy.
Obedience training is important for puppies to learn basic commands, good manners and build a bond with their owner. And the age of 7 to 8 weeks is the best time to start. Be consistent, use positive reinforcement, and be patient when training your puppy for the best results. In addition, socialization is important in helping your puppy interact appropriately with other animals and people. Following these tips will help you have a well-behaved puppy in no time.