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How to Start Training your Puppies?

Puppies constantly learn, whether from their surroundings, socialization with humans or other animals, or direct training. This establishes a critical foundation that will pave the way for their adulthood. Puppies can grow into confident adult dogs with appropriate socialization and basic puppy training. But when can you start training your puppy?

Using a Positive Reinforcement

You may have heard about or even witnessed numerous methods for training your puppy in person with a dog trainer. However, there is only one acceptable and scientifically supported training method, which is the use of positive reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is the process of rewarding the desired behavior. Punishment, including harsh corrections; correcting devices such as shock, choke, and prong collars; and dominance-based handling techniques should be avoided because they can have long-term consequences that result in various forms of fear and anxiety for your dog as an adult dog.

To put this into practice, determine which rewards work best for your puppy. Some puppies may find something as simple as a piece of their regular kibble exciting enough to train with, whereas others may require something more palatable, such as a special training treat.

Then there are the puppies who are utterly unmotivated by food! Try to find a toy that they enjoy that they can get when they do an excellent job for those puppies. Praise is another method for positively reinforcing a puppy. Petting or expressing delight and saying, “Good job! ” may be sufficient for basic puppy training.

Short Training Sessions and Consistency

When training an essential cue, keep the sessions short (about 5 minutes each)  and try to average 15 minutes per day. Puppies have short attention spans, so ensure you end your session positively, so they are eager for the next one!

It is critical to maintaining consistency in your approach to cues and training. Use the same word and hand signal when teaching your basic puppy cues like sit, stay, and come.

It is also critical to consistently reinforce desired behaviors, even when inconvenient. So, if your puppy is at the door and needs to use the restroom, stop what you’re doing, let them out, and reward them for using the restroom outside.

Practice in Various Environments and Be Patient

Taking a puppy to a new location, such as a park or the beach, and asking for a cue is very different from training at home. This is because they will be exposed to various sights and smells outside the home.

Make an effort to practice in various settings to prepare your dog to be confident in any situation. Please remember that puppies should only go to areas with many dogs once they have completed their puppy vaccination series!

Puppies, like young children, are growing and learning. They are bound to make mistakes and may only sometimes understand your questions.

All puppies learn at different rates, so be patient and don’t give up. A consistent routine of feeding, potty breaks, naps, and playtime will make your puppy feel secure, and a certain puppy is ready and able to learn!

Timeline for Basic Puppy Training

Positive reinforcement is the key to practical puppy training: rewarding desired behavior with food, play, praise, and affection while ignoring undesirable behavior. Punishing a puppy is usually ineffective and can harm the dog-owner bond. So, keep your commands calm and clear, establish consistent behavioral boundaries, and ensure that everyone in your household follows suit.

The First 8 Weeks: Laying the Groundwork

Your puppy should spend the first eight weeks of life with their mother and littermates. This provides the best possible start for a dog, with plenty of nutritious milk, guidance from mom, and necessary socialization time with their littermates.

Inquire with your puppy’s breeder or rescue center about the training your new pet received during the first few weeks so you understand the foundation you’re building on and any gaps that need to be filled. What is your puppy’s usual routine? Have they had a lot of human interaction and handling? Have they had any car rides or physical examinations by a veterinarian?

8 to 10 Weeks: The Fundamentals

Have a few days when you can give your new puppy plenty of attention and focus on its needs when bringing them home. Handle them frequently, introduce them to the family, and assist them in becoming acquainted with their new surroundings.

These fundamentals include toilet training your puppy, proper mealtime and sleeping habits, and basic commands such as sit, stay, and down. This is also the time to familiarize your new puppy with their lead and collar, begin crate training (if applicable), and get them used to household noises such as the vacuum cleaner and hairdryer.

When the brain matures, the critical socialization period lasts from 8 to 14 weeks. This is the time to make many positive introductions to people, animals, and situations. A dog is quite intelligent, even at the age of eight weeks. They are driven by food and praise and will do almost anything for you.

Puppies require a lot of sleep, up to 20 hours per day at eight weeks old. Don’t try to teach a puppy new skills when they’re tired or hungry, and don’t overwhelm or overstimulate them.

10 to 12 weeks: Exposure to the Outside World

Your puppy should have a consistent routine and set of rules at home by the age of 10 weeks. These could include not jumping up, not biting when playing, and sleeping in their bed or crate. Get them used to spending time alone, starting with a few minutes and gradually increasing to an hour or more.

Although your unvaccinated puppy is too young to go to the park or the woods, you can introduce them to new experiences in the safety of your garden or the homes of others, as long as there are no other unvaccinated dogs nearby. Try going out in the rain or wind for the first time or meeting a child or cat for the first time.

This is also the time to get your puppy used to walking on a leash and to introduce new commands like heel and fetch.

12 to 16 Weeks: The Puppy Training Classes

Your puppy should have received an entire course of vaccinations by 12 weeks, allowing you to begin taking walks together. Introduce them to various environments and experiences, such as public transportation, parks, shopping streets, and the seaside. If you need to regularly take your dog into a strange environment, such as a bus or a lift, begin when they are young.

Once your puppy has been fully vaccinated and received approval from your veterinarian, you can enroll in a puppy training class. These are not only beneficial for furthering training, but they can also provide excellent opportunities for socialization with other dogs and people. Suitable classes can fill up quickly, so make your reservation as soon as possible.

Your puppy’s adult teeth will appear around three to four months. Biting during play is not tolerated, even if they are experiencing teething discomfort.

16 Weeks Plus: The Advanced Training

When a puppy is four to six months old, it is time to teach him more advanced skills. Try teaching them to retrieve and drop an object on command or start dog agility training with tunnels and hurdles.

Every dog has different abilities and behaviors depending on age, breed, and background. If you’re having trouble with dog training, seek professional assistance. Behaviorists have seen most puppy behaviors and are used to dealing with more complex situations.

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