Authored by Sunshine Wilson in Dogs
Published on 10-23-2009
What is the best age to train a puppy? This is a question that is asked by many new puppy owners, especially first time dog owners. The answer is that the best age to train a puppy is as soon as he first sets foot into your home.
Why is this the best age to train a puppy? The new puppy is young and impressionable. This is the time to stop bad habits, such as nipping and jumping, from forming. This is also the time to teach a puppy what his name is, to begin obedience training, and of course, housetraining. Additionally this is the time that a puppy should be taught that the owner is the leader – the dominant one in their relationship – and not the other way around.
Best Age to Train a Puppy – Housebreaking
Take the puppy outside often, and praise him generously when he eliminates outside. When the puppy is inside, keep an eye on him at all times. Do not allow the puppy to wander around the house unsupervised, and possible have an accident. If you see the puppy attempt to begin to eliminate indoors, say “No!” and pick him up and take him outside immediately. Praise him for eliminating outdoors.
Best Age to Train a Puppy – His Name
It’s easy to teach a puppy what his name is. Stand next to or in front of the puppy. Say his name only once. When he looks up at you, praise him lavishly and give him a little treat. All you want the puppy to do is look at you when you say his name. Wait until he looks away from you, then say his name again. Again when he looks back at you, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this several times. Do this easy, fun exercise every day until the puppy has learned his name.
Best Age to Train a Puppy – Obedience Training
Start teaching the puppy the obedience commands “sit”, “down”, “stay” and “come”. Say the command once and show the puppy what it means. For example, say the word “sit” and gently push the puppy into the sit position. Praise him and give him a treat. Use this positive method to teach all these obedience commands. Practice often. Keep it fun for the puppy with short sessions and plenty of praise and tasty treats.
Best Age to Train a Puppy – Be a Leader
The puppy should be taught from the very beginning that the owner is in charge. The young receptive puppy should accept that the owner and all other members of the “pack” are leaders over him. Here are some ways to establish the leadership role: The owner should not allow the puppy to nip at or mouth their hands or clothing and also should not allow the puppy to jump up on them. Do not allow the puppy to pull ahead of you on the leash and lead the way. When going through a doorway with the puppy, go through first. Only allow the puppy on the furniture if you have invited him, not if he jumps up on his own. Make sure you are able to take his toy out of his mouth.
As your puppy grows older, with these few things as a foundation, you can continue to train your puppy in more advanced exercises.