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When Should I Start Training My Puppy?

 When Should I Start Training My Puppy?

can i start training my puppy at 8 weeks

When Should I Start Training My Puppy?

Puppies, like children, can start learning at a very young age. While more advanced training isn't possible from the very start, you can still take advantage of your young pup's learning ability and lay a strong foundation for his future training.

Be Gentle

A soft, gentle approach is the best way to start teaching your puppy. Teaching in this way will develop his confidence and help him adapt to the training in the most healthy way possible. Remember that puppies are like children – they have growing bodies, short attention spans, and will only learn things when the conditions are right and when they understand what it is you're trying to teach them.

At the same time, allowing a puppy to form bad habits – even while very young – can make training more difficult when he gets older. Therefore, the earlier you start, the better.

When and What To Teach Your Puppy

7-8 Weeks: Start housetraining and socialization.

2-3 Months: Simple commands like "come", "sit", and "down".

4-6 Months: More intensive training, like "stay", "heel", "wait", etc.

Keep in mind that puppies have very short attention spans, so keep the lessons short and fun – no more than 5-10 minutes at a time, with lots of praise and an upbeat tone of voice and body language. As your puppy grows older he will be able to focus for longer periods of time. A puppy 4-6 months old can handle lessons up to 30 minutes long, but lessons for younger puppies should be kept between 5-10 minutes long.

Socializing Your Puppy

Teaching your puppy the proper socialization skills at the right time is very important to his development into an adult dog. A well-socialized dog will interact well with all types of people and situations, even those he has never been in before. With appropriate social skills, your dog will show little or no fear of most objects, people or other animals, and even if startled, will recover quickly and won't panic.

The best window for your puppy to learn socialization skills is between 3 and 16 weeks – that's the best time to insure that your puppy will grow into a well-adjusted adult. The key here is to create positive experiences as you expose your puppy to more and more new situations. A well-adjusted dog is one that is comfortable in a variety of situations and surroundings. It's OK to be excited in a new setting, but not fearful. Proper socialization will promote this sense of confidence and well-being.

Have Realistic Expectations

Although your puppy can learn, don't expect him to get it right 100% of the time once you start teaching him a new behavior. A puppy's mental development won't be advanced enough to respond to the basic commands with any degree of regularity until about 6 months of age.

Remember, training your puppy while he is young is meant to lay a foundation above all else. Your pup won't be ready for agility competitions or dog shows in these early stages of training, so be sure not to expect that kind of perfection! Just be sure to praise him lavishly when he does the commands properly, and avoid scolding or other harsh disciplines when he doesn't.

The result will be a confident, well-mannered adult dog who is a pleasure to have around!