When is a dog able to learn different training methods?
Training your dog is one of the most important activities
you do with him or her. Making him a well behaved and
respectful member of the family means; that you and your
family will get the most out of the dog ownership
Training will be an ongoing process throughout the dog's
life, but there are some training techniques you should
employ earlier than others. Basic training should start
around 6 weeks. If you get your puppy a little older that's
okay too, but the weeks between six and sixteen are the most
optimal for training a dog because that is when the puppy's
social skills are formed.
The first lesson in training your dog should always be
housetraining (sometimes called "housebreaking a dog"
training"). It is imperative to dog/owner harmony that the
dog does not use your house as its personal toilet. As soon
as you bring your puppy home you should start housetraining.
Probably the next most important training is
puppy leash training.
The only way you can keep your dog safe on outings is for
him to be able to be properly controlled and restrained on a
leash. Depending on your circumstances you may need to
combine leash training and housetraining so that your dog
will be kept safe on his training outings. Don't expect your
very young puppy to heel, or even to like the constraint of
the leash. Just work to get him used to the leash and keep
Basic command training can be started early as well, as long
as you keep the training times to just a few minutes and
have plenty of patience. Command training is teaching your
dog the meaning of a single word such as "Sit", "Heel" or
"Down". Once your dog starts to understand the correlation
between the word and his action, you can teach him many
commands. Start with commands needed for obedience first;
you can always add the fun stuff to his list of commands
You should also do socialization training as early as
possible. Just as your dog can learn a lot more quickly
prior to the sixteen week period, socialization during this
time is extremely important. What your dog learns about
socializing both with humans and other dogs in this period
will stay with him for a lifetime. Just remember that his
immunization will not be complete at that young age so be
careful about the canine diseases to which he might be
exposed. Avoid places where un-immunized dogs may have been.
The amount of training required to get your dog's behavior
to what you want it to be may seem overwhelming at first.
Just take it step by step and don't put a lot of pressure on
either of you and you will get through it all. Not only does
training your dog make him a better pet but it is also an
amazing way to bond with your dog.
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