Dog Obedience Training — When to begin?
My perfect puppy – Exactly your thoughts when we get your baby furry friends’ home! Isn’t it? Leisurely strolling around or sitting calmly curled around your feet, these pups need to get started on their training to grow up to be well-rounded adult dogs.
Pups are smart. They start learning from the moment they are born. Despite their short attention span, they can pick up on basic obedience skills early on like “sit”, “stay”, “stand” and so on. Ideally little pups are ready to get trained effectively once they turn a few weeks old. For most puppies, it is the ideal
time to begin socializing too. They respond to gentle commands, new people and new experiences, if allowed to explore.
But first-time pet parents often wonder when and how to get their pups started on training? It usually starts with good manners they need to demonstrate at home, followed by stronger commands to improve their social interaction skills too. Delaying formal dog training is not recommended. By this time, they grow juvenile and often pick up from their every-day experiences. It also means missed opportunities for the dog to learn new skills and behaviors.
Ways to ensure effective Dog Obedience Training
- Stay patient and consistent
Dog breeders and masters must brace up for initial growing pains – chewing, barking, potty, nipping and more. Patience and consistency is key, to effectively train your pet pups, especially each time they make mistakes.
- Use Reward-based training
Toys and treats are common methods to motivate pups to perform most tasks. Sufficiently appealing rewards often result in quick grasp of commands. Pairing actions with tasks like, placing the treat above pup’s nose, to make them sit, move the treat slowly backwards to teach them to “stand or food held out at a distance should get a ‘come closer’ response. With exciting rewards and repeat commands, puppies learn the meaning of these commands fast. Once they have performed the task, give them an affectionate pat on the back and a warm hug.
- Repeat daily
Practice every day when it comes to pup training. The goal is to strive for at least 15 minutes of training daily, each session not more than 5 minutes each. In no time, you will find them responding to basic
command shouts or hand movements and socializing with other pet and human friends like a pro.
Training Schedule as they grow older
Now that we have learnt about effective ways to train pups, we move on to types of training for them as they grow older.
- Get your puppy used to a daily schedule that includes their play time, nap time, feed time and potty breaks.
- Potty training should begin as soon as they get home. By this time, they must learn where to go to relieve and how to hold it.
- Crate training – It is important to speed up the housebreaking process, reduce separation anxiety and create independent outdoor loving pups.
- Name Recognition – By this time, they should respond to their names and attend to you as soon as you call them out.
- Socializing – Get close to family, recognize friends and get used to new people and pets outside the family home.
- Follow basic obedience commands – Sit, Come and Stand at this stage. Gentle commands to follow meal time and respond to lure tricks such as treats and toys by this time should be followed by puppies.
10-12 weeks old
- Get to the next set of commands such as Place, Down and Heel at home. To teach these slightly complex commands, treat them with high-value rewards.·
- Impulse Control Practices by teaching them to wait for food and water bowls. It will calm their senses.
Every week, puppies should progress with socialization, developing new behavior and reinforcing good manners. By the end of the year, they will be well-trained and well-behaved and your true buddy that understands you better than ever.