Courtesy of: Kaila
One question that I hear often is “When can I start training?” The answer is, the sooner the better! When I got my puppy Indy (almost 5 years ago now) he was 8 weeks old and I started his training the very first day he arrived home. Some time ago, people were told that their dog had to be at least six months in order to start training. This misconception was brought about by choke collars – as they thought puppies could not handle the harsh leash correction before six months of age – yet it was perfectly OK once the pups reached six months. We don’t support correction training, choke collars or prong collars here at the Truro Veterinary Hospital; instead we encourage positive training methods.
If you want to wait until your puppy is six months of age then you miss out on a lot of opportunities not just in training your dog (that’s four months of training time lost). You also miss out on preventing bad habits and behaviours from developing (that’s four months of bad behaviour!). A puppy’s mind is like a child’s – a sponge waiting to learn and soak up information and behaviours (good or bad). They are able to learn and absorb so much – so why not get them started on the right paw as soon as they come into your home? Don’t let four months (or longer) of training opportunities pass you by! Remember, even if you are not training your puppy they are learning every single day, and some of this learning might be unwanted behaviours that you will have to re-train down the road.
I will go back and talk a bit about Indy – and his training. We started when he was eight weeks of age because I wanted to get off to the right start for both of us. Indy has been working every day since then. Within that first week we accomplished so much! We worked on some basic behaviour and he was starting to get pretty fluent in them already. We learned sit, down, stand, loose leash walking, come when called, stay, even roll over to the left and the right, twist and twirl, and shake a paw – all by the time he was 9 weeks old!
We also worked on general good behaviours and manners such as nipping, and biting, house training (Indy had only had two accidents in the house as a puppy), proper greetings and so much more. There is no reason why you can’t have a puppy that is as well behaved as Indy right from the start!
It does require time, patience, and training classes – but that is where we can help you out! We offer a variety of different training classes for all ages and breeds. If you have a new puppy, or an older dog who could benefit from some manners, please call us at 893-2341 to learn more!