lab puppy with chew toy

Puppy Training Secrets: What Age Is Appropriate?


Many people wonder what age is appropriate to begin training a puppy. Is there a puppy training secret to doing this right?  Doing training while your puppy is still young will certainly make things easier, but you can train a puppy at pretty much any age.

The best time to begin training a puppy is the day you bring the puppy home which generally is around 8 weeks of age. One of the reasons you don’t want to get a puppy from a litter younger than 8 weeks is that while a puppy is still in it’s litter they learn a lot about bite inhibition from their litter mates which is helpful to you when you get the puppy home.

Here are a few tips to make the process of training as easy as possible.  As you’ll see there really are no puppy training secrets, just good sound knowledge:

  1. Always be consistent in your training. Whatever behavior you are trying to teach your puppy, do it every single day for about 3 minutes and do it the same way every single time. It doesn’t really take much time out of your schedule. Two or three times a day for about 3 minutes each time is plenty. Puppies have a short attention span and will tire and get bored quickly.
  2. Keep your training age appropriate. Do not expect a young puppy 8-12 weeks of age to be able to hold a sit or a down for more than a few seconds. If your expectations exceed the capability of the puppy you are setting you both up for failure and frustration.
  3. Always use the same word for the command each time. Pick one word and stick to it. Do not confuse the puppy by saying down when you want him to lay down then turn around and say down when you want him off the couch. One behavior – one command word.
  4. Never, ever punish your puppy in any way, shape or form. If your puppy does not obey a command simply say wrong in a totally non-emotional tone of voice. Hitting, yelling at, or striking your puppy lays the groundwork for having a confrontational relationship with your puppy who will soon become a grown dog. Aggression begets aggression – simply do not do this.
  5. Always praise your puppy when he performs a behavior properly. You can periodically give a food treat to make the training more rewarding for him, but understand how to wean off food treats. A simple Good Puppy said in a happy high pitched tone is also a great reward.

There is a lot to learn in training a puppy, but if you do it well, with the right information and the right techniques, you can easily have a well trained puppy in just a few weeks.

These are just some of the basics that will help you get started on the right foot with your puppy. Puppies are very smart and learn quickly, especially when they are taught from an early age.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, Opportunity Barks!

Jim’s  Nose to Tail Puppy Training is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your puppy understands what you expect of him because you know how to teach him.  You empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.  The result – one awesome puppy and one happy family.

(C) Jim Burwell 2010




Dog Blogging: is in the final four for best pet blog by

Voting Now Open for DogTime’s Pet Blog Awards   vote by clicking here:

‘The Petties’ will crown the best of the best in the pet blogger community

Winners to be announced at BlogPaws 2010 West in Denver September 9-11, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ — DogTime Media, the largest vertical media community focused exclusively on pet owners, today announced that voting is open for DogTime’s Pet Blog Awards, also known as “the Petties.”

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.

The DogTime Media community has more than 460 pet bloggers
and over 500 publishers, allowing it to reach 29.5 million
pet enthusiasts a month(1), making it number one in pets.

DogTime’s Pet Blog Awards opened for nominations on July 13th and received over 900 submissions. The top four nominees have been selected in four categories:

Best Dog Blog





Best Pet Blog





Final nominees were selected based on the number of times they were nominated by their fellow bloggers and followers. Winners will be chosen from these nominees by the number of votes they receive from pet enthusiasts by August 20th. To vote, go to

“The Petties it truly an awards program for bloggers, by bloggers,” said DogTime Media CEO, Trevor Wright. “The pet community has some very passionate, entertaining, and influential personalities, and this is the opportunity for the best of the best to be recognized by their followers.”

Winners will be announced at the BlogPaws 2010 West Conference, to be held in Denver September 9th to 11th.  Winners will receive a $500 donation to the shelter or rescue organization of their choosing, a custom engraved “Petties” award, a “Petties Winner” badge for their blog site, a valuable package of editorial coverage across the DogTime Media Network, VIP access to the BlogPaws 2010 West Conference and a host of social media traffic driving opportunities.

“Pet bloggers put their heart and soul into their work,” said Caroline Golon, co-founder of BlogPaws. “We’re so happy to participate in recognizing and celebrating these bloggers by hosting the Pettie Awards at BlogPaws.”

Event Details

What: BlogPaws 2010 West, the only conference for pet bloggers and the online pet community
When: September 9-11, 2010
Where: The Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
For More Information:

Mogie downs for Jim

Dog Behavior Problems? The Solution Could Be As Easy As the Words You Choose



Dog behavior problems are a concern for many dog owners and a major reason that dogs end up in shelters. The best thing you can do for your dog is to begin training when he is still in the puppy stage. It’s is much easier to start off on the right foot than to go back and correct months or even years of learned behavior by your dog.

No matter when you start your training, being consistent is the major key to successful dog training. Training a dog is very much like raising a child. When children understand what behavior is expected, that expectation never changes and that expectation of behavior is conveyed the same way time after time, children are clear on what to do and will generally do the correct behavior time after time.

The same holds true for dogs. Here is an example: If you begin teaching your dog the meaning of the command of OFF then that command can be used later should your dog begin to jump on you. Do not say DOWN Where most people make the mistake is using the same word such as DOWN to mean not only get off the couch, or quit jumping on me and to also mean to lay down. Pick one word for a behavior and stick to it. The word DOWN should be used only when you are asking the dog to lay down. The word OFF means stop what you are doing, no matter what it is, look at me while I give you an alternate behavior to do that is acceptable. The word OFF is one of the best control commands you can teach your dog.

When you are clear with the message to your dog, your dog has an easier time complying. Also remember to be patient when you are training and keep your lessons short – about 6 minutes in length but you can do training several times a day. Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”