Would you jump at the chance to have a well trained puppy in 15 minutes a day?
Do you realize that if you did the training work with your puppy, you’d most likely avoid dog behavior problems associated with a dog that grew up with no structure.
Doing at least 15 minutes a day of puppy training will keep you from wondering, “What could I have done differently with my dog when he was a puppy that could have made him a better dog?”
Just simply take 15 minutes a day
Having a well trained puppy in 15 minutes a day isn’t difficult at all. Most seasoned dog trainers would agree that the earlier you begin your training with a puppy, the stronger the training foundation is that will provide you with that better mannered dog in their adult years.
This now brings us to the question, “How soon can I start training with my new puppy to avoid potential dog problems?”
Puppies can be trained at any age – even 8 weeks. That’s when we started training Sammy, our black lab mix.
Good manners are his default behaviors.
Using reward-based training methods is a great way to start
It’s best to use a reward-based training method and, if you can condition your puppy to a clicker that’s even better. There are a number of benefits to “clicker training” for your puppy.
- The clicker provides a consistent sound to your puppy no matter who uses it. Remember, consistency and repetition is needed in good puppy training.
- Unlike your voice, the clicker is a sharp, crisp non emotional sound that provides your puppy with a special and unique way to identify behaviors he performs (like sits and downs) that produces a food treat. For example, when your puppy sits, click then treat.
Follow these basic rules to keep the fun in training your puppy:
- Be consistent in your obedience training. Obedience train on simple commands like: come, sit and down three times daily for no longer than 2 minutes and do it the same way every single time.
- It doesn’t really take much time out of your schedule. Setting aside 2 minutes three times daily is a great start. Puppies have a short attention span and will tire and get bored quickly. That’s why we keep it short.
- Never, ever punish your puppy in any way, shape or form. If your puppy does not obey a command simply say wrong in a neutral tone of voice and start again. It’s really that simple.
- Keep your expectations in line with reality. Do not expect a young, 8 week old puppy to be able to hold a sit or a down for more than a few seconds.
- Be consistent with your command each time. Pick one word and stick to it. Speaking in sentences or multiple words will not be as easy for your new puppy to learn. One behavior – one command word.
- Begin to train around relevant distractions. For example, if you always have a house full of kids, begin training your puppy around kids once he’s learned to obey his commands only with you.
- For those of you that do not want to use a clicker, simply use your voice by saying, “Yes!” or “Good!” followed by a food treat when your puppy performs a command.
There is a lot to learn in training a puppy
If done correctly, it can be a process filled with fun – and obedience. This begins to set that strong foundation you will need to rely on when your new puppy becomes an adult dog.
The one message to take away is “consistently” set aside time every single day as described above to work your puppy.
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.
Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you. Don’t be a stranger. Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear what you think.
Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
If you’re stuck with puppy problems like jumping, biting, nipping, house soiling then head on over to Nose to Tail Puppy Training for easy solutions to getting a well trained puppy.
Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.