Puppies are fast learners that require house training and proper socialization from the moment they can walk. Did you know that puppies as young as 7 to 8 weeks old can be taught simple commands? Although they don’t have the attention span to learn complicated instructions at that age, they can still understand one-word commands like “sit”, “down” and “stay.”
These sorts of commands are vital for the dog owner who wants to take their pup out on the town. Here are a few things you ought to know that will have you out enjoying life with your pooch in now time.
When Should You Train Your Puppy
The recommended age for starting a step-by-step training routine is around six months, but puppies can be taught good behavioral habits much sooner than that. Puppies are more adaptable earlier on because they quickly pick up on facial expressions and learn from experience by being exposed to different types of stimuli. It’s also the best time to correct problem behaviors before they become set in stone.
At 7 to 8 weeks old, you can try some methods based on positive reinforcement and food lure training. To keep a puppy focused on commands such as “stand” or “go”, make sure you place a treat near its nose, only feeding it after you get the desired response. Also, compliment your puppy whenever it listens to the command to create a secondary positive association with food.
Leash and Crate Training for Your Puppy
There are many reasons why crate training can help you with your puppy: it makes potty training easier, allows you to transport your puppy, and helps teach them to look and listen to you. The key to crate training is to utilize your puppy’s curious nature and not make a big deal out of it.
Let your puppy explore the crate by placing its favorite toy inside – and don’t shut the door behind them. The goal is to make it a favorite location for your puppy so always associate it with a good experience for your dog. Crate training is a great first step for both the puppy and the dog owner in learning to communicate with each other.
As for leash training, you want to start in an enclosed area before you walk your puppy to a nearby dog park. To familiarize them with the leash, you can let the dog drag it around while you hold on at a clipped length. Many puppies are eager to explore and will pull on their leash. You can eliminate this behavior by making sure that you walk in front of your puppy; it emphasizes to them that you’re in charge and to defer to you.
How to Properly Socialize Your Puppy
You might want to consider a training program which gives your puppy the chance to interact with other dogs, possibly make new friends. Puppies 8-16 weeks old will benefit from socializing as it prevents them from picking up bad habits like excessive barking at facing something new. As a result, they can become less anxious about being handled and stay calm despite loud noises. The BarkHappy app is a fantastic way to meet up with other dogs and dog owners in a more relaxed setting as well.
You should start training your puppy as soon as possible if your goal is to have fun exploring the world with your furry friend. Puppies are just like children in many ways. They need to explore and discover new things to develop a healthy disposition. As long as you remain in control and positively reinforce their learning, your puppy will be ready to hit the town in no time.
Alex Briggs is a contributing author for VIP Pet Services.