How Young Can You Start Taming a Puppy?
If you have a new puppy, congratulations! You are embarking on an exciting journey filled with a lot of love, licks, and snuggles. Puppies are a lot of fun, and teaching them good behaviors from the start will create a beautiful relationship between you and your new pup. However, you may wonder, “How young is too young to start training?”
Eight weeks is an excellent time to start training your dog. That is a typical time when people can take puppies home to start a new life together. Therefore, that is a great time to begin training immediately on some basic commands. There are a few things to consider when taming puppies since they are quite small and still learning about the world.
8 Tips for Training a Young Puppy
Puppies can learn young, but how you teach them will impact how they respond to training for the rest of their lives. They are learning to trust, and training, even for simple tasks, takes time and patience. Always be very gentle with your tone and response when teaching your puppy something new.
Teach Your Dog at Home
Puppies are prone to get sick easier than adult dogs since they are not fully vaccinated and are still building their immune system. Keeping your puppy at home is best for several weeks after adoption. Not only is it good for their health, but it is a wonderful excuse to teach them all about their home and establish a normal routine. Use this time to let your new fur buddy explore the house and learn simple commands that fit its daily life.
Puppy’s New Name
A fun aspect of getting a new puppy is having the privilege of naming it. Picking a name for your puppy gives it the personal touch of officially making it part of the family. The more you use the puppy’s name to identify when you are talking with it, the sooner it will learn to respond to that name.
Young puppies love exploring and learning all about their world. Like little children, they take everything in and go anywhere they want. However, as a pet owner, you must keep it safe and set boundaries. Between eight to 16 weeks, it is a good time to train your dog on where it can roam in the house and what areas it can get into. It is important to teach your puppy not to go into unsafe places, like closets with household cleaners or outdoor spaces, such as under the mower. Establishing basic boundaries for your puppy will keep it safe, and you will always know where it is.
Whether you let your dog sleep on the bed or in a crate, training your dog to be comfortable in a kennel is always beneficial. You never know when you will need to take your dog somewhere in a kennel, or if you board it while on vacation, your dog will need to be familiar with a crate. Crate training should start right away and show your dog it is a safe place.
Socializing With People
Dogs love people. When you have a new puppy, you want to show it off, and people love seeing puppies, petting them, and asking to hold them. Introducing your puppy to new people is a fantastic way to show your canine that people are safe and can trust them when they arrive at your house or pass them on walks. Teach your dog appropriate welcome behaviors, such as sitting and waiting for the person to approach it, vs. your puppy jumping and barking.
Model training, showing your dog how to behave appropriately, is a good way to reinforce well-behaved manners. Young puppies can learn simple commands through modeling and redirection, such as:
- Leave it
- Potty training
- Biting or chewing
- Collar training
Modeling and redirecting provide a gentle and positive training environment. For example, if you are working with your dog on learning appropriate chewing behaviors and see your puppy chewing on a shoe, remove it, softly say, “No” or “Leave it,” and replace the shoe with a dog toy or chew bone. The replacement object establishes the right thing your dog can chew.
In-Home Professional Training Lessons
A significant part of training your new puppy is learning to communicate together. As the puppy grows and skills become more specific, you will want to introduce a particular training method. Some professional canine trainers will come to your home for lessons, so you can start introducing a teaching method without exposing your dog to many outdoor elements. Training will build excellent communication and bonding between you and your puppy.
Start Age-Appropriate Training Today
No matter how old or young your dog is, it can learn with the correct method, a positive environment, patience, and many rewards. Just like your dog starts small, begin training with small steps and grow into more significant habits and behaviors.
Name recognition, learning basic commands, setting boundaries, and learning how to interact with people, are good traits and habits for young puppies. As they grow to 16 weeks or older, training on more specific and complex skills will be more appropriate for their development. Look for professional trainers today to get you started on the right path with your new puppy's training plan!