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Age to Start Training

July 21, 2009

dogwithcapPuppies can learn from the moment they arrive home.

In the States, the number one behavioral issue I had to deal with was Housebreaking. Over here, not everyone wants the dog in the house, I have my work cut out, getting these dogs to live inside.  For dogs that live inside- housebreaking is the number one thing you should focus on. If you follow the right housebreaking formula, you will have minimal accidents in the home, however, it will still take a few weeks for a young puppy to grasp this formula and gain the muscle control needed to be 100% housebroken. The speed at which it takes, depends on many things, the breed, age of puppy, the time you can devote, what you’re expecting of them,  how large the home is, and many other factors.  With my experience, I can help you properly housebreak them faster, and with less ware and tear on the puppy.  I’ve had many clients tell me about the almost perfect results they got after just one lesson.

Before 4 months of age: We can teach a young puppy many things and without the use of correction type collars or correction training methods. We use conditioning and shaping techniques to teach them, so they can be part of our lives and not sitting in the backyard all day. Providing early education is essential for better, future control. There are some ways that dogs teach each other, that we can duplicate in a nonabrasive way. This helps your puppy learn more in a language they understand.

Between 4 and 6 month: This is the perfect time to start a consistant, condensed round of training, 2 to 3 times a day for 3 to 4 weeks. Sound like a lot?. What if I told you- it works out to just 5 minutes a day. That’s right, I’ve been teaching people, how to teach their dog using a 1-2 minute- per session, training technique. And you’ll not only be able to teach them what to do, and when to do it, but also teach them what not to do.

At this age they’re able to retain information longer, your puppy is like a sponge and very eager to learn, you’ll want to take advantage of this, because once they’re between 6 and 11 months, your listening little puppy isn’t going to be listening to you much anymore. Leash training is very important during this time, so a proper collar and leash is needed, a choke chain, head halter (type) are not appropriate with todays techniques. You’ll want to continue exposing them to different situations, dogs and people.

Between 6 months and a year: At this stage your dog is going through mental changes; training during this time will be a little more challenging. Your cute little puppy is now paying more attention to the things around them and not you. Why?. Other dogs, people, smells, sounds have more meaning to them, so they are easily distracted. More patience is needed during this time and lots of technique.

Around a year old: Your puppy is now a young adult and is somewhat out of the teenage  stage. Another round of  consistent  training is highly recommended. Sit, Stay, Down and Come should all be advanced by now. Your dog should be 100% trustworthy off leash and listen to you around many different distractions.

A year and beyond: Even though your dog may know some basic commands, this doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. Think of it as a person who just learns a foreign language, if they don’t practice they will loose some of it. Dogs can learn at any age, so just keep teaching and practicing. If you’ve done all the proper socializing, your dog listens to you in all situations, they have zero behavioral issues,  you can now stray from the rules.

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