In actuality, puppy training starts the moment they are born. A great breeder will be sure to handle the pups and give them plenty of human contact as soon as the mother allows. Exposing the puppies to people at a young age will ensure that they are friendly and obedient going forward. Often times, trainers or puppy parents will delay training until 6 months. This method usually is not especially effective. Like humans, puppies learn from every experience. Waiting until the six month mark will have provided them with enough time to learn what they can and cannot get away with.
Generally, puppies have very short attention spans. You can easily compare puppies to toddlers. They won’t be capable of learning commands until they have matured enough to maintain attention for a short period of time.
From 6 weeks on, puppies will begin to develop enough attention to allow for exposure to commands like “sit”, “down”, and “stay”. It will take them a while to catch on fully, but consistent commands and rewards will prove to be effective eventually. Using positive reinforcement to encourage puppies to obey is a great way to get them to learn.
Training should be a natural part of the day. You don’t necessarily need to set time aside every day to work with the puppy unless you are too busy otherwise, or are focusing on a certain trick. Another caveat is the condition of the environment. Don’t expect your puppy to be an excellent learner with ten other puppies present. Again, puppies are like children. If there are many distractions present, they will lose focus and become interested in other things. Make sure that while training, they are in a quiet environment that is conducive to learning.
If your puppy is still disobedient as they approach 8 months old, you may want to consider enrolling in training classes to get a head start on developing good puppy behavior.
For more information on training your puppy, visit our site. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have. We’ll be happy to try to help!