When you first bring a new puppy home, all you probably want to do is cuddle, play, and spoil it. And of course, you should do all of those things! It can’t just be all fun and games, however. It’s equally as important that you also begin training your puppy as soon as you bring them home.
Early puppy training is the most effective way to help your puppy develop into a loving, lively, obedient, and well-rounded dog—and here’s why.
Stop problem behaviors before they start.
It’s much easier to teach a puppy how you want them to behave before they’ve developed their own patterns and habits and become set in their ways. Teach your pup what’s expected of them early using positive reinforcement. This way, you won’t have to completely undo bad behaviors and reteach them later in life.
Puppies go through a peak learning period from about 5-16 weeks of age.
In the past, experts used to recommend delaying puppy training until about six months old, when a dog is fully vaccinated. However, the first few weeks to months of your pooch’s life is a critical learning period, in which they are most receptive to training techniques and new experiences. It’s important to solidify good behaviors during this imprinting period so they become innate.
Early socialization is crucial for preventing the development of aggressive or avoidance behaviors.
As you’ve likely noticed (and complained about), young puppies are naturally curious and ready to explore. This is a time when they’re most willing to accept new people, animals, and situations. Take advantage of this openness to create positive memories and associations that help your pup develop into a friendly and confident—rather than a shy, anxious, or aggressive—adult dog.
At Lankas Labs, we start working with our Pointing Labrador puppies at five weeks of age and at eight weeks old, we begin their training. We specialize in training dogs to love and excel on the hunting field, but those skills also translate into the qualities of a perfect family companion.