From the moment they open their eyes and start to walk, puppies are constantly learning from both humans and other dogs. If you purchased your new puppy from a breeder, then chances are that breeder has already begun to socialize the puppy and maybe even taught it basic commands. If you’ve adopted a puppy from a shelter, then you may want to assume that it has no prior training (a test of issuing simple commands will determine if this is true).
Start with Simple Commands
For those looking to start training their puppy early, our dog training professionals recommend starting as early as 7 to 8 weeks old. Be sure to start off with basic commands such as “sit” “stay” and “down” so as not to confuse or overwhelm your puppy. It’s important to keep in mind that they have short attention spans because they are continuing to process and learn about their new environment — so have some patience!
Preferred Training Methods
When it comes to reinforcement, Canine College believes in positive reinforcement. This type of psychological training involves rewarding your dog for good behavior and withholding rewards for poor or wrong behavior. Some examples of positive reinforcement include verbal praise (“Good dog!”), physical praise (belly rubs), or dishing out a treat or two in instances of exceptionally good behavior (keep the treats to a minimum!).