Young puppies are veritable behavioral blank slates – curious, malleable, and learning every second. When owners take advantage of this special time in their dog’s early life and begin temperament and basic obedience training using gentle positive reinforcement methods, they are much more likely to end up with a well-behaved, sociable companion dog for life. In the case of dog behavior problems, prevention truly is the best cure.
Some of the benefits of early puppy training include:
- Instilling good manners before bad habits and unruliness become entrenched
- Utilizing your puppy’s critical socialization period to familiarize him with all kinds of people, other dogs, novel environments and being handled, thereby helping him grow into a well-adjusted, friendly, safe dog
- Stimulating your puppy’s learning abilities, creating a “learning to learn effect” and paving the way for later training
Troubleshooting common puppy problems, such as play-biting, alone-training, house-training and chew-training, before they escalate.
Best of all, puppy training is easy, fun and can be done by all family members, including children!
A good puppy class will have an upper age limit of 18 -20 weeks of age at the class start and may accept puppies as young as 8 or 9 weeks. Topics covered will include housetraining, chewing, bite inhibition, off-leash socialization with other puppies, socialization to novel people, places and objects, handling, house manners and often an introduction to basic obedience skills. Written materials should be provided and all family members should be encouraged to attend.
You wouldn’t wait until your child was a teenager to start his education, would you? Then don’t wait to start training your puppy! Take advantage of this special window of opportunity in his life to help him be the best he can be.
Article submitted by: © Mary Horne (Biography & Additional Information)