When – and How – to Start Puppy Training

Puppy training is the secret to a long, happy – and relatively trouble-free – life with your new pet.

But most pet owners are at a loss when it comes to starting the process. How early is too early? And what is the best way to help your new dog get a good head start on basic obedience and commands?

How Early Is Too Early to Start Puppy Training?

Puppies’ brains have developed enough by about eight weeks to start learning basic commands. And that is exactly when you should start their training.

If you wait much longer, your pet will begin to develop bad habits, which you will have to (try to) undo. That’s not the only reason to start puppy classes at this time, however. Socialization is perhaps the single most important aspect of dog training. A well-socialized puppy will grow into a happy, friendly dog.

If you don’t socialize your new pal in the first two to four months of his life, he can develop a variety of challenging behavioral problems.

How Do You Train a Puppy?

This may be one of the most frequently asked questions here at Innovative K9 Academy.

In our experience, the best approach is to let a professional help you with this process – especially if you have never trained a young dog before. In these first weeks together, your new pet will be developing habits and behavior patterns that will last a lifetime. By shaping these habits and behaviors now, both you and your pet will adjust easily to your new life together.

The trick is knowing how.

We use a reward-based approach and positive reinforcement for training. This is the most effective approach for dogs of any age but, for a pup, it’s the only way. Young dogs have a short attention span, so brief, frequent training sessions are the way to go.

Find Age-Appropriate Puppy Training

The skills your puppy needs at eight weeks are nothing like the ones he will need at six months. So it’s important to find a group puppy training class that is appropriate for his age. The skills he needs now are basic obedience, crate training, house training and learning to walk on a leash – and socialization, of course.

If you’re worried about having the time or patience to handle the training process, you might also consider a puppy boot camp. At boot camp, professional trainers will handle all the basics for you. After your pet finishes his stint in boot camp, we can put the two of you into a group class, so you can learn some of the techniques we used and reinforce them at home.

Located in Salt Lake City, Innovative K9 Academy offers a comprehensive selection of dog and puppy training programs, including boot camps, group classes and individual programs. Contact us today to learn more about our puppy training programs and how they can help you and your new pet.