Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Dogs Vets
A Puppy Training Guide For Every Age
No one can resist the doggy charm unless you’re allergic to them.
With their goofy behavior and sweet expressions, those are only a couple of selling points that could reel in animal lovers everywhere. Although, just like any pet, it takes time for them to be acquainted with many things.
Considering they’re animals, someone’s supposed to be teaching puppies to be domesticated properly. Otherwise, their cuteness factor might go down with every chewed-up piece of furniture or misbehavior they do.
Normally, this task falls on the puppy’s mother. But considering many dog owners adopt puppies without their mothers, it’s now their responsibility to turn their puppy into a fully trained dog.
Granted, training a dog is no easy task, especially for puppies. Considering their age, they’ll be brimming with too much energy, making them challenging to handle.
However, training them as early as possible enables them to retain their training much better.
To make it easier for you, here are various age groups with different training regimens for each.
#1. 7 Weeks
Pet shops or adoption centers often allow puppies to be adopted around this age since they’re mostly getting familiar with their mobility.
Furthermore, they’re slowly becoming independent from their mothers, allowing owners to feed them with little problem. But before you reach that point, owners must do the following first:
Settling In (food, water, litterbox)
Generally, dogs are curious yet cautious creatures. They frequently use their noses to examine anything they come by and determine whether or not it’s safe.
Since you adopted a puppy just recently, it needs time to get used to your home, considering it’s a new environment for them.
Even if your female dog gave birth to it, your home is a vast environment from the puppy’s perspective. Therefore, it needs your guidance to get it settled in.
While allowing your puppy to explore the entire house is considerate, it’s best to limit its area to where its needs are met, namely its food and water bowls and the litterbox.
Since this is probably the first for adopted puppies, guide them on how to drink, eat, and ‘do their business’ properly. In order to remember these tasks better, setting up a boundary for their living area is preferable.
Learn Behavioral Cues
Training centers, such as Flash Dog Training, aim to set misbehaving dogs on the straight and narrow. Given their age, adult dogs are much more independent, especially if the owner adopted them just recently.
Because they’ve already experienced a good portion of life, most of them are set on their ways, making them a challenge to get their mindset out of their fixed behavior.
In contrast, puppies are impressionable. Repeat a certain action, and they’ll learn what it means eventually.
For example, if you’re about to set down their food, naturally they’ll be racing around, excited to have their meal. Although it’s cute to watch them be so energetic, having that kind of rowdiness is highly discouraged.
Since they’re watching you the entire time, don’t set down their food. Let them deduce that staying calm is how they’ll get fed.
Considering their vulnerability at this age, puppies latch onto who provides them the most, which the owner easily checks out. So, don’t be surprised if they’re always following you around. Use this opportunity to get your puppy used to being touched.
Gently give it a pet while rewarding it. This way, you’ll deepen your bond with each other and help ease them into physical contact, especially with the veterinarian.
Start Leash Training
For them to exercise to their fullest extent, it’s best to let dogs roam outside unless their health states otherwise. Naturally, puppies aren’t used to having anything restraining them.
Start training them to wear a leash indoors. Get them used to wearing one to ensure they won’t hurt anyone while walking them outside, even after they get vaccinated.
#2. 8 Weeks
Once they’ve acclimated to life inside your home, proceed with the rest of the training.
Establish A Routine
Although they’re still young, puppies are fairly decent in following routines like adult dogs. Predictability is what comforts dogs in general.
Knowing what to expect ensures they remain at ease. Set up a daily schedule they must follow—from when their meal times are to their potty trips.
Avoid making too many adjustments regularly every time something conflicts with their schedule. Otherwise, they might get agitated by the constant changes.
Considering they’re still growing, puppies often sink their teeth into anything they see. While some might find comfort in the habit, most puppies only do this because of how itchy their gums are from teething.
Although this is normal behavior, do your best to redirect their chewing on a toy.
Leaving them as it is might indicate you’re fine with that behavior, which encourages them to keep doing it until they reach adulthood.
Teach How To Socialize
Now they’re familiar with physical touch, get them settled into socializing with other people and pets.
Sharing positive interactions with people outside the owner encourages them to be friendly. Therefore, even if you’re not around, they know to behave well when surrounded by other people unless threatened.
#3. 10 Weeks
As you continue training it, start expanding on what your puppy’s learned.
- Leave On Their Own
Naturally, you’re bound to leave your dog all alone since you have a life outside.
Many adult dogs suffer separation anxiety the longer they don’t see their owners. Therefore, one of the basic lessons you must teach your puppy is how to cope when left on its own.
Hand them their favorite toy or give them a treat before leaving. However, these techniques are only effective for a few hours.
If you’re away for much longer, have someone familiar to keep them company.
Learn Basic Commands
Dogs are smart enough to remember basic cues, especially puppies. For them to retain commands better, start training them at this age.
Naturally, they can recognize their names at this point after calling them so many times. With that as a good starting point, teach them other valuable commands, such as sit, down, stay, and come.
Ease Into The Outside
Since you’ve been getting them used to a leash, it’s time to finally let them go outside. Take them on walks regularly to get them familiar with the sights.
Since you’re starting to teach them basic commands, it’s much easier to rein in your energetic puppy, even off-leash. However, only do this if you’re confident it’ll listen to your cues, despite its eagerness.
Every day is an opportunity for a puppy to grow. As a dog owner, it’s now up to you to ensure every second counts. Because as smart as dogs are, being as young as puppies make them impressionable to many things, which might encourage them to apply a certain habit, regardless of whether it’s good or bad.
Therefore, despite how much work it’ll take, train your puppy to be a well-mannered dog.
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