A puppy will begin training with its mother and breeder as an infant. Once you’ve got the go ahead to bring your new canine friend home, it’s vital to know the immediate steps for training. Here, we’ve provided our expert opinion on the early stages of training your puppy.

At What Age Should a Puppy Begin Training?

Some training and socialisation will have already begun from the moment your puppy opened its eyes and started walking. Despite their short attention spans, from as young as 7 weeks, you can expect them to respond to basic commands such as “sit”, “down” and “stay”. Having a stable reward system will enforce positive behaviour.

Daily Routines for Your Puppy

There are a few simple things that you can instil in a puppy from day one. By consistently returning the puppy to his water and food dishes, you can teach them important locations around your house. Feeding at set times of the day regulates a puppy’s appetite and sense of restraint. Teach the puppy where its bed is and enforce sleep and wake times to further a rigid routine.

The only way your puppy will learn is through consistency. If they do something right, reward and praise them with enthusiasm. If the behaviour is inappropriate, make it clear that you are unhappy with a strong, “No” or by ignoring them. If you fail to be consistent, you can expect the same from your puppy!

Teaching Your Puppy Words

Praise and correction words should be started at 2-3 months old. Using the correct tone of voice and body language, you will be able to properly teach commands such as “No” and “Good”. This will help your puppy differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. Mastering these simple commands will make it easier to move onto teaching more complex words.

Housebreaking Your Puppy

At 2-3 months of age, a puppy does not have reliable control of their bladder. You can begin housebreaking them from the moment you bring them home but practising patience will make this transition easier. Use positive reinforcement when your puppy shows successful signs of housebreaking and consistently return them to the appropriate place when they make a mistake. Establishing the right patterns means your puppy will be housebroken as soon as they master the control of their bladder.

Professional Puppy Training Classes

Formal canine training is most valuable for puppies 8 weeks and older. Anything that has been learned incorrectly will need to be undone and re-taught, so it is wise to begin the training as soon as possible.

Taking the time to learn alongside your puppy and completing a certificate III in dog training will ensure you are well-equipped to handle any situation at home. A dog behaviour course is a valuable way to prevent the formation of negative habits.

To begin the right training for your pawed friend or to learn more about undertaking a canine training course, speak to an NDTF expert online or call 1300 66 44 66