When To Start Training Your Puppy

Unsure when the right time is to start properly training your puppy?  Well guess what, you started training your puppy the moment you brought your pup home!  You’re probably asking yourself, “If training started the moment I brought my pup home home, what specifically was I teaching? ”

Listed below are a few things you may have inadvertently taught your puppy already:

  1. “My puppy barks in his crate…so I let him out” – What has this taught your puppy?  That barking in the crate means you will let him out.  Is this what you want your puppy to do?  Probably not.  If your puppy barks in the crate wait until he stops barking even if just for a few seconds then let him out.  That way he learns that quiet behavior is more opportune.
  2. “My puppy grabs one of my socks then runs away.  I chase him to get it back” – What has this taught your puppy?  That if he grabs something you want then you’ll chase him.  Is this what you want your puppy to do?  Probably not.  Most puppies love the chase game, whereby if you chase them they take off and run.  The reverse is also true.  If you run a way from your puppy he is likely to chase you.  Therefore, puppy proof your house to prevent him from grabbing inappropriate items.  And when he acquires an item other than a dog toy use positive reinforcement to teach him the “Drop” command and run away from him if he tries to make it a game by having you chase him.
  3. “Sit…..Sit…..Sit…..Sit…..Sit…..Hooray!  Good Boy!” – What has this taught your puppy?  He learned that “Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit” means he should put his butt to the ground.  Rather, teach him that he should respond immediately to the first command.  Accomplish that objective by only communicating the command one time, gently assisting him if he fails to respond, and positively reinforcing him with praise and treats when he responds quickly.
  4. “My puppy jumps on my leg so I pet him or pick him up” –  What has this taught your puppy?  That jumping on your leg means he gets attention.  Is this what you want your puppy to do?  It’s cute when he/she jumps on your leg, right?  However, what about when he’s a 1-year old 80-pound dog?  This may not be so cute anymore.  Even at a young age you want to teach your puppy that jumping on your leg doesn’t achieve attention.  However, when he stops jumping on your leg give him all the attention and praise in the world because he’s doing what you’d like him to do, which is keeping 4 paws on the floor.
  5. “I give my puppy food at the dinner table” –  What has this taught your puppy?  Your puppy has just learned to beg for food whenever you sit down for a meal.  Therefore, if you wish to give your dog people food, make the reward part of obedience training and contingent upon superlative performance.  However, never feed your dog food directly from the table.

Now that you know what you may have inadvertently taught your puppy, we at CPT encourage you to commence a professional training program that converts your young puppy into an outstanding adult dog.  CPT’s Puppy Class provides a great start, with excellent socialization, sensory stimulation, and imprint obedience.  In addition, we have higher-level group classes to further improve obedience skills, private lessons for specialized skills and behavior modification, and in-home private lessons to address housebreaking and household manners issues. And if you are busy or going on vacation, you may want to check out our board training program, where we train your puppy while you relax at home.  CPT specializes in all breeds and we are well versed in teaching both humans and dogs a variety of comprehensive training techniques.

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