People often ask me at what age they should start puppy training. The answer is immediately! Training of your puppy – the stuff you teach them at home – should start the DAY you bring your puppy home! This does not mean training needs to be intensive right away. Training at this stage should be done in many short lessons (5-10 minutes per session) and always end on a positive note. If your puppy is having trouble learning a new command, end the session by reviewing something he already knows and give him plenty of praise and a reward for his success.
Formal obedience training – puppy training in a class situation – can start anywhere from 9 to 12 weeks of age. Most schools like to see the pup receive a series of 2 vaccinations given before starting in a class – for the pup’s protection, as well as the protection of all other pups in the class. A Bordatella (a type of kennel cough) vaccination and negative stool sample also need to be done beforehand.
Training classes teach you how to best communicate with your puppy. Organized training classes also provide an opportunity for your dog to socialize with other dogs. In classes aimed at earning the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction, you’ll be able to get information on all of your puppy-raising questions including housetraining, chewing, and the most effective way to teach practical skills such as coming when called.
At what age should training start? The answer is “RIGHT AWAY!”
For more information about our group classes and private lessons visit our website at www.perfectpetdog.com or call us at 803.210.9380.