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When Should You Start Training Your Puppy?

As dog trainers, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is, "When should I start training my puppy? Should I start at 8 weeks old or wait until 6 months?"

The answer may come as a surprise to some because whether you knew it or not, the day you brought your puppy home to live with you was the day you started training the adorable ball of fur! You see, dogs and puppies are always learning and forming associations daily from everything in their environment and each interaction with people or other dogs throughout the day. They do not wait for you to sign them up for training. The reality is that even when you are not “training” your pup during a practice session or at a lesson, your puppy is always in training mode, getting behaviors conditioned 24/7 as your puppy is learning constantly.

Your puppy or dog learns constantly from everything around them and with each interaction.

Practice With a Trainer

The real question is, do you have the knowledge of how to teach your pup the desired behaviors?” Why wait for you to learn how to teach until your puppy is a wild 6 month to year old and your pup has learned bad manners and habits? Little did you know that you have taught him these unwanted behaviors that he’s been practicing for months.

If you do not know how to teach your puppy/dog, you are not alone! Learning to teach your dog is a skill just as flying a plane is a skill. Wouldn’t you agree that trying to wing it piloting a plane without the knowledge and guided practice could lead to disastrous results? Remember if you don’t know better, you can’t do better and neither can your dog. If you don’t have enough knowledge, then find a reputable dog trainer in your area that does private lessons or one-on-one training to help you. Puppy training classes are better for socializing than actual learning so we suggest private lessons for the real learning to happen. Just like us, dogs are happier when they are learning and know what is expected of them.

If your untrained dog is no longer a young puppy don’t despair! Dogs can learn at any age. It usually takes longer to undo bad habits that have been practiced for a long time though, so be patient and focus on successful progress (even if it’s slow) rather than the end goal.

We're Here To Help!

If you live in the Chattanooga area, call us to set up a free consult, we’d love to teach you how to train your pup or dog. Thriving K9s 423-284-8091

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