Do dog trainers train puppies? Yes, they do. Dog trainers can train dogs at any age but ideally, training should start at eight to ten weeks. By this time your puppy should know the basics of dog training. Let’s find out the training timeline for puppies.
Eight to Ten Weeks
By the time your puppy is eight to ten weeks, it should be able to recognize its own name and develop good manners at home. This is also a good time to teach your pup some basic commands and a bit of socialization. It’s easier to train your pup if you establish a daily schedule. This schedule should include water time and feeding time as well as play and training time, nap times, and potty breaks.
Potty training is one of the first things you should teach your pup the moment you take it home. You wouldn’t want your couch and your expensive rug to smell like dog pee, right? Try incorporating potty training into your pup’s daily routine. The first thing you should teach your pup is where to do it and then teach it how to hold it. If you’re having a hard time figuring out your pup’s potty training schedule, we suggest you take your pup’s age based on months and then divide that into half so you’ll know how long your pup can go between their potty breaks. You may ask a professional dog trainer for assistance and more information about puppy potty training.
After potty training, you can proceed with crate training. Once your pup masters crate training, it will become an independent pup with fewer bouts of separation anxiety. There is no cut-and-dried rule as to when you should introduce basic command training but by the time your pup is between eight to ten weeks you definitely need to start introducing basic commands like sit and come. At this age, these two commands will really come in handy. Dog trainers suggest you teach your pup these commands during mealtime. An example of a technique used for the come command is to place a treat in your hand and hold it close to your pup’s nose so it can smell it. And then slowly go backward and step farther away from your pup and with the treat in your hand (extended), say “come”. When your pup comes after you say “Good” and give the treat reward. The same thing goes for the sit command. Give the treat and guide it until your pup’s body is in a sitting position. Once it is achieved in that position say the cue word “sit” and give the treat.
Ten to Twelve Weeks
Your pup is a bit older now so you can introduce more commands, impulse control, and of course, socialization. You can teach your pup the place, heel, and down commands at home. We recommend you use high-value treats as rewards for more complex tasks to keep them interested and engaged. For hyperactive puppies, you can teach them to fetch and drop it during your playtime. This is also a good time to introduce your pup to a leash and harness. Introduce more people to your pup and slowly expose them to different noises. Letting your pup listen to noises from traffic, construction, or even garbage trucks from YouTube is enough to let them know that these noises exist.
Three to Four Months
Your pup is growing up fast and is ready to learn new tricks and more advanced commands. Teach your pup the stay it and leave it commands. You may also start combining commands so that your pup can practice and not get confused just in case you’ll need to use several commands at a time when you and your pup are outdoors.
This timeline is flexible as it depends on your pup’s needs and its ability to learn and assimilate new commands. Nevertheless, this should serve as your guide as you move along with your dog training.