Home Dog Training How to Train Your Puppy from the Experts

How to Train Your Puppy from the Experts

How to Train Your Puppy from the Experts


How to Train Your Puppy from the Experts


If you have recently acquired an adorable, irresistible ball of puppy fluff, or are thinking about acquiring one, you should plan on beginning training at once. Eight weeks may seem young, but the best, more receptive age for puppy training is between two and four months.

Your puppy may seem tiny, but you really cannot start training too young. Like kids, puppies are sponges, soaking everything up and learning quickly. Just make sure to keep training sessions fun and positive–negative experiences or impressions can last a lifetime.

Even at that early age, puppies have that I-want-to-please-my-human thing going on, so you have that going for you!


Serious Business Disguised as Fun and Games

Dogs are naturally fun-loving. Training should be a blast for your pup.

Consider this: even as full-grown adults, working dogs do what they do for pleasure. Canine Sergeant Adam Witherspoon, who has trained hundreds of police dogs, says, “It is a game to dogs. They succeed in a task; they get a reward.”

It is amazing what a dog can learn to do, and it all starts in puppyhood!

“Make training fun! It does not have to be exceptionally long but make it fun for you and your pup each time,” says Animal Behavior College dog training instructor Samantha Jonker.

A focus on fun paired with your pup’s natural desire to please makes it easy to teach obedience basics like “sit” and “focus” — the two most important early lessons. You really want your puppy to be able to put his whole attention on you. Plus, that little pup sitting and looking up at you expectantly with those big brown eyes will melt your heart.


Before You Begin

It is crucial to understand the importance of timing in training. You want to reward your pup the very instant he does what you want. Mark the behavior with a treat or a “Yes!” If your timing is off, though, you risk reinforcing the wrong behavior.

Your pup will quickly learn to repeat whatever behavior earns him a reward, so you will need to think like your puppy. For instance, if he is whining for a treat and you give him one then what has he learned? “If I whine, I get a treat!”



This is one of the easiest commands to teach your puppy. While she is standing in front of you, hold a treat above her head so she must look up. As she does, her little rear will sink to the floor and the instant it touches the floor you say, “Yes!” and let her have the treat.

Do not anticipate. Wait until her haunches hit the floor.

Repeat it five or six times with the treat, then try it with just the hand motion (keeping the treat in the other hand to reward her when her butt hits the floor). Keep your tone light and positive.

Repeat this several times in short sessions. By then, she will be associating sitting with being treated and begin to sit a little longer. Now it is time to start adding the cue “sit.”

In adding the cue, it is important to time it as she begins the sitting motion. Again, do not anticipate, but do not wait until her rear hits the floor, either.

Repeat several times, remembering to keep your tone happy and training sessions short!


Socialize Your Puppy


Socialization involves exposing your puppy to new experiences and places and helping him get comfortable with people and animals besides the ones in his home. Do not wait until he is older; the younger he is, the more receptive he will be to accepting something unfamiliar. Just do not throw too much at him at once.

“Socialization is so important, with both other people and other dogs,” says Jonker.” Be sure to give your new pup the opportunity to meet new people and other dogs regularly and reward all good behavior you see.”

Not given that opportunity, your pup may shy away from people or worse, start showing aggressive tendencies out of fear.

“A puppy or beginner group training class is a great place to get some exposure to other dogs and to learn manners,” Jonker adds. A win-win!


Interested in Puppy Training? Are You Asking Yourself, Where Is Their Puppy Training Near Me?

If you would like to learn more about puppy training or are thinking about becoming a dog obedience trainer, Animal Behavior College can help. ABC’s online dog obedience program can teach you everything you need to start your career in about a year.

You will get a great curriculum developed by professional trainers and each student will have a program manager to provide support along the way.

Once your online work is done, you work with a mentor trainer in an externship and volunteer your skills at an animal shelter. That way, you will have plenty of hands-on experience by the time you earn your dog trainer certification.

To talk to an admissions counselor, call 800-795-3294.





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