What should I be training my puppy?” If you’re a new puppy owner, this is likely one of the first questions you may ask yourself.
Allot goes into properly training a raising a young puppy. This article goes over the first things you should be training your puppy, so be sure to read on!
What Should I Be Training My Puppy? (Under Four Months)
When it comes to training a young puppy, many owners fall into the pitfall of focusing on teaching their new puppy behaviors such as “sit,” “down,” “paw,” “stay.”
Teaching your puppy behaviors isn’t bad, but when that’s the only thing you focus on, you forget other more critical aspects you should train your puppy.
A puppy under four months should not focus on behaviors such as sit and stay; instead, you should focus on six critical things.
The first thing any puppy owner should focus on is crate training your new puppy.
Crate training is a great way to prevent your puppy from having any accidents while learning the house rules. Ex: where to go potty, where not to potty, what to chew on, what not to chew on, how to be comfortable alone, etc…
To learn more on why you should crate train your puppy, read our article “Should you crate train your puppy.”
The next thing you should put your focus on is proper socialization and exposure! When puppies are between 8 weeks to about four months, they go through a “critical developmental period.” Essentially anything your puppy is exposed to, and any experience your puppy has within this small window of their life will mold your puppy’s overall perspective of the world we live in.
it’s not uncommon for a puppy that is poorly socialized to be fearful, insecure, and even aggressive as an adult dog due to a lack of proper exposure and socialization
Potty training should also be a priority at a young age, especially if you don’t want to sleep with a mop in your hands!
When you start potty training early on, you quickly realize that your puppy will begin understanding where they should and shouldn’t go potty.
This is also the beginning of teaching your puppy rules!
The next thing you should teach your puppy is how not to dart outdoor!
If you start this at a young age, you develop a dog that waits for you to say it’s ok to walk through the door!
The last thing you want is a puppy that grows into an adult dog that immediately darts out the door at the sight of it being open.
When you asking yourself what should I be training my puppy one of the easiest things you can work on is setting and creating a consistent routine with your puppy.
You want to start creating habits, and the easiest way to accomplish this is through a consistent routine.
The more consistent with a routine, the more consistent your puppy’s behavior will be.
Always remember behaviors that get rehearsed by your puppy will eventually become habits, so focus on habits you want your puppy to have as an adult dog.
Attention is something you want to nurture in your puppy at a young age.
When you work on getting your puppy to give you their attention, you begin to become relevant!
Getting your puppy’s attention makes training immensely easier when your puppy becomes an adult dog and is faced with distractions.
What Should You Be Training Your Puppy 4 Months +
Once your puppy is about four months, you can begin training your puppy on specific behaviors such as sit, down, come when called, walking on leash stay, etc…
The first behavior I would focus on is teaching your puppy how to come when called and walking on a leash.
Come When Called
Wondering what should I be training my puppy? The the first thing you should focus on is coming when called which is honestly the most important command that you can begin teaching your puppy at a young age!
You can begin teaching your puppy to come when called through a variety of different training games so that your puppy views coming to you as the ultimate reward.
The second behavior you should then focus on with your puppy is walking on a leash!
Most of the time, whenever you go somewhere with your pup, they will need to be leashed, which means that your puppy has been taught how to walk on a leash and proper leash manners.
Sit, Down, Stay
The remainder of the behaviors, such as sit, down, and stay, can then be taught to your puppy, further extending your pup’s vocabulary of understanding!
Behaviors such as sit and down are great for giving your puppy directions, but more importantly, you want to teach your puppy some impulse control!
One of the most important things to teach your puppy is basic impulse control.
You are essentially teaching your puppy to control its natural urges.
An easy example of impulse control is having your puppy sit and wait to eat until you say “yes.”
Of course, you’ll have to build your puppy’s impulse control towards other things in our world, but that is the basic gist.
By following this road map, you should have a clear answer to the question, “what should I be training my puppy?”
Puppies are constantly learning, which means as owners, we are always teaching and training.
Remember to go at your specific pups’ pace and not push them too far too soon, and enjoy the process of training your new puppy!
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