By Paula Sunday:
Puppies go through stages just like children. Well, maybe not just like children, but there are some similarities. Puppies go through their stages faster and mature faster. Puppies are losing teeth at 12 weeks, which continues until about 6 months old. Their brains are ready to learn at 3 weeks old or younger!
Puppy training and classes for pups aged 8 weeks and older are so important because they help owners learn to train their pup. It’s a good time for humans to learn about their puppy’s needs, including how to housetrain, get through the mouthing and chewing stages, and how to keep their puppy busy and out of trouble.
A Real Puppy Training Story
I received a call from some lovely owners who had gotten a puppy that was the same breed as their previous dog. Their last dog, Max, had recently passed away at 12 years old of cancer. They called me, frustrated that this puppy, Max 2 (no pressure there!) was so different from their last dog, who, according to their description, had been nearly perfect!
After getting a little more information, I helped them realize that Max 2 was going through the same issues their “perfect” Max had 12 years ago! Now, they were frustrated because Max 2 was acting like a puppy, needed training and socialization, not to mention housetraining. They had taken housetraining for granted for over a decade and needed some tips. Soon Max 2 was doing better, still frustrating for the owners but they were starting to see the traits that they had loved in their other dog.
Max 2 is now two years old, funny, social and house trained!
Puppy Classes Train You Too
Puppy classes seem to be group therapy for puppy owners. Owners talk about their puppy, hear about the other puppies, trade tips and tricks, and everyone learns that their puppy isn’t the only one that seems like a fuzzy coat full of very sharp teeth!
Another benefit of puppy class is that training your puppy will help build the bond between him and your family. The ARL seldom has puppies turned in that have attended any class or had any training. Often when untrained pups are 6-18 month old, are no longer the cute puppies that they were and are jumping, chewing, mouthing, pulling and wild, owners grow very frustrated and turn them in to the shelter. Training can make a big difference!
Some dog food commercials imply your dog is an adult at 1 year old. Many are not mentally mature until 2 years old or older and the larger the breed, the longer it takes for them to mature. Even more reason to take your puppy to a positively based training class based on positive training techniques! Puppies are learning whether you are teaching them or not. Prevention works much better then retraining!
Here’s a quick video from the book that shows some tips and techniques for training a puppy: