Training Your Dog
The first six weeks
Puppies begin learning from the moment they are born. Although they not able to master tricks and commands in this early stage, puppies can learn to bond to human touch. Be careful and gentle with the puppy and always pet him under the supervision of a breeder, vet or other puppy expert, since the puppy requires special care at this young age.
Six to twelve weeks
Puppies are never too little to learn. Establishing routines, such as taking your puppy outside in the morning, after meals and before playing, will help in your training and housebreaking.
Remember intentional or not, you are constantly teaching your puppy.
* If you don't want your adult dog sleeping on the sofa, don't let your puppy sit on it.
* If you don't want your dog begging for your food, don't start feeding him table scraps.
* Unless you want to confuse your dog about biting behavior, don't let your puppy "teethe" on your fingers.
* Use common sense and ask yourself before you do anything with your puppy: Is this behavior something I want to encourage?
Three to six months
Once your puppy is three months he is old enough to begin understanding basic commands, like "Sit" "Stay" "Down" and "Quiet". Your puppy should also walk well on his leash, understand the word "NO!" and know the proper place to go to the bathroom.
Remember that training a puppy takes time and patience. If you want a well-behaved puppy, you will have to spend time training him in the puppy stages. Make time for at least one, preferably two, short training sessions every day.
Six months to one year
Your puppy now has the required stamina for longer training sessions. This is the ideal time to introduce commands such as the "Long Sit" and "Long Down". Teaching your puppy these commands will help your puppy sit and lay longer - anywhere from five minutes to a half-hour - depending how long you and your puppy work together. Remember to play with your puppy and let him run for five or ten minutes before beginning any long command training session to release any pent up energy that may distract him from his lessons.
The second year
At this point in your dog's development, you can begin to introduce new privileges and responsibilities. For example, you might introduce your puppy to sleeping outside of his crate. For many owners, the companionship of having their puppy sleep in their room is quite appealing, providing a warm feeling of security and warmth. However, letting your puppy sleep in your room is something you should only allow if you have clearly established yourself as the leader - otherwise your puppy will have the bed and you'll have the floor. This arrangement could lead to some pretty sleepless nights!
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