What is the best time to start training my puppy ?

13 October 2014

Your puppy will have been learning about the world from the day it was born and those early weeks with it’s mother and the breeder play a big part in shaping your puppy’s personality. This is why it is so vital to get a puppy from a good breeder.

Once you collect and bring your new puppy home their learning will continue. In a nutshell puppies like young children have a view of the world based on their needs and how safe they feel. “What’s in it for me?” would be how many a puppy thinks. And if they are very confident ‘ What can I get away with?’

The first steps to teaching a puppy is firstly that they can trust you and it is safe to do so.  That means scaring them with a sharp No and a pointy finger is not the best way to train. Patience and persistence and positive feedback are much more effective. Teaching them what to do by rewarding positive behaviour and “pretending to ignore’ and, distracting unwanted behaviour should be the foundation to teaching your new puppy about life. And in this way your training starts from day one!

If you have this steady foundation to your puppy’s life in place puppy classes can start as soon as possible after first or second vaccination. This is where in a well run class you can be shown the most effective ways to teach your puppy using positive reinforcement.

Although puppy classes are a brilliant way to start your training don’t worry if you have to wait a few weeks before you start. Those first few weeks with you will set the foundation for your life together. This is the consistency you will take with you throughout your dog’s life. You can get round the social side of your puppy’s training by allowing them to meet friends and family’s dogs (well mannered and vaccinated) If you need an early start to training have a puppy trainer round to your house to give you an early start to formal training.  The classes I run usually have puppies starting on average around 12 -13 weeks old. We do take them earlier if they have had at least first set of vaccinations but some puppies arrive in class at the cut off which is 18 weeks old. 

© Karen England2014

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I have been meaning to email you for ages to say how absolutely fantastic the classes you offer were. I have been scanning your website to see whether you were going to do the Bronze Kennel Club Award but nothing came up so I ended up doing it with a local club.... and shall I tell you something... your classes... your organisation.... the tasks you get the dogs to do.... your manner... not to mention other numerous qualities by far, and I mean by far supersedes what I have recently experienced. I honestly don't think I have learnt anything new in the last 8 weeks. Anyway Karen many thanks for everything you provided Tilly with in those sessions...they were just fab...thank you so much...please keep me informed should you be offering any other courses as I would be very interested.

Owner of Tilly a Chocolate Lab

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