MYTH – Puppy training should start at 8 weeks.
Puppy training is not important. You can train a dog at any time in its life.
Puppy ‘behavior and manner’ building is important. The first stage can only be done until 13 weeks. The second phase can only be done until 4.5 months. After that your puppy’s behavior (hyper or calm, aggressive or friendly, reliable or disobedient, indifferent or obedient) are set – forever
In puppy class we’ve been discussing the importance of puppy socialization. What most people don’t understand is that you don’t have ‘forever’ to socialize your puppy. The puppy’s trust and friendliness to people and strange dogs is ‘set’ by 12 weeks (Ian Dunbar). We can see tolerance levels increase if the puppy is socialized by 20 weeks, but after that, we can only help people learn to control their dog’s reactions and responses to fearful stimulus.
Dr Chin made this wonderful graphic to help people learn what they need to socialize their dog to. It is important to understand that almost all behaviors are learned, and almost all behaviors can be prevented. In the first, most crucial parts of your puppy’s learning it is imperative to get it into an off leash class which is divided by size and temperament of the dogs. The second is to cherish those first weeks. Instead of treating them as your ‘play’ time with a new puppy (toy)’ treat them as the foundation for all your puppy’s future behavior. If you are looking for puppy classes, or puppy obedience then contact us about our ongoing classes.