Here's what you should know about training puppies. You can never start too young. There's this myth that is still making its rounds among dog owners and even dog trainers. "You should wait till the puppy is a little older before you start training it", "Let him be a puppy", "What could he possibly learn?"
These innocent comments lead you to believe that you have time on your side but what people don't realize is that dogs develop very quickly, they grow up fast unlike children. Before you know it, the puppy is 3 to 4 times as big and weighs 3 to 4 times as much, not to mention the learning history that is taking place in puppyhood can make or break its home manners when they get older.
WHY DID THE MYTH START IN THE FIRST PLACE?
As stated in the video above, it's because dog training decades ago, and even in some instances to this day, involve the use of corrections as a primary way of learning. Many prominent trainers decades ago would suggest waiting till the puppy was at least 6 months of age before training started. Naturally, it makes sense that if training is based on Negative Reinforcement and Positive Punishment, you would have to wait till the dog was a little bit older for the sake of its wind pipe. This is not to say that dog trainers who suggested this were cruel people who hated animals, it's just that it was the norm as a general rule. As an industry, we have evolved and it's now common knowledge that we should start training a puppy ASAP.
Below is a list of things you can do with a puppy as young as 7 weeks of age (This is typically the age many puppies get ready to go to their new homes):
*Target Training (Foot and nose target)
*Puppy Manners (polite greeting)
If you're a dog trainer, remember that is is something you can offer prospect clients, unless you don't like puppies that is. Some dog trainers I know even charge more for training puppies because they're actually more work to train, particularly in the potty training and crate training department!