Getting a new puppy is easy.
But what about potty training the puppy?
How do you socialize her safely?
Get her to drop things when you ask?
Walk nicely on leash?
Getting a new puppy is easy, but what comes next can be incredibly overwhelming.
We believe that the absolute best investment you can make for your new puppy is in early puppy training (we’re talking as early as 8 weeks of age!), and here’s why.
1. Your new puppy’s primary socialization window ends at 16 weeks.
If for no other reason, invest in puppy training because there’s a time limit on your pup’s socialization and early learning abilities.
During this period, your puppy is like a little sponge, absorbing every bit of the world around him.
It’s extremely important that he has positive experiences, learns that humans are safe and reliable, and has a consistent routine, structure, and clear boundaries.
You do not want to wait until all vaccines are completed prior to beginning training; later is too late.
Successfully accomplishing all of the above without professional help can be a challenge.
2. Early intervention can prevent or resolve fear, aggression, and other behavior problems.
As a result of the socialization window we just mentioned, early intervention makes it much easier to resolve any problem behaviors that crop up during puppyhood.
It’s also easy for us to prevent common issues like jumping, counter-surfing, inappropriate chewing, resource guarding, fear, and aggression.
3. Everyone has an opinion on raising a puppy, but few have the appropriate credentials and education to provide sound advice.
We have had well-meaning people give puppy owners advice ranging from inaccurate to downright dangerous.
Behavior science is an ever-changing field, and you’re going to want someone working with your puppy who is up-to-date on the latest advancements.
Having dogs their entire life doesn’t qualify a person to give sound training advice. That would be like taking advice on plumbing from a non-plumber just because they’ve used toilets their entire life.
4. Teaching impulse control early can have a big payoff.
We suggest teaching impulse control to a puppy right away. This comes in the form of teaching them to drop things, leave things, wait for permission before going out doorways and before eating meals, and other exercises.
These exercises can have far-reaching (positive) consequences for safety, patience, and overall impulse control.
We see major impulse control lapses in pups that don’t start training until adolescence (which begins around 6 months of age) – lapses that could have been prevented with early training.
5. Training is fun when everyone’s on the same page.
All breeds of dog can effectively learn through the same basic tenants of learning. Some dogs are motivated differently than others, but we have yet to meet a truly “stubborn” dog.
A good trainer will find your dog’s motivator, use it to reward correct behaviors, and will withhold what the dog wants if he gets it wrong.
Puppy training should never involve getting physical with your pup or using harsh corrective tools. Not only are these things unnecessary; they can cause permanent damage to your dog’s trust in you and in humans as a whole.
When you’ve got a solid game plan from a qualified professional, there’s no arguing in the family over how to train the dog.
Everyone’s on the same page, which makes having a puppy a whole lot more enjoyable.
For help with puppy training in the North Atlanta area, including Milton, Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Peachtree Corners, Chamblee, Brookhaven, and surrounding areas, contact us here.