After getting a new puppy, you may be wondering when you should start puppy training and where to begin when you do, because we all want a dog with good behavior.
A common mistake new puppy owners make is postponing obedience training until they start seeing behaviors they want to fix. But take it from me, a certified trainer, don’t wait to start training your puppy!
Your puppy is like a little sponge that is most impressionable under 6 months of age. That’s why Guiding Eyes For the Blind start training their puppies before the pups leave their littermates and mom, before 9 weeks old. They recognize that a young, malleable puppy brain is a great asset when teaching a dog some critical skills. And you should too!
I hear so many sad stories of new puppy owners who were told to wait to start their puppy’s training until later, either after vaccinations are complete or when they are older and start showing bad habits.
This is terrible advice! By the time they start their puppy’s training so many bad habits have already set in. And bad habits are much harder to redirect than training your puppy the right way from the beginning.
3 Keys to Successful Puppy Training
1. Know Which Commands to Teach and in What Order
There’s actually a really beneficial order for teaching a puppy new skills, so that new skills build on previous skills and you can rely on the strength of the first ones to help establish new behaviors.
2. Know Which Commands NOT to Teach
Did you know we never want to teach “speak” or “high five”? Barking and pawing are behaviors that many puppy owners are trying to extinguish, so why would we purposely ask our dogs to do it? So yes, there are a few skills about which I simply say “No thanks.”
3. Use Progressive Training Techniques
What are “progressive training techniques?” Progressive training means you start training with simple skills and little or no distractions going on near your puppy. Over time, as training progresses, you slowly introduce more complex skills and more distractions as your puppy begins to master new skills in a variety of situations.
Progressive training helps prevent overwhelming your puppy by flooding her with too many new commands in highly distracting situations or environments too soon! When a puppy gets overwhelmed, she becomes like a pancake, laying flat on the ground and not absorbing anything!
If you’ve ever asked your puppy to “sit and stay,” hoping she wouldn't move as you walked away but she got up and followed you instead, you may have thought your puppy was being stubborn or defiant.
Nope! I guarantee you it’s because you increased the training level too quickly, not because your dog was being defiant!
The trick with progressive training is knowing when to increase the training level and by how much.
Alright, so I’ve convinced you that training – at the right time in the right way – is important. But how do we choose the right trainer and training situation?
About Training Options
Group Training Classes
You might be tempted to head down to your nearest big pet store and sign up your dog for classes. But are you sure this is the right environment for your puppy – and you – to learn new things?
Picture this: You take your puppy on an exciting car ride to an unfamiliar environment where there are bright lights, noises from other parts of the store, other dogs who are excited and revving up your dog, and a variety of new smells that are out of this world.
So many new experiences to take in and it’s all so exciting and stimulating for a puppy!
And then the training begins.
You and your overstimulated puppy try desperately to listen to what the trainer is saying. The trainer is straining to talk loud enough for everyone to hear over the barking and other noises… and suddenly your puppy starts pooping or peeing due to stress.
Do you think you’ll be taking in much of that teaching? Probably not. This kind of environment can be stressful for both humans and puppies.
Hiring A Private Trainer
OK, so maybe you’re ready to invest in a private trainer who will come to your home or give you private sessions in their training facility. That sounds like a better option, right?
Well, maybe better than the pet store or group classes, but still not great. Why? Because you’re introducing a stranger (the trainer) into your puppy’s environment and that changes the dynamic.
Think about it. What happens when any visitor comes to your home? You have an excited, barky puppy who is going crazy to meet this new person in the house. Right?
And what if the training session is right in the middle of your puppy’s nap time? You’ve got to try to train a groggy puppy who is short on sleep, unable to concentrate, and cranky. Also not a great situation for learning new things.
Keep in mind that a reputable trainer with certifications will likely charge anywhere from $75 to $100 just for one session. Some trainers offer package deals and charge over $900 for 6 private sessions.
And what happens after the private trainer leaves? You won’t have anything left after the training session except what you can remember.
There’s another option I think you’re really going to like!
Online Puppy Training
If you are a visual learner, as most humans are, you’ll find online training the ideal solution when it comes to training your puppy.
Why? Because online puppy training allows you to:
- Control the learning environment and eliminate distractions for better learning success
- Choose a training time that works best for you and your puppy
- Know exactly what to teach, in the proper order, using the most effective techniques
- Replay lessons unlimited times so you don’t have to rely on memory
And that’s why I developed the 30 Days to Puppy Perfection online training program. It includes training lessons that teach important skills like potty training, crate training, and basic commands. 30 Days to Puppy Perfection also addresses unwanted behaviors like accidents in the house, puppy biting you or chewing your furniture, jumping on you or guests, barking at people passing by outside, pulling on the leash while out for a walk… the list goes on and on.
Watch as I show you exactly what to do to solve all sorts of unwanted behaviors and how to introduce each new skill to your puppy using effective training games that are FUN for you and your puppy!
Not only will you solve puppy woes but you’ll be teaching your puppy have to have the best manners on the block!
If you are like a lot of my students you’ll use the games I teach to create new, fun games of your own to play with your pup. You will learn the most logical approach to teaching your puppy new skills too.
Through my online training videos you’ll learn about the best training rewards to use, when to wean off treats, what tools and supplies you should be using and which ones are a waste of money!
My puppy training program uses positive reinforcement and relationship-based dog training techniques to achieve the fastest results… no scary old-school training methods here! We don't need to use fear, force or punishment to achieve results.
Inside the online puppy training program, you’ll be able to watch step by step how-to videos with instructions for each training game you should be playing with your puppy.
Didn’t catch the full instructions on the first watch? No problem! Just watch the video again! Each lesson is broken down into bite-size steps that are easy to follow and easy to watch again.
This course is so robust that we needed 30 days to unveil all the great stuff, one week at a time. And don’t get me started about the bonus section. That thing could be a course all of its own, it’s so full of great info on things like how to understand canine body language, how to address unwanted behavior, how to become better at solving your puppy problems and so much more!
But don’t stress about that 30-day timeframe. You’re going to get a great start to having a dream dog in 30 days, but you don’t have to rush.
You have unlimited access to the training course so you can take the process at whatever pace you and your puppy need it to go for maximum effectiveness! You can even use the course for your next dog (and you can ask my advice on when is the best time to bring a new dog into a home!).
30 Days to Puppy Perfection offers more than your own dog trainer on demand!
30 Days to Puppy Perfection is a supportive community for dog owners who want to develop a great relationship with their puppies while training a well-mannered lifelong companion.
When you enroll in the Pro level course, in addition to the online classes, you get access to an exclusive, student-only Facebook group where puppy owners post questions, show off homework videos for personalized feedback, connect with other puppy owners going through the exact same trials and triumphs as you!
You’ll also probably have a couple of questions along the way that need personalized answers. No worries. With the Pro level course, you’ll have direct support from me, a certified trainer with 20 years experience, and my team of experienced dog experts and trainers.
What’s more, you can join us 3 times a week for group Zoom calls designed to answer even more questions that might need a little more dialogue between owner and trainer. You can also learn how you can become your own puppy detective and work through some puppy problems of your own. But if you get stuck, we’re always here for you.
Prefer to go it alone? No problem! The DIY level is perfect for you.
DIY level students have full unlimited access to all the course materials, so you can work though it at your own pace and revisit the lessons as often as you need to. And, if you do decide you’d like that extra support, you can always upgrade by adding on the monthly membership for access to the pro-level benefits.
30 Days to Puppy Perfection has students logging in to watch training lessons from across the globe. If you want to train at midnight or the middle of the day, while wearing your pajamas or 3-piece suit, you can! You control how fast or slow you go through the program and when you decide to train, and in what clothing! We don’t judge and your puppy won’t either!
Worried that your puppy will miss out on crucial socialization when you aren’t training with other dogs? Think again! Inside 30 Days to Puppy Perfection, you’ll discover the best ways to socialize your puppy… and it’s not by letting your puppy be exposed to other dogs in a distracting environment like a group class.
Are you committed to your puppy’s training? Ready to build a stronger bond with your puppy? Want to impress friends and family the next time they visit? You can start training your puppy today with 30 Days to Puppy Perfection!