Puppy training timeline: Teaching good behaviour before it’s too late

Be it for better or worse, in health or ill-health; your one selfless fuzzy friend will be there for you in any setting. A dog can simply be your silent devoted companion during your worse time as no matter what, you will always have a furry shoulder to cry on. Even on a dull day, your dog will not just let you be a lazy bone rather get you out of your house for a happy walk. With all the unconditional love, your dog can simply turn your world into a much happier place.

Grow your puppies into a well-behaved adult dog

It’s definitely time to call for a celebration if you just have welcomed your newly added four-legged family member in recent times. But before it takes 2/3 week to calm the excitement down, remember that there are lots of training to be done. And, there is a puppy training timeline to prepare a puppy for a well behaved and social dog.  When you are adopting a dog, you cannot just count on the dog to catch on to the concept of right and wrong on your own. What we consider “bad behaviour”, such as chewing or digging, could be absolutely normal to your dog. In this sense, it completely depends on the owner to teach and train the dogs.

By all means, no one would ever want their dog to end up in any animal shelter for being unsafe. But without training, your pup can turn into a dangerous, aggressive and antisocial adult dog with many behavioural problems that can be a threat to you and leave you no options but to abandon them.

Start the training from “day one”

Puppies are constant learners, and they enjoy learning skills. Mostly 8-16 weeks is when people adopt pups, and this age is considered a perfect period for socialisation and in-home training. So socialisation and training can begin very early from day one to allow the pups to explore the new world.

8-10 weeks

Expose your puppy to the new environment

It will need a couple of days or even weeks for a dog to adjust to the new home. You should take the process slowly to introduce the new environment and be prepared to face some uncomfortable behaviour of your pup like feeding troubles, escape attempts, or so. Even your dog may feel uncomfortable while socialising with your family members at one time or may feel uneasy with the car noise near the road. Try to give them some space because gradually they will explore the surroundings and get habituated.

Start with some basic commands

Start with the basics words such as sit, come, yes, no, good. Then, teach your pups that ‘no’ means to stop the act or ‘good’ means you like the act. For example, when your puppy is pawing too much and immediately stops when you say ‘no’, you can give them a treat or some praise so that your pup understands the act that will bring treat or praise.

Familiarise them with the name game

To get your dog’s attention whenever it’s needed, you should play a name game with your newly added furry friend. When the dogs get used to their name, they get excited whenever someone pronounces it and respond immediately to the commands.

Introduce toilet training

Of course, toilet accidents might occur at this early age, and you cannot just expect your pup to become reliable in the potty schedule as soon as you bring them home. However, in the beginning, you can create a toilet spot, control the diet and set a schedule and gradually introduce it to your pup.

Also, begin crate training

Teach your dogs to stay in the crate to build a sense of security and safety. Such as when they feel distressed like during rainstorms or construction work, make them understand that this is their secure place. You can start the training by putting some toys inside the crate, and they will eventually get habituated with it.

10-14 weeks

Add more obedience commands

You can add more advanced words to communicate with your dog, such as drop it, leave it, stay here. What you must practice is to keep consistency by using the same word for similar action over and over. Along with you, ask all other family members to use the same commands.

Start leash training

Introduce the collar or harness to your dog and reinforce good leash walking behaviour. Start with some indoor practice, and later take your pup outside to walk on a loose leash. Don’t forget to give attention and give treats to them for walking by your side.

Work on fixing the common dog behavioural issues

Try to control your pup’s barking, chewing, digging, jumping on and other behavioural issues. For example, if your dog keeps barking, ignore and walk away or use a command such as ‘stop’ or ‘no’. Try to encourage them not to repeat the same by giving rewards.

Control their impulse

Teach your puppies self-control. Impulse control can be done in many forms. For example, you can make them wait for their food or teach them to earn their treats or other rewards by sitting politely. Even during playtime, you can teach them to calm and control theirs over enthusiast nature.

Keep socialising

Regularly introduce them to new people or new dogs so that your puppies get used to the new noises. Otherwise, without proper socialising, meeting new people would be scary for the pups.

4-6 months 

Start some command combinations

At this stage, you can teach your dog more combined commands like down and stay, sit and stay or drop and leave as such. Then, again, speak and gesture the action simultaneously; for example, when you say ‘go to bed,’ you can point towards the crate to make your command clearer.

Concentrate on their problem areas

Try to find out the problem areas of your pup. For example, get the issues behind their Change in eating habits, changes in postures, excessive barking, growling, whining or what they fear the most. Even sometimes, to deal with fearful dogs, one needs a professional trainer’s support.

Redirect their bad behaviours

You should keep continuing the practice of controlling their behavioural issues. Try your best with patience. Always stop them and correct them with treats or praise as the dog loves attention.

6 months – 1 year

Continue in reinforcing all the commands

Now your pup might be in the process of training for the last 3 to 4 months. But you can’t stop here; you can either keep practising the commands for a long or use your dog’s commands in different places so that your pup can recall all the orders for a long period.

Be consistent

Be consistent in teaching your commands. Keep imposing the positive reinforcement methods all the time. To ensure and keep your pup on track to behave well, consistency in training is a must-have.

That is how the first whole year of your puppy’s life will be passed with basic training and developing structures. Nowadays, as house training needs loads of consistency and patience, many pup owners prefer puppy school to get their pups trained. Undoubtedly, getting proper training and socialisation in puppy training classes, a pup eventually turns into a confident, friendly and well-adjusted adult dog.

Richard Sanderson
Richard Sanderson
Richard Sanderson is a freelance writer and an independent blogger who writes about small businesses, sustainability, climate change, globalization, and home improvement. He aspires to become a professional writer and make a difference in society and our world.
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