In order to have a long, healthy, and stress-free relationship with your dog, obedience training is a must. Training can start as soon as you get your new puppy home, although the consensus used to be that it was best to wait 6 months. Although many training facilities and puppy schools won’t accept puppies unless they are at least 6 months old, there’s no reason you can’t start the process right away. Training usually kicks off with 5 or 6 pretty basic commands such as “sit”, “heel”, “come”, “stay”, “stand” and “down”. The first and the easiest to achieve is “sit”, especially if you entice with treats.
Puppy Obedience Training Classes
If you choose to sign up for obedience classes, puppy kindergarten is a good first choice in order to develop social skills with other dogs that are critical in more advanced training. Before attending classes you’ll probably be required to show proof of vaccinations, so a visit to the vet may be in order before signing up. Bring along a collar, non-retractable leash, some treats and a clicker. Obedience training usually kicks off with teaching your dog to walk on a leash either directly next to you or slightly behind you while not pulling your arm off. Proper leash training pays huge dividends in the future and helps immensely in future training. Obedience training ingrains not only basic commands, but social skills with other dogs and people as well. It also conditions your dog to concentrate and avoid distractions because he will have to focus even when there are dogs barking and people talking.
When searching for classes try to find one that has between 5 and 10 dogs as any larger tends to get over crowded. You’re going to want at least some one on one time with the trainer when you have challenges. Typically, classes last about 10 weeks with 1 or 2 sessions a week giving you time in between to reinforce what you’ve learned at home. All good obedience classes teach positive reinforcement training using a combination of treats and a clicker. The ultimate goal is to phase out the treats all together and replace them with just clicks and praise.
Give obedience training a shot and you’ll soon be amazed at just how well trained and behaved your new puppy is.