If you have a young puppy, we recommend that you wait until he’s at least 8 weeks old to begin formal training.
Before you begin the formal training lessons with a dog of any age, please plan to follow these keys to success:
1. Be patient. Each dog is unique, and can only learn at his own pace. Some dogs learn quickly; others take more time. Patience is indeed a virtue when it comes to effective dog training!
2. Be kind.This goes hand-in-paw with “Be patient.”Don’t lose your temper if your dog doesn’t “get it” right away, or appears to be ignoring you. Please do not punish your dog for not learning quickly enough. As a matter of fact, don’t punish.
3. Be flexible.If your dog is struggling to learn, be willing to change your training routine. The location may be too distracting. The time of day may be too close (or far from) feeding time. The length of your training session may be too long (or too short). The training exercises may need to be broken down into smaller, simpler steps. Remember, each dog is unique. Be flexible and willing to do whatever you can to help your dog succeed.
4. Be generous. Be generous with your rewards and your time. Always reward your dog’s correct responses generously. Don’t be stingy with the treats—he’s worked hard and deserves a generous reward! And commit ample time to your training lessons. We’re all busy these days, but this is “quality time” for you and your dog. You’ll both enjoy and benefit from the lessons, so make sure your schedule is adjusted accordingly!