When to Train Puppies?: NOW!
Updated: Sep 25, 2018
Lately, I’ve developed a keen interest in the HOW of helping more folks with puppy selection, before-arrival preparation, and post-arrival education. Careful puppy selection, along with early training and positive socialization, means fewer problems as well as happier dogs and dog owners. Thus my new venture – to blog about all things puppy, and to provide specialized services for new puppy owners, including remote consultations to help folks no matter where they’re located.
After decades of work as a trainer and behavior counselor, I’ve seen just about every problem a dog can have, and feel a great deal of empathy for the dog and owner when serious problems develop. In the dog training world we know that so many problems can be avoided entirely, or easily remedied, if they’re addressed early in the pup’s life. The key is to make sure everyone knows about the benefits of early training and socialization!
This is not to say that training can't be done with adult dogs, even older dogs! It certainly can. You just need to appreciate the fact that well-practiced habits that have been in place for many months or even years are typically not going to resolve in just a few days. My advice: don't wait until you're at the very end of your rope before seeking help.
Don't worry if you're not 100% clear on the steps to follow in order to raise a behaviorally healthy and happy dog. There are many wonderful resources available, including expert trainers who can quickly get you on the right track, saving you a lot of hassle and heartache. While some of the necessary training and socialization steps are super-easy to implement, raising a well-behaved pup does takes time and effort, and some of this work is time-sensitive. But the pay-off is grand! As the wise and wonderful guru in the training world, Ken Ramirez, says:
“Training is essential. It’s not a luxury. It’s just as important as vet care and nutrition.” Boom! That’s what I’m talking about! The consequences of ignoring your pup’s early education ranges from mild to severe. Some bad habits are just a little annoying, like a 25 lb. dog jumping up to greet you. Others cause more frustration, like the dog who steals your freshly prepared dinner when you turn your back for a nanosecond. And then some problems are severe enough that they impact the quality of life and safety of the dog and people around him, like the dog who dashes through doors, bites the pizza delivery guy on the way out, and then races around the neighbor terrorizing kids on bikes.
Bottom line – a little education goes a long way, and paths to this education are aplenty: positive reinforcement trainers, puppy classes, puppy books, phone consultations, online tips from qualified sources, etc. Your efforts on his behalf will yield marvelous benefits for the life of your dog. :-)
Virginia Dare is a dog trainer & behavior counselor with decades of experience. Her business offers remote consultations anywhere in the US for matchmaking services, and pre- and post-puppy arrival counseling. She also provides in-home, private lessons and behavior consultations in northern Fairfield and Westchester counties, Putnam and southern Dutchess counties. Please visit www.NorthStarCanines.com/services to learn more, or contact me at 804.784.0120
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