We always anticipate the joy of owning a puppy, but this doesn’t always work out well, especially if it’s your first dog. We say this, simply because puppies do not have the innate ability to understand what you mean – so it’s recommended that you teach them.

There are a couple things you should do to help ease the puppy into the transition and adjustment into its new life. The first step, obviously, is training. Now, although the process can seem overwhelming, you’ll find the task less daunting over time.

Now, training should begin as soon as the puppy begins to walk. And because it’s more so brain, trust, and patience training, you should focus on the simple goals first. 

Young puppies have short attention spans but can easily learn simple instructions at 8 weeks. In this post, we’ll discuss the recommended puppy training schedule by age.  

Why Maintaining A Puppy Training Schedule Is Important

Puppies thrive when they have a routine, as it helps them to make a little more sense of this big world. It also speeds up the learning process, while also helping you to feel less stress as a new puppy parent.

8 Weeks

Knowing that the formative early weeks affect your dog’s future behavior, it’s crucially important to teach them social skills, and how to relate with humans. During this age, they should also learn good manners and how to follow simple commands. The daily schedule should include feeding time, potty breaks, training time, and nap times.

Basic Obedience Commands

The most useful commands in your arsenal are going to be `sit’, `down’, and `come’. These words are best introduced during mealtime. Make sure you have a bowl on hand, let them smell, and then take a few steps backward. Next, extend your hand to lure the puppy towards you. Use the word `come’ and reward them with a `good’. Then, guide them to a seated position before giving out the bowls.

Potty Training

The best way to establish a routine is to have a potty schedule. You should train the puppy how long to go without potty breaks and the best suitable spot. At such an early age, the dog needs to go to the toilet every few hours. With time, it can hold for longer.

Crate Training

Perhaps the most valuable training for any puppy, as it will help you speed up the housebreaking process and make your canine friend independent.

Socialization

Your dog will undoubtedly meet a number of people throughout his lifetime, so it’s important that you have him get used to such interactions by introducing family and friends. No pestering, bickering, pushiness, or jealousy.

Redirect Chewing & Mouthing Behaviors

Puppies explore the world using their nose and mouth. That said, it’s recommended that you teach them the difference between hands and feet from other chewing toys.

Name Recognition

You should give your pet a name and say it several times a day. And every time they come to you, offer them a treat.

Teach The Puppy To ‘Stay’

Your puppy should accept that you’re the leader of the family; and should stay still when brushing, clipping nails, and bathing; among many other situations. 

10-12 Weeks

At this point, you should expand the puppy’s commands and socialization control. Teach everything from the previous section, plus:

Teach The Puppy To Be Quiet

While lots of barking makes puppies feel excited, they should learn to be quiet. Don’t allow too much barking as this may disturb the neighbors. Furthermore, it should obey your command and maintain silence when left at home.

Impulse Control Practice

Train the puppy to sit down and wait for their food or water. Only place the bowl once they calm down. Be sure to use words like `okay’ or `break’ to release them from sitting.

Continue Socialization

Now that the puppy is used to the family members, you should introduce other noises, like garbage trucks, traffic, etc.

Threshold Training

Teach the puppy to wait at the open door until you permit them to go through. You can also ask your puppy to sit through crosswalks and walk through them calmly.

Bed Routine

Teach the puppy when to go to bed and stay there until you permit them to get up. This training focuses on impulse control and calmness.

3 to 4 Months Old

At this age, your puppy has a solid foundation of crate training, potty training, and socialization. Now, it can engage in more complex exercise routines.

Continue Leash Training

Train the puppy by increasing the levels of distractions. You should pick up where you left off, but this time loop the end of the leash around the wrist. Then, walk around your yard with a handful of treats and give them to your dog accordingly.

Good House Manners

While you can give your puppy more freedom, you should train him to stay off the furniture. And because he has learned to be patient, you can teach him to sit until you issue a command.

Socialization

You can take your puppy to public places like neighborhood walks, grocery stores, movie theatres, book stores, restaurants, shopping centers, etc. At 16 weeks, the dog will have memories that can last a lifetime. Make sure the experience is fun, not fear evoking.

Maintain Structure At Home

Your puppy is now at the adolescent phase, so it could develop some behaviors like nipping, potty accidents, and chewing. That’s why you should reinforce structure training to ensure it can act when left on its own.

Reinforce All The Commands

As you introduce the commands, you should maintain a long distance. Then, train the dog to hold the instructions for a couple of minutes.

How Long Should The Training Session Be?

Proper training sessions will help you maximize your time with your puppy and make the most out of it. On average, you should maintain a 15-minute session. If the session lasts for too long, there’s a good chance they will make mistakes and lose focus. Another rule is to spread the sessions throughout the day, which will help to improve the retention of information. Of course, repetition leads to progression and perfection.

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