Ideally young puppies should be exposed to people of all ages, crowded places, different types of places, a variety of items, lots of different noises and the opportunity to walk and play on a wide range of floor coverings and terrains. It is important that all of these experiences are positive and fun for the puppy.
During this early time, toilet-training, learning how to walk on a leash and learning about quiet time on a mat, bed or enclosure, is also usually necessary. Other tasks might include learning not to bite, nip, chase or jump-up on people.
Exactly what is required will depend on the individual dog, the family dynamics, the lifestyle of the owner/s, and the way the puppy will be housed.
Unfortunately most dog clubs, daycares and training facilities cannot accept dogs less than 4 months of age due to their limited vaccination status at this time. There are however puppy pre-schools offered at some vet clinics and pet stores. These can be an excellent option for early socialization and training. It should always be remembered though that these puppy preschools are only as good as the knowledge and skills of the individual taking the class. Too often these classes are operated by people who love dogs but have very limited formal education in dog psychology and training. It is important for owners to analyse the quality of the training being given. If possible check the credentials of the person conducting the class. Make sure all training involves positive reinforcement only; no punishment or aversive techniques. Also make sure that progress is being made in terms of shaping the behaviours you want. Just letting the puppy play with other puppies, ignore you entirely, and get lots of food rewards is not successful training for a puppy. The training must be fun, but it also needs to be effective.
If you can't find a suitable puppy preschool in your area, or your dog is now too old to attend a puppy preschool we can help. An initial in-home visit can often be followed up with Skype, email or phone consultations to monitor progress, and assist with any questions relating to ongoing training.
The aim of pet training is to achieve the lifestyle you want with your dog. For some people this will involve teaching a dog to run alongside a bicycle, whilst other owners need a dog to undertake slow, relaxed, loose leash walking. Some homes will require a dog to happily live predominantly outside, whilst other households want a dog to comfortably live almost exclusively indoors.
The individual owners, the number and age of humans in the household, the type and layout of the house, and the owner's view of how the dog will fit into their home, dictates what behaviours the dog must learn. Every household will have different expectations of their dog/s.
Common rules include:
Some homes will be more flexible than others as to how much freedom the dog has, but regardless of how flexible and dog-oriented the household is, there will always be some needs for rules, even if only for the dog's safety.
If you would like more information about why dogs need to be able to follow human instructions click on the link below.