By the time you have your dog its behavior will have already been greatly influenced by his mother and his siblings.
Here’s an example: If his mother barked to attract some attention, her puppies will probably behave in the exact same way. The experiences that occur between three and twelve weeks of age are crucial in the development of a dog’s personality.
The best time to get a puppy is when it is about eight weeks old. By making sure that it has as much varied experience as possible during the month that follows, you will lay the groundwork for easier, more productive, and rewarding training.
Meeting New People
You need to make sure that your new puppy meets as many different people as possible while it is still young. If you can, take him to work, take him out in the car, and take him to your friend’s homes whenever possible. Let the puppy play with dogs that you know are healthy, and introduce it to children and other adults.
Playing with toys will provide the puppy with mental and physical stimulation. Find out which toys the puppy likes (they often have favorites), but you need to make sure that the toys are unlike other domestic items, such as shoes. You can use his favorite toy as a reward during training.
You can play active games with your puppy, but you need to make sure that it is you who is in control and ‘dominant’ in the puppies eyes. While you play, watch the puppy’s behavior, and if it is about to sit, issue the “Sit” command. This gives the puppy some early association with basic commands and what they mean.
Give Immediate Rewards
When the puppy obeys a command, you should offer an immediate reward, such as stroking or praise with words. Remember: You’re the dominant member of the pack, which means you should always be in control.
Early Habits Can Last A Life-Time
If you carry a puppy constantly when it is very young, it will expect similar treatment when it feels insecure as an adult. Bear this in mind.
Give Mental Stimulation
Puppies that are actively stimulated between the age of three and twelve weeks grow into adults that are good at both learning and problem solving. A puppy learns best by observing its mother’s behavior.
You must try to keep an eye on all of your puppy’s activities, to ensure that any frightening situations he may encounter are kept to a minimum. Fears learned at an early age can become lifelong phobias unless they are overcome with training.
All dogs must learn to behave properly, both with their own species and with others, especially people. This isn’t always an easy task, so the best time for them to learn is when they are still very young – less than four months old is best.
When it’s possible, make sure that the puppy meets other species such as cat’s horses when it is very young.
Here’s why: Early socialization to other species reduces the likelihood of future problems. With the advice of your vet or local dog training club, it’s a good idea to participate in supervised weekly puppy evenings. At these gatherings, puppies learn how to respond to other dogs and to strangers in a controlled way.
Dogs that lack early social experiences can sometimes become more difficult to train. Restricted contact with people when the puppy is young can cause limitations in the dog’s ability to obey commands.
Before getting a dog, find out as much as possible about its early experience. The more a puppy has been handled while young, the more likely it is to respond well to obedience training.
Puppies raised with hardly any contact with people can be very difficult to train for the average person without the help of a professional dog trainer. So remember to ask questions about the puppies experience with being handled.