The Need for Early Puppy Training
Telephone: 020 8947 8721
Why the urgency for early puppy training and behaviour management?
Puppy training needs to start within a few days of bringing your puppy home at 7 or 8 weeks. Behaviour development should to be tackled before you even bring your puppy home to ensure a behaviourally healthy dog. Your puppy has developmental deadlines which won’t wait until you can get to a dog training class for advice:
- One professional body reported that 67% of referred biting dogs experienced inadequacies during puppyhood. By five weeks puppies can be deficient in aspects of their development leading to serious problem behaviour in later life. You need to be aware of the pitfalls of puppy acquisition and how to avoid them.
Puppies already showing potential for aggression are common – avoid a bad choice with free pre-purchase advice, or you can begin remedial work with professional assistance to reduce the impact of the problem as soon as the puppy arrives - the problems won't go away by hoping the puppy will grow out of them.
- By 12 weeks puppies have formed a human-animal bond – the developing relationship needs to be proactively managed by the new puppy owner to set the foundations for future good behaviour – incorrectly managed, bad habits, loss of control, over excitement and a weak owner-animal bond are firmly established by this point.
- As early as 3 or 4 weeks a puppy can learn new behaviours with positive reinforcement. EEG measurements reveal that puppy brain waves show adult patterns by 7 to 8 weeks – you puppy is wired to learn at this stage, make the most of it by beginning training at 8 weeks!
- An unpublished survey found that 52% of owners reported that their dog had an “annoying habit” mainly barking and obedience problems. 21% of people seeking help with their dogs had problems with obedience and control. Another survey identified a higher rate of relinquishment among dogs with no obedience training. A poor start with your puppy turns into a lifelong bad habit.
- Location preferences for elimination form at 8.5 weeks. If you don’t manage your puppy’s house training correctly when it first arrives, you could be one of around 10% of owners actively seeking professional help with house soiling issues outside puppyhood when it is much harder to rectify.
- Primary early learning occurs between 3 to 13/16 weeks. Your puppy is like a sponge - absorbing and processing information. Your puppy learns more during this time than during the course of its life. Capitalise on it, start training and puppy management with professional advice as soon as you bring the puppy home.
- Fear responses begin to emerge in puppies at 5 to 7 weeks. The trauma of moving from the breeder’s known environment to a new home should be carefully managed to avoid distress to the puppy – good advice on proactive intervention during the countdown to your puppy’s arrival can make a significant difference.