When Should Dog Behavior Training Begin?

Purchasing a new puppy can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. New pet parents worry about when and if they should spay/neuter, what's the best time to vaccinate, and when dog behavior training should begin. While, spaying/neutering is a personal choice and vaccinations should be administered during the first 6-9 weeks of the dog's life, when to start dog behavior training depends on your puppies age and his health status.

Dog Behavior Training and Puppies

While the perfect age to begin dog behavior training is up for debate, it is believed that the earlier your dog takes obedience classes, the better. Training your dog in his earlier years will help to prevent bad behavior in his later years. Others say that you should start training your puppy immediately. This might be a good idea, but certain ages are better than others. After around 8-9 months of age, dog's are more receptive to training. Dog's are more collaborative and they are in the process of emerging from the mischievous stage.

Dog Behavior Training and Your Dog's Health

While you might be eager to get started with behavior training, it might not be a good idea to start training until your dog has had the proper vaccinations. Vaccinations that protect against distemper, advenovirus, parainflueza, and parvo are extremely important and they are usually administered during the first 6-9 weeks of the dog's life. Here's where things can get tricky. Rabies vaccinations are required by law and it is usually administered at around six months old, followed by several boosters. Some obedience training schools won't require rabies vaccinations and others will. In cases where it is not required, it is up to you to decide if you would rather wait until your dog gets his rabies shots. Because most obedience training classes are indoors, your puppy may be relatively safe. Is important to keep in mind that your dog will have to leave the facility to relieve himself.

How to Choose the Right Trainer or School

Many dog behavior training schools specialize in training puppies, but the vast majority also offer classes for dogs of all ages and levels. Basic obedience classes teach basic commands while other classes may focus on specific problems such as biting, jumping, or excessive barking. In addition, obedience training schools may also offer agility classes, and hunting. Professional one on one trainer will also offer the same menu of choices. Simply research each school and its offerings, then match it to your dog's specific needs. It is important to check to make sure that each school is accredited. If you plan to use a private trainer, make sure that the person holds a current licensed in your state.

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