Complete Puppy Training Schedule By Age!
Puppies and other animals alike learn from their moms. However, when you bring your puppy home, it is your order to serve as their leader and teach them the skills they need to grow into well-rounded adult dogs!
The perfect dog…
It is the image that each of us who own puppies had pictured. A puppy is lazily strolling behind you or gently lying at your feet in an outdoor café. However, you must take a few steps to ensure your dog is properly trained before you can get there.
Before becoming the perfect puppy, it will go through various growing pains, like nipping, chewing, accidents, barking, and more. Your puppy is developing and changing quickly. After a few weeks at home, your puppy ought to be familiar with the basics of a daily schedule and working on obedience training and learning simple commands.
How, then, do you start the first training topic for your pup? No matter what age you bring your new puppy home, you may use our puppy training schedule as a guide to help your puppy grow, develop, and learn the manners they need at home and in the world to help shape them into a good pup you anticipated!
1. Training while consuming food!
The food that your puppy consumes is one of the best teaching tools you can use! Making your puppy work for its food during the formative puppyhood months is a super-simple strategy to capture and hold their attention, rewards them for it, and foster the development of a positive association with turning to you for direction.
We use the lunch hour at The Puppy Academy, where students are required to bring their sandwiches for training sessions. It also serves as the foundation for our online training academy. You’ll hear us recommending our pup parents to always have a reward bag with them when their new pup is at home in the first few weeks on both of our shows somewhat regularly. (Don’t worry, you can wean them off as they age.) Getting at your dog’s food is a massive aid in getting them to come to you, focusing on you to develop a relationship based on guidance, and rewarding them for good behaviours to get them to repeat them.
2. Be persistent and patient!
It’s easy to become demoralized while training a puppy. Due to their youth and ongoing learning about the world, puppies will make blunders. Because communication takes time, don’t expect your puppy to understand what you’re saying immediately.
To help your puppy get back on track more quickly, maintain them regularly. Create a daily puppy schedule that includes potty breaks, feeding and playtimes, puppy training sessions, and nap times. Your puppy will benefit from this since it will provide them structure, encourage them to feel safe and comfortable, teach them about home routines, and reward good behaviour.
3. Practice, practice, practice!
When training a puppy, the proverb “practice makes perfect” is 100% true! You should schedule a few brief training sessions to teach and let them practice using their commands each day. For younger puppies, you might only be able to hold their attention for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, and for older puppies, 10 to 15 minutes. It’s a great time to do this while your puppy eats because you can make them work for their breakfast, lunch, or dinner! If you keep these training sessions short, fun, and positive, your pup will enjoy them more. Once your puppy has received all the necessary vaccines, start performing their training routines in different locations! This will assist your puppy in remembering their commands and encourage the same good behaviour wherever you bring them.
Now that we’ve covered these three crucial topics, it’s time to develop your puppy’s training schedule. As your puppy ages, you can use the basic puppy training schedule outlined below, which starts at two months old (8 weeks). You might need to go back and fill in some gaps if your puppy is older and hasn’t learned everything outlined here. It’s essential to keep in mind that every pup learns at a different pace. As a result, some puppies may take longer to complete particular levels.
In contrast, others can move on to more advanced training sooner. If your dog isn’t quite ready to move on to the next item, don’t push them. Instead, go at their pace.
8–10 weeks old
At this age, many new puppy owners bring their puppy home. At this stage of their growth, your dog should be learning the fundamentals, such as their name, appropriate behaviour at home, the beginnings of some commands, and some early socialization.
- Acclimate your puppy to a schedule that includes feeding and water, play and training, potty breaks, and naptimes.
- s soon as your puppy gets home, you should start potty training them! The easiest way to begin potty training your dog is to use a potty schedule to teach him where to relieve himself and how to hold it! Planning your potty training schedule, as a general rule, divide your puppy’s age in months in half to get an estimate of how long they can go between potty breaks.
- Crate training is one of the most effective methods for training puppies and parents! We find a significant acceleration of the housebreaking process, a decrease in separation anxiety and the maturation of an independent puppy. Additionally, have your puppy wait calmly inside the crate before poking out when the door opens to start the process of crate threshold training. As kids mature, this will help set expectations for various door thresholds, teach them to impulse control, and introduce boundaries.
- Introduce the basic obedience commands. Sit and continue beyond this point. You’ll probably use these two commands daily for the rest of your dog’s life, making them among the most useful in your toolkit. We recommend you introduce these commands during mealtime. Move some of your puppy’s food in your hand at first, letting them smell it. Then, start away while calling to them and holding out your hand to tempt them to come. When they come to you, reward them with food and a “Good!” To teach them to sit, extend your hand with their food over their nose and past the top of their head while saying, “Sit.” When their butt touches the ground, repeat the word “Good!” and give them the food once more. Say “Come” while your puppy is tagging with you to the water and food bowls. The simple exercise of “Come” and “Sit” utilizing the food lure is one of our favourite routines and an excellent relationship-building activity to practice every day.
- Begin by socializing with your family and close friends first. Throughout life, your dog will encounter various people; if you accustom them early on, they will develop pleasant associations with those interactions.
- Knowing your dog’s name is essential because you’ll use it for the rest of your life. Every time you interact with your dog during the day, call their name to draw their attention to you. We love using food to do this! When they come close to you or give you a quick glimpse, reward them with food and joy! To encourage eye contact, raise some of their food to your eyes, and bring them a reward when they make it. Want to teach your puppy names in a fun way? Play the naming contest!
- Start using a chew toy to stop mouthing and chewing urges as soon as they appear! To explore its surroundings, your puppy will use their lips and nose. Make sure they can differentiate between their chew toys and your hands, feet, and shoes.
Your dog’s obedience training, socialization abilities, and self-control will start developing.
- Continue using food as a reward while introducing your dog to more basic obedience commands like Place, Down, and Heel inside the home.
- Introduce the leash and harness to your puppy at 8–10 weeks if you haven’t already. These two items will be the ones your dog uses the most when travelling with you. Your puppy’s acclimatization to their harness and leash will be aided by letting them roam the house while you keep an eye on them.
- After vaccinations, continue socialization by introducing new people and letting your puppy interact with friendly dogs. A secure way to do this is to place your pup in a playpen next to the other pup so they may observe and interact with the barrier. Start exposing them to sounds they will frequently hear, such as traffic, construction, garbage trucks, etc., by playing recordings you find on YouTube videos.
- While practising impulse control, make your puppy wait for their food and water bowls. Ask them to sit a seat before putting their bowls down. Tell them to “Break” or “Okay” to get up from their hearts after they have calmed down and put their bowls down.
- Start training your puppy to sit patiently at doorways, open doors, crosswalks, and other locations. As a result, your walks will be more tranquil. Your puppy won’t lunge and pull whenever they come across an open doorway leading to another area, which they see as a brand-new adventure to investigate.
Age of 3–4 Months
With your puppy’s commands, you can now work increasingly complex training routines as they start to increase.
- Introduce the commands Stay and Leave It to your puppy!
- Utilize command combinations and start working within. Do work to practice your puppy to hold commands for longer periods, like a long sit or stay, and to link numerous commands together! A fun sequence to try is Place > Come > Stay > Down > Sit. Work out several combinations to keep your puppy interested.
- To ease them, Learn to deal with some of the external distractions and practice healing on your driveway or the sidewalk in front of your house. You could need a more expensive treatment if their usual food isn’t helping them focus better.
- As soon as your puppy has had all of their vaccines, start socializing them with other young puppies! Remember that the quality of encounters, not the quantity, is what matters most! Make sure the people you choose match the temperament of your dog. You shouldn’t force your dog to interact with dogs or people they don’t want to, and you shouldn’t let your dog “work it out” with them. Watch your dogs play as they learn, and step in if required.
- If you haven’t already, begin regular fetch and tug play sessions. By doing this, your dog will improve to obey the commands better, “Drop-it,” “Come,” and “Stay.”
4-6 Months of Age
In addition to continuing to socialize, your puppy should start practising their commands outside your house and in public places.
- Explore your home’s front or backyard to help them practice their commands. Bring your puppy somewhere new, like a park, to practice management and specific command combinations. As your dog gets better, start introducing the 3Ds: distance, duration, and distractions into command work!
- Extend the block of your puppy’s walks by going around the entire league. Teach your puppy to walk on a leash and to heel.
- Start weaning your puppy off of food rewards at this level of training by having them obey a few commands before they get one or by rewarding good behaviour with praise or affection in its place!
Six months to 1 year of age
Your puppy’s basic commands should be well-understood, and socialization, crate training, and potty training should all be well-established foundations. Moving forward, you and your puppy will work to reinforce what they have learned.
- Continue to reinforce every command your puppy has mastered, and start increasing the 3Ds! Increase the distance between you and your dog as you work on your pup’s orders, ask them to hold commands for extended periods, and add additional distractions for them to deal with. We advise using a long line for safe outdoor practice and don’t forget to include Recall to train your dog to come to you from a greater distance. To test and work with your pup to improve their skills, bring them to more congested areas with various distractions.
- Maintain order at home! Due to its adolescent stage, your puppy could misbehave if left alone. It’s common for puppies to start gnawing, nipping, having accidents, or indulging in other behaviours if the training and structure at home deteriorate. It’s not uncommon for your dog’s activity to momentarily regress during this time. Maintain your schedule and daily training sessions to help your pup overcome this obstacle more rapidly.
In general, socialization should advance as the dog meets new people, puppies, experiences, sounds, etc., every week and every month. It would help if you gradually started lengthening the time between potty breaks as your puppy ages and develops the ability to hold it longer. For the first year of their life, your puppy will require basic obedience training, reinforcement of good manners in the home and training, and maintenance of the structure. You may ensure that your puppy will carry over their training and values by consistently adhering to these instructions for the rest of their life. You may work to get your puppy up to speed so they are on track to be well-behaved by the time they are one year old, even if they start later in life.