By Hilton Butler
I am often asked what age is best to begin training a dog. Many people believe a dog must be at least 6 months to 1 year before training starts, but that’s not true. All dogs can benefit from obedience training, even as early as 7 weeks; behavior training should begin as soon as the puppy enters its new home. By 6 months of age, almost all behavior issues have already shown themselves. This means that early training can be used to avoid problems before they become more difficult and frustrating.
The Right Start
Bad habits are hard to correct, so owners should never allow nipping, chewing, digging, barking, mounting or other undesirable behaviors—all of which are “normal” actions—because if left uncorrected, they can lead to big problems down the road. Dogs learn each day what behavior will or will not be allowed. The best way to correct bad behavior is to never let it happen in the first place. A few things to remember:
This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Fall 2021 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.