The first four months of a dog’s life are in many ways the most important. During these months a puppy learns about the world around and it’s ability to interact with the world. Puppy training in our view is providing the pup with a safe and happy way to experience as much of the world around it as possible. This is otherwise known as socializing the pup. Early puppy experiences, good or bad, can effect the pups personality for life.
Socializing is the process of exposing your pup to people, dogs, other animals, sounds, sensations, etc. Ways to do this might include walks through the neighborhood, trips to a dog park, trips to the pet store, and playing with other puppies. It might include riding an elevator, being on leash and collar, hearing loud noises, etc. While socializing a pup, they should be at minimal risk of harm and have a caring family member nearby to protect and reassure them.
Socializing a pup will help it to become better adjusted to its environment. It helps prevent the dog being overly afraid of strangers, nervous, cross, getting car sick, etc. It will help the pup adjust to new situations more quickly and easily. It teaches them that something new isn’t something bad or scary.
Before the age of 5 months, puppies aren’t really ready for obedience training. Like a young child, they are learning a lot, but aren’t ready for the classroom (obedience training). Things a pup can and should learn before the age of 5 months include potty training, walking on a leash, and the word “No”. No is the negative word to use for any undesired action on the dog’s part. We will continue the use of the “No” command later in obedience training.