Even though the old saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” in reality you can start training a dog at any age – if the dog is nine weeks, nine months, or nine years old. Even if you bring home a very young puppy, training and working on wanted behaviors starts immediately after the dog comes home with you. You would start teaching the dog to recognize her name and get her used to a set schedule of when you go outside, when she’s fed, when it’s time for walks and when it’s time for bed time. Even playtime can be training – you’re teaching her what she can and cannot play with, not to bite your hands, and rules for your games (such as, when you bite me, the game ends). Formal training, such as sit, down, and come, can be started at a very young age as well. It’s never too early to “shape” behaviors using positive rewards. A good time to enroll into a class is around 6 months old – puppy class.
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