There’s a lot of hype about the benefits of puppy trainings. However, I’ve had the best experience with dogs who are given a chance to grow within their early years of training. Here are some strategies that can be used today to get the most out of your puppy.
In 2003, the American Kennel Club published a report on the impact of a puppy’s first day, and the findings were clear: the better the training, the better the behavior. These findings can be used by trainers to determine where to start their pet’s training, and help make some informed decisions as to how long they will be spending on a one-day-at-a-time process before moving on.
In 2003, the American Kennel Club published a report that studied the impact of a first-day and the effects it had on the dog’s behavior as you changed the environment (if possible) and/or training in subsequent days: A Puppy’s First Day.
On this day, he may have been given a toy for his bed, and he was not given a food treat for his bed. Or, he was given a treat, and he was given another toy as a reward. During the training day, he was allowed to explore his surroundings on the bed and the floor. Or, if he refused to move from the bed or floor , he may have been given a second bed.
After the day, he was removed from the training area, returned to his crate where the trainees left him and was put back in his crate. For the following day, he would only be able to explore the place for 20-30 minutes at a time.
For the next three training sessions he would be given treats, or he may have gotten a new toy, and a treat is given as he explores and returns to his crate. As he explores more, he gets rewarded with the new toy and a treat.
He may be given a break in this order (so each day his crate was empty):
3rd Day (if possible)
There are a few strategies that could be used to maximize the effect of this method (at the time this was written). First, each day the dog was allowed to explore more, the trainee’s efforts and the training sessions could be spent on longer duration (at least an hour) with less attention devoted to the rewards.
The first thing you would need to do is make sure that you find the correct crate and that you will allow enough time during the day to let your dog move freely in it. For example, if your puppy was allowed to move to the sofa for one hour each day, then she would need to be allowed to move to the sofa more than one hour each day. I’ve observed this technique of “crate time” to be very successful with some dogs, but not others.
The next things to do is to find the right place for the crate to go. A small, quiet corner or off of a hallway, is good. In another example, if you find your dog walking towards another dog on a crowded sidewalk, then you may want to consider putting her in a crate there; the dog on the sidewalk was likely agitated. Be creative with your strategies for crate time, it will help you to feel your dog’s response.
As I have already advised, this is a two-year process. If the dog is willing, but the handler is not, then the next step is a two-year process with the same training principles and tools.
When should I start training my puppy?
The first thing to do is to have the answer to that question in front of you. That said, I’ve seen some dogs make great progress right out of the gate. So, before you embark on the process, get started on your crate training.