Some people think that puppies are too young to train. The truth is that puppies are learning all the time, whether or not we are purposefully teaching them. Only without guidance, they learn the wrong things, often with disastrous results.
One study concluded that nearly 64% of all dogs obtained as puppies are disposed of within one year. Behavior problems are the main reason people surrender their dog to a shelter and the number 1 cause of death for dogs less than 3 years of age. For this reason the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends that puppies start socialization classes by 7 weeks of age whenever possible.
Many training and behavior problems are created the first week the pup is at home. Time is of the essence for owners to provide a huge heaping of high quality socialization and schooling. This is the key to creating a socially self-confident, well-behaved puppy that is strongly bonded to you. It is also the key to preventing yappy, shy, and/or aggressive behaviors from developing later in life!
Why wait until your puppy develops bad habits? During a puppy’s critical first 5 months we can teach obedience and manners quickly and easily, stop bad habits before they start, prevent serious problems like aggression, fear, and separation anxiety and instill manners that will last a lifetime.
It’s never too early to start training. Puppies as young as 8 weeks can start class, and they learn quickly. You’ll be amazed to see your puppy working obediently off leash by the third or fourth week.