Why Bother Teaching Obedience Early?

Puppy tugging on a red leashIf the first year of a dog’s life is the equivalent of 18 human years, could you imagine beginning a child’s education at 18 years old…or even at 9 years old? It is inconceivable.

Training a dog after it is six months or a year old is possible, but for the most part it is an effort to reclaim something that has slipped by. To train a dog when it is still a puppy is golden. It is easy. It is like working on a fresh unpainted canvas. The rewards of training a dog while it is still a puppy last the lifetime of the dog! You end up with the dog you dreamed of.

We have a much more enhanced and fulfilled relationship with our dogs when we take the time to train them in the basics. With kind, gentle, and progressive dog training we are giving our dogs the skills they must have in order for them to live with us harmoniously.

It not only enriches our lives, it enriches our dog’s life. Dogs were not born to just sit around and do nothing. Most were bred to do work of a specific nature (such as herding, tracking, or rescue). It is our responsibility to know what it is our dogs are born to do and to ensure that these pups have that outlet during their lifetime. Dogs appreciate a challenge. They love to work and to play games. They need to be stimulated. This is an important facet of a dog’s life that is sadly often overlooked. Teaching basic obedience is a vital aspect of life with your pup. It strengthens the bond, keeps the dog safe and stimulated, and is a must for all canines in rural, urban, or suburban areas.

The sooner these basic instructions are put in place, the better off your dog and you will be. Teach a dog when it is still a puppy and these basic requests will become completely conditioned into your dog’s behavior. An adult dog is able to run up to an average speed of 19 miles per hour.

joyful puppy leaping with a ball

Doing this work while your dog is a puppy, and much slower, will have its advantages.

A bit of effort up front can help reduce years of stress for you and the dog.

The American Kennel Club has a “Puppy S.T.A.R.” certification program that tests new  to ensure that they can be counted on to present good manners. This is another area of training you may enjoy accomplishing with your dog.

The most logical time to begin training any dog is when it is still a puppy. It is very easy to stay one step ahead of a small puppy. Most of them cannot outrun or outmaneuver you. It is an ideal time to condition the kind of dog you want to live with for the next ten to twenty years. All of this becomes significantly more difficult to do with an adult dog.

For example, the best time to start house training your puppy and to show him where you want him to do his business is as soon as you get home, before going into the house for the first time.