A puppy can be brought home anywhere between the age of 6 and 8 weeks old. Any earlier could be damaging to the puppy’s overall development. However, a well-trained dog requires proper training to start at an early age–ideally, starting the day he is brought into his new home. By preventing bad behaviour in the beginning, the owners can look forward to a long and happy life with their new canine companion.
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Planning for a Puppy
Part of training a 6-week-old puppy is to prepare for her arrival, which involves more than purchasing new toys or a cute little bed. Owners should research various training methods to determine which method best suits their needs. Examples of various training methods include command training or clicker training. Furthermore, the owner will also need to decide if he is going to crate-train, paper-train or housebreak their new puppy using some other method.
Training a puppy, no matter what age, requires consistency. It is not good for the owner to switch from one training method to another, which can cause confusion for the puppy or lead to behaviour issues. Furthermore, other family members and guests who enter the home need to be told what is and is not acceptable when it comes to the new puppy. Otherwise, issues can arise quickly. For example, the owner may be teaching the puppy to “stay down” but a guest may enter the home and allow the puppy to jump up because she thinks he is cute. Unfortunately, that same guest may not feel the same way about the puppy two years later, when the dog is full grown and jumping up.
Proper supplies are an important part of training a puppy. It is not good for the owner to bring home a puppy and not have anything ready. The owner should take some time to research different items that he feels will work best for his new puppy. At 6 weeks, some puppies may be getting their first set of teeth and require teething toys or chew toys. Food and water dishes, a crate or paper (or other supplies for another housebreaking method) should be available for the puppy upon arrival.
Puppies require time, attention and a lot of work. Ideally, a schedule for feeding and potty breaks should be put into place so the puppy gets time to eliminate outside. Taking the puppy out once in the morning and once at night is not acceptable. At 6 weeks, their bodies are not fully developed, so it is inevitable the puppy will eliminate in the home. The puppy should be allowed out every few hours until he can learn to properly control his bladder.
Punishment and Misbehavior
When the puppy misbehaves, know what type of punishment to use. The owner should avoid any physical punishment because this can cause the puppy to become fearful at a young age rather than remorseful for his bad behaviour, which will often continue. Furthermore, the puppy should not be rewarded for his bad behaviour, so petting, giving him treats or comforting him should not occur. Also, chasing after a puppy who has misbehaved will only encourage the bad behaviour.
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