Running beagle puppy at the walkWhen you bring home a new puppy, you want to do everything exactly right. There is nothing quite like looking into those sweet, trusting eyes knowing that they are depending on you to do what is best.

While selecting the right food, picking the perfect collar, and finding just the right doggy bed may be important, a good puppy training program may be the most important thing you do for your new dog. Keep reading to learn how a formal puppy training program can help your pet thrive.

Puppy Training and Socialization

Young puppies are new to this world and different types of sights, sounds, people, smells, and animals can be very exciting, or even scary. Socialization is an important part of teaching your new dog to be part of society.

It is important to begin getting your puppy used to new and different scenarios so that they are less likely to be fearful or even aggressive when faced with those situations later in life.

Puppies are most receptive to socialization between 3 and 12 weeks of age. After 18 weeks it becomes much more difficult to teach a dog about new things.

One of the best ways to socialize a puppy is to involve him or her in a formal training program designed to expose him or her to different stimuli in a controlled setting. Some things that puppies should be socialized to during their socialization period include:

  • Different people
  • Other animals
  • Children and babies
  • Different sounds
  • Wheels
  • The vet hospital
  • While you can do much of this at home, training classes are a great way to accomplish exposure because your pet can experience many situations in a favorable way. For instance, if introducing your puppy to your niece ends in her throwing a toy at him, he may develop a fear of children. In a training class we can somewhat control the experience.

    When choosing a training class, be sure that you pick one you trust to screen for sick puppies. Because a puppy’s socialization period occurs before vaccines are complete, it is important that any training class you attend be vigilant about health concerns. Billings Animal Family Hospital coordinates puppy socialization classes for new pet owners.

    Puppy Manners

    All puppies need to learn some basic manners. Training classes are a great, structured way to accomplish this. Training puppies can be a lot of work, and sometimes owners may need some help to troubleshoot situations no matter their expertise. Some basic things puppies and their owners learn during training classes include:

  • How to deal with biting/mouthing
  • Housebreaking hints
  • Basic sit and down commands
  • How to walk on a leash
  • Allowing basic handling
  • Drop it/give commands
  • The number one reason that pets are surrendered is behavioral causes. Laying the groundwork for your puppy to be a well-behaved citizen can lead to a more enjoyable relationship between you and your pet. Training can also stimulate your pup’s little brain, resulting in less boredom and destructive behavior.

    Training your puppy is vital for ensuring success and developing a good relationship for years to come. Please let us know if you would like more information about our training and socialization classes or if you have any questions about your new furry family member.