When people ask us “When Should I Start Training My Dog,” I tell them “yesterday!” With a smile on my face, of course. The truth is, you and your canine companion could benefit from obedience training if you’re having difficulties with any items on this list:
- Potty Training
- Pulling on the leash
- Nipping (in a non-aggressive manner)
- Not coming when called
- Running out the door
It is harder to break a nail-biting habit of 40 years compared to 40 days.
The level of training that can be obtained is often related to the dog’s age. Your expectations need to be realistic. Young puppies are not going to be able to perform 30 minutes out of sight stays since they are much more distracted than a typical older dog.
On the other hand – much like us, a dog is never too old to learn! Any established habits will take time and consistency to overcome but it is certainly possible. It is harder to break a nail-biting habit of 40 years compared to 40 days.
Remember that your dog’s genetic makeup will weigh in on your training challenges, as well. For example, hunting dogs, especially sighthounds, are going to be much more affected by nearby motion than some other breeds.
Above all else, you need to gear your training to fit the ability of the dog. Most of our dogs are capable of wonderful feats. A good teacher finds the most effective way to draw out those abilities. Reward the result and expand on it from there. Thus a simple 2-second stay command can certainly become a 30 minute out of sight stay……..just not overnight.
For example, when Tori was training her dog, Biscotti, she never had any future problems with accidents in the house or chewing as Biscotti grew because Tori trained her early on.