The age of our Dog's education


Have a puppy At home it can be very exciting, because at that stage dogs are usually very playful and fun, in addition to the tenderness that produces their appearance. However, having a puppy also implies taking on the responsibility that is required to train him and teach him good manners, so that he does not become a small destructive monster or an animal that the family is unable to control, becoming a problem.

That's why in ExpertAnimal we want to talk to you about when can you start educating your puppy. The right time to do it is very important, as it will make the job easier for you and the dog.

A rude dog?

Broken shoes, shattered cushions, a dirty carpet and barking or street fights with the pets of the neighbors is what awaits you if you do not dedicate yourself to properly educate your dog Since this is puppy. As with people, there is a certain age at which it will be easier to teach your dog the main orders and basic habits that he must fulfill to lead a life in harmony with the human family and the other possible pets with which he stumble.

A puppy that has not received education can become a problem and generate tension between the different members that are part of the household, but we know that this can be contrasted and corrected with a necessary guide.

The time to start educating your puppy

Despite the process of domestication that has gone through, the dog is still an animal accustomed to follow the pack, so from a young age he can be polite about the rules that govern the pack, even when it is a family. To wait for the puppy to be more than six months old or close to the year to start teaching him the rules of the house, as many people do, is wasting precious time in which he can perfectly receive instructions on what places in the house are prohibited or where to do your needs, for example.

From 7 weeks, when the dog has already become a little independent of the mother (from that age onwards it is recommended to give them for adoption, for example), your puppy is ready to learn the first rules of coexistence and the orders he needs to become One more member of the family group.

Learning process

The dog learns throughout its life. Even when you think you have finished the process of education and training, if you neglect it you may acquire other habits that are unwanted, or, in fact, that it adapts easily to new situations that arise at home even if you have reached the adulthood. Despite this, educating the puppy from an early age is necessary, not only to avoid problems with the family or end up having an undisciplined dog, but to start training at a young age facilitates the retention of information and makes it more receptive, since adult, to new situations.

Of course, as with humans, each stage has a different level of difficulty, so you must adapt what you want your puppy to learn at its age. In this way, we can divide the puppy's training into:

  • From 7 weeks
  • From 3 months
  • 6 months and up

From 7 weeks

Your puppy has just arrived home, or it is time to help the mother in the education of the puppy or the litter. At this age you can teach your puppy a few things, but they are very important:

6 months and up

Between 6 and 8 months, your puppy will be able to capture more complex orders. Commands like kicking, lying down and other tricks that you want me to learn will be easily assimilated at this stage. It is also a good time to start interact with other dogs. To do this, do not miss our article in which we tell you how to socialize your puppy.

From this point on, your dog will already know the basic rules and will have acquired the necessary habits to live with his human family.

Useful tips to educate your puppy

In addition to all of the above in terms of when you can start educating your puppy, you should take into account the following tips when starting training:

  • Be patient. If you alter when the dog fails to fulfill the order as you wish, do not press or force it: it is likely that the method you are using is not the most appropriate. Leave it for that day, analyze what is wrong and resume the next day.
  • Be loving. The signs of affection, pampering and congratulations when the dog meets what you expect from him are the positive reinforcement he needs to learn faster.
  • Be consistent. From the first day it is crucial to establish what the rules should be that the dog must meet, and these should be followed by the whole family. Mixing the signals will only confuse the animal.
  • Be understanding. Long training sessions will only exhaust you and the dog. You prefer to reinforce the order and behavior you want to follow for five minutes, a maximum of 10 times a day, and the results will be more remarkable.

With these tips we are sure that your puppy will be an educated dog in no time. If you have an adult dog who has never received training, do not despair: it is also possible to educate him, whether you do it yourself at home or attend training courses and workshops with him.

If you want to read more articles similar to When can I start educating a puppy?, we recommend that you enter our section of Basic Education.

What is the ideal age for our dog's education?

There are many doubts that dog owners have regarding training and especially at what age we should start with the education of our dog.

One of the first loopholes that professionals should clarify is the correct age to educate their animals. Or better yet, the different ages at which the different stages of education of a dog must be faced, from being a puppy until it is already an adult.

Of course it is clear that education is an investment for the future, a small effort in the first months of living with a new pet will later become long years of pleasant friendship, full of satisfactions.

Many masters believe that the dog is trained or educated after one year because “before they are unable to learn because they only think about playing”, Others think after the year they no longer learn “because they already have the personality formed” while a third group think "it is not necessary to educate them because a year they calm down alone." If we look at nature we will see that none of them is right:

During the first days of life the puppies spend ninety percent of the time sleeping and the remaining ten percent, sucking. Around thirteen days (there are variations depending on the race) they open their eyes, while the ears begin to be active after twenty days (the startle reaction to a noise is observed).

Around three or four weeks they enter a phase of socialization: their main concern is the game, and through it they reach an immature pack organization, around six weeks of life, with some unfortunate members of the litter suffering attacks from their stronger brothers.

The mother begins to leave them alone gradually to hunt and thus be able to start offering them solid foods predigested through regurgitation. From five weeks he can growl and even make the gesture of biting the puppies in a dissuasive way if they approach with the intention of breastfeeding. During the next two weeks the little ones can persuade her to feed them occasionally, but the supply is coming to an end. By seven weeks of age the dogs usually have a shortage of milk, so puppies should be weaned.

A fundamental process takes place between the third and seventh week of life: Imprinting. It is the most receptive period in the dog's life, since it is able to interpret in an acceptable way the stimuli that its senses provide but it still has no capacity to feel fear: It can know the environment and is not afraid to do so.

Learn to accept the proximity of other dogs and people without showing any fear or aggressiveness. It is the ideal time to learn to relate to the environment in which you will live. Therefore, once the puppy is weaned, we approach a good time for the little ones to adapt to a new home, although the differences according to the races will make us wait at ten weeks.

The socialization phase is completed by three months. The puppy already has a complete social development and if he were free he would begin to explore seriously, beginning to take part in hunting activities. It is the youth phase.

After six months the males begin to lift the leg to urinate and become sexually mature. Full sexual maturity takes place between six and nine months in both males and females, with variations from one race to another. Some individuals are later and do not become fully adults (always from the physiological point of view) until ten or twelve months.

In my opinion, the optimal age of adoption of a puppy is between six and ten weeks, doing it before is as harmful as doing it much later. Relationships between littermates and above all with their parents will have provided the puppy with the basic pillars for emotional stability (premature separation is one of the main sources of insecurity and anxiety), and we are in time to accustom him to a new environment. often stressful before the socialization stage has closed. Inappropriate socializations increase the risk of behavioral problems, including fear and / or attacks on other people or animals. It is possible to socialize them after this period, but the fear itself hinders and slows the process proportionally to the time we pass (the later the more difficult it is).

Once the new tenant has arrived home, the owners must teach basic rules: Cleaning, the order of schedules (sleep, food, walks and games) that will provide security, spaces that may or may not occupy, respect for members of the family (hierarchy) and a good relationship with the world in which you will live. If something fails, the owners should go to a professional who in a talk indicates a series of guidelines not to divert the path, but it is they who must carry out the process. It is true that at this stage the puppy can learn different orders, but this teaching must be calm and patient, with very short work sessions and especially with a lot of motivation, that is, with a lot of play.

It is not convenient before six months to propose a martial training to the puppy, nor would it be good to take a ten year old child to the military, in both cases the individual is able to learn and perform a series of orders or exercises, but The pressure to which it is subjected is not proportional to its maturity, its autonomy or its responsibility. The strict training of a dog under six months would hardly be carried out correctly, since few would be the masters who would understand that a work session, regardless of the price, "only" can consist of three or four orders, insist the animal with more Exercises will produce in the future that "go around".

The exception to the aforementioned is found in sports or group work, where education is posed as a hobby or fun for the dog, motivation is the engine of learning, while the imposition would appear only occasionally.

Between six and eight months of age the dog is the ideal time to carry out training: the maturity of the individual allows him to be insisted enough to achieve good discipline, and yet the hormonal development will not have culminated yet in the characteristic rebellion of all teenagers. The interest in the game is still important, and this will allow us to combine motivation in animal obedience. On the other hand, if there is a defect in previous learning (cleaning habits, socialization defects, destructive behaviors ...), it will still be "tender" enough to be able to reshape it at will.

Until a year and a half or maybe two years it can be relatively easy to convince a dog that it is our will that he must fulfill rather than satisfy his instincts, and we have different alternative resources for it.

Beyond two years of age we face a mature individual, well armed and aware of their potential, with their own ideas on how to resolve social conflicts and with a trajectory of established habits. This forces us not to allow any margin for error, which translates into a more iron and tight work that must be carried out with sufficient firmness, security and decision to deter the animal from its bad habits.

Personally I have carried out training with many dogs of five and six years, and some of up to eight. The results have been good, to which I can say that a dog can learn and also correct at any age. But it is obvious to conclude that bad behavior is worse behavior the more time passes.