At what age does dog training start?

Dog training begins at a very young age when the four-legged friends are still puppies. However, there is a right time for everything a dog has to learn in its life. These cute Labrador puppies also need dog training - Image: Shutterstock / Reddogs

For the basic commands of dog training, a small puppy is not yet of the right age. This only comes later when the young four-legged friend has learned who his master and mistress are, where he can do his business and where his sleeping place is.

Early dog ‚Äč‚Äčtraining for small puppies

A reputable dog breeder takes care of a suitable dog training for the very small puppies. The mother of the tiny ones is there for her, but even baby dogs must learn that they can trust people, children and other pets. At this age, they should also become familiar with everyday noises such as vacuum cleaners, clattering cookware, falling objects and get used to driving, their transport crate and being carried.

If the four-legged family comes to your home, you have to convey to him who his new confidants are. The dog must be able to rely on you, so be consistent, fair and loving in puppy training. With hand and body signs as well as vocal modulation, you can teach your puppy to take care of you and listen to you at a young age. Show the newcomer where to sleep, where his food bowl is and set up a corner for him to relieve himself. You can also teach the little newcomer housekeeping.

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The right age for basic commands

Before the seventh month of life, the puppy has to learn too many other basic rules, orientate himself in his new home with his new caregivers and is not yet able to concentrate so well. Dogs are only susceptible to basic commands such as "sit", "place", "stay" and "by foot" when they are around six to seven months old. Praise the dog when it has done something right and use positive reinforcement in this way. Take time every day to train dogs, no matter what age your animal friend is. Play with him, go for a walk and make clear announcements.

The latter applies particularly to young dogs that are in puberty, i.e. from about the eighth month of life. Like human teenagers, they test their limits, see how far they can go, and then need a particularly consistent upbringing. However, clarity and consistency are not synonymous with toughness. Instead of harsh words and punishments, patience and security are required. Divide the teaching lessons into individual, concrete training steps and practice only briefly, but several times a day, each "lesson" until your four-legged friend has mastered them. Only then will the curriculum continue.

If you want to do dog sport with your four-legged friend, which is physically demanding - for example agility or pull dog sport - wait until it is fully grown. Otherwise, the unusual movement can go to the joints when the four-legged friend is still growing.

Dog training in old age

Even adult and older dogs can still learn, even if it may take a little longer if undesirable behavior has already grinded in beforehand. You can even teach dog seniors tricks - appropriate for their age, of course. In old age they are usually not as nimble and agile physically as in young years, but they are happy when they can exert their head or use their excellent nose, for example during nose work and search games.