Maybe you’ve never trained a puppy before or maybe you have realized that you could have done better last time around. Whether you’re asking, “how long does it take to train a puppy”, how do I house train a puppy, or how do I train a puppy, we’ve got you covered in this post.
Training a puppy covers more than you may think
Training a puppy spans teaching them to go to the bathroom outside to behaving well in the house to interacting well with people to learning commands.
They can learn different steps of training in set periods of time. For instance, most puppies can be trained to go to the bathroom only outside in 4 to 6 months.
Do be aware that even puppies can have learned bad behaviors that need to be undone. If they were born in another environment, outside or in someone else’s home, you may not be starting with a clean slate and the training may take more time or be more difficult.
Training your puppy to be a happy, well-adjusted dog that gets along well with people will take their entire puppyhood, three years, and will need to be maintained throughout the rest of their lives. You can’t just teach them to do something a certain way and then expect them to always act on it no matter how you act.
You will begin with the basics of living in the home, not peeing or pooing in the house, and not destroying everything.
Designate chunks of time throughout the day to training the puppy, one in the morning, one at lunch, and one in the evening. Or at least the morning and the evening.
Before even beginning to explain steps, let’s go to two fundamental aspects, reinforcement and consistency. Without them, the steps won’t matter.
Whatever you intend to teach your puppy, you have to be dedicated to reinforcing. The puppy will need routine, and the response to good behavior that you want repeated should be very distinct from bad behaviors that you want to discourage. You don’t want your puppy confused about what you want or for your responses to seem meaningless.
Every member of the household has to uphold the training as well. Otherwise, it will look like you are the only person who minds bad behaviors or cares about the good behaviors. If you’ve started teaching the puppy something, when you are not around, your spouse, children, and roommates need to acknowledge if the puppy did what you asked or did something you are trying to discourage it from.
There is an important similarity and an important difference between reinforcement and consistency. Both reinforcement and consistency keep your training clear and important in the puppy’s mind. But consistency is what gives reinforcement its effectiveness. It is so important that it must be stated separately.