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This is the best age to start training a dog

The different phases a dog goes through

From the moment of its birth, the dog goes through a series of developmental periods in which it will have different behavioral needs.

Just like health requirements, training needs vary according to age.

Therefore, it will not be the same what an adult dog needs, as in a puppy or a nursing home.

Behavioral training should be appropriate to the age of the dog.

When the puppy comes home

Normally dogs arrive at your home between 6 and 8 weeks of age.

In the previous period known as the transition stage , it is convenient that they have remained with their mother and siblings, thus learning the bases of communication with their conspecifics.

Once separated from its ancestors, we have to do an important job in order to avoid unwanted behaviors of fear, flight or aggressiveness in the future dog that we want it to be.

What can we expect and train with our puppy when he does not leave the house yet

  • Let him learn to pee and poop in a pad
  • Let him learn to control the force of the bite
  • That he learns to have moments of solitude or not access to us
  • That he learns to properly interact with all kinds of dogs and other animals he will have to live with, including people. This is known as socialization.
  • Learn to manage small stressors, annoyances or aversives and new situations. This is known as habituation.

What can we expect and train when the rides start

At this time the puppy has already reached 3 months. From this moment until it is about 9 months old, it is considered that it is in the juvenile period .

This period is complicated since education begins in an environment that we cannot control 100%, such as public roads.

In addition, in this period, our dog is an adolescent and is in a stage of maximum exploration, commonly known as the stage of destructive behavior .

We can begin to teach him training behaviors, but keeping in mind that his attention span is short-lived.

The main training guidelines that we will implement in this stage are:

  • Guidelines for a satisfying walk on and off the leash
  • Environmental enrichment that consists of providing him with suitable toys to satisfy his need for exploration or destruction.
  • The importance of rest and learning to do nothing: disconnect and get bored of what can cost the most to an adolescent dog full of hormones and energy.
  • Reactivity and impulsiveness: resisting the desire and generating self-control in the face of what he likes and wants the most will help him to be a balanced dog without reactivity.
  • Importance of emotions in learning: A happy brain learns better, so training your dog based on fun and trust with his guide will be the best option to consolidate learning.
  • Emotional management : Being afraid is normal, just like feeling other emotions. However, managing it properly and not losing your temper will make your dog an exemplary canine citizen.

What to expect from a young dog

When your young dog reaches his adult form, we can say that he has reached maturity, at least physically.

This will be when he is between 1 and 3 years old.

Right now the social part of your brain is still in a moment of important change and it will be when you look for your place in the family group and among the friends of the park.

Territorial aggressive behaviors may appear, which we must understand and work on patiently, in order to facilitate coexistence with other dogs in our cities.

What to expect from an adult dog

Once this period is over, from the age of 3, the adult dog shows a very stable behavior that will only be modified as a result of a change, a traumatic experience or a medical problem.

If we did the previous work in the development of our dog well, we will enjoy a balanced adult dog and a beautiful relationship.

What to expect from a senior dog

When our dog reaches geriatric age, which depending on the breed will be from 7-12 years old, we must adjust its routines to its new needs.

From adapting the house, walks, new toys and simple training to keep him agile and happy, it will be necessary and convenient.

The good news is that we will have much more experience and love for our best friend.

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