Puppies who are 8 to 20 weeks are learning machines!
Here are a few things every puppy should know by the time he or she is 16 weeks old:
- Calm introductions to all types of people. Focus especially on infants, toddlers, children (all ages), men with beards, people wearing hats, elderly people with walkers, people in wheelchairs, etc.
- Teach your puppy to greet people by giving her the choice to approach each person. Don’t allow people to walk up and start petting your puppy without her permission! Ask each person to offer your puppy a tasty treat.
- Your puppy can learn to sit, lie down and walk on leash without biting the leash (training to walk on a leash without pulling goes on through the first year or so).
- Teach your puppy how to be gentle with his or her mouth (How can I get my puppy to stop biting me?).
- Learning to rest quietly in a crate with yummy chew toys, such as a Kong stuffed with canned food, is important to teach your puppy.
- All puppies should learn to potty outdoors (How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days: Shirlee Kalstone: Amazon.com)
Finding a trainer to help you teach your puppy
Search the websites of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers or International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) for a trainer or behavior consultant near you, if you need help training these or any other behaviors.
For more puppy training tips, click here.