It's never too early or too late to train your dog

When can start training?

Now!  Whether your dog is 7 weeks old or 10 years old, it is never too early or too late to train your dog. 

Five weeks to six months

Although you typically will not get your dog until they are seven or eight weeks old from the breeder, if you can, you should start challenging your dog at about five weeks of age with simple tasks and rewards.  This is the most special special time for you and your dog and the most important. This the developmental, bonding and drive period.  This period is where you teach the dog how to learn, how to have fun, and to love spending time with you working and playing.  Nearly all training will be postive, happy and a lot of fun for the dog.   This period is where we ingrain the desire and love for fetching.

Don't forget, this is the most important time for dog/dog socialization of which is more important than any training you do or don't do during this time period.

Six months to one year

This is the foundation learning period.   During this time period your dog is eager and easy to train.  They are like a sponge and here is where you can teach many concepts very quickly.  During this time period your dog should be given many difficult challenges where there is minimal consequence for failing.  It is all about building confience and drive, not absolute control.   By one year of age, your dog should understand all of the foundation training.

One year to four years

The power training period.  This is where the advanced training begins and when the dogs previous foundation training is polished.  During this period the dog will fully understand each command and understands that they must obey no matter the distraction.  In addition to the continued postive reinforement that has been a part of their daily training, negative reinforement now becomes part of their training as well.

Four years to 8 years

At this age you dog has established both good and bad habits and and now has a complete understanding of the world around them.  Nearly anything you are teaching at this age is going to take more time and patience than when the dog was younger.  From introduction to polished, expect each new task to take 2 months or longer.

Eight years and up

Your dog is now in his senior years and although they may be older, they can certiantly learn anything you want to teach them.  The main difference is it will take more time to train then before.  You must really make the training fun at this age. From introduction to polished, expect each new task to take 3 months or longer.  Remember old dogs can learn new tricks, you just need to give the the motivation and desire to comply and to change their old habits.