Owning a puppy can be super fun, exciting, and oftentimes a little bit hard. Sometimes a new puppy owner’s biggest concern is figuring out how to properly train their new puppy.
Thankfully, over time, puppies are able to fully understand different levels of training by establishing a set routine from early on in their life; this is one of the best ways to ensure that they are fully trained by adulthood.
If you are looking for a weekly training schedule for your new puppy or simply looking for some tips and tricks to help your puppy train to the best of its ability, keep reading to learn more!
In this article, we will talk about different training tips for puppies as well as a week-to-week puppy training schedule that puppy owners have said works very well for both their puppies and themselves!
How Do I Prepare to Train my New Puppy?
Some of the most important steps when training a new puppy happens before the puppy is even with you in your house!
There are several things you need to prepare in advance for training your new puppy including getting the necessary items for your puppy (toys, treats, food, bed, collar, leash, etc.), and gaining as much knowledge as you can!
If you are reading this article before getting your new puppy, you are already on your way to completing one of the first preparation steps!
TIP: Learning how to train your puppy before actually getting one can be very helpful!
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Getting a puppy with no preparation in advance is oftentimes a mistake that many dog owners make. It is important to realize the benefits of training as well as all the different types of training before getting a puppy.
Throughout the training process, it is important to remember that all puppies are different. Don’t be worried if your pup doesn’t catch on as quickly as you would like, proper training takes time no matter what!
Let’s break down each week of a puppy’s training schedule and what the best training methods will be for your puppy at each different stage!
- Establish a routine
- Basic training commands
- Introduce crate
- Maintain a potty schedule
During week 1, new puppy owners are excited to have their new pup and are usually focused on giving them all the love and attention they deserve!
Because the puppy will still be so young at this stage, this first week is best for establishing a routine and teaching the puppy basic training commands.
Don’t be afraid to try out many different routines to see which one works best for your puppy in particular; however, it is important to stick with a set routine as quickly as possible.
During week 1, you can begin to teach your puppy simple commands like “sit,” as well as begin the first steps of establishing a potty training routine and bedtime routine.
Crate training is also an important step to include in a puppy’s first week of training, this will set the tone and be crucial for the rest of the training process to be successful.
NOTE: Starting a bedtime and potty routine early on are the two most important steps to take when owning a new puppy!
- Introduce more intense training
- Leash training – Walking on a leash
- Behavioral training
By weeks 2 and 3 of owning your new puppy, they will be able to enter a more intense and difficult training routine.
This is when you can start leash training/walking the puppy on a leash, and behavioral training such as teaching them not to jump, steps to make them calm down when they become hyper, etc.
During these two weeks, the puppy will be able to learn these skills:
- Not pulling when being walked on a leash
- Learning to sleep in their crate, they will realize that the crate is a safe space (it is important to not use the crate as a punishment.)
- Learn to lie down/calm down when asked
- House training / Try leaving out of the crate
Week 4 is the best week to begin socializing your puppy. Socialization is key in ensuring your puppy behaves well with other dogs, people, and other animals.
A lot of different dog breeds suffer from social or separation anxiety, this is why socializing your puppy early can help so much!
Once a puppy is used to social interactions, it is likely that they will never be scared to interact with others all throughout their lives.
Week 4 is also the best week to begin house training your puppy. They should slowly be getting used to their potty routine, at this point you can try leaving them out of their crate during certain situations and see how they react.
NOTE: “House training” doesn’t just include preventing your puppy from using the bathroom in the house, this can also include training them not to chew up things or destroy things in the house when they are left alone.
- Teach the puppy unique and harder tricks if you want
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
By week 5 your puppy should be retaining all of its training well. At this point, they should also be able to follow harder commands such as stopping their barking if they are told.
If you have taught your puppy commands such as “speak, “lay down,” “roll over,” etc. they should now be able to do all of these with ease!
By week 5 you should also notice that your puppy is staying consistent with its sleeping schedule. By this age, puppies usually sleep a total of 16–20 hours including day and night, plus naps!
Keep in mind that every puppy is different, your puppy may sleep more or less than others. If you are interested in learning more about puppies’ sleep schedules, check out this article: 5-Step Puppy Bedtime Routine (With Advice from Owners.)
- Training should be mostly complete
- Fully potty trained
- Fully adapted to schedules and routines
By the end of week 6, if you have kept consistent with training your puppy, it should be very well-behaved and able to follow commands.
If you have taught them unique skills or tricks, they should also be able to do these with no problems!
By week 6 your puppy should also be able to spread out its potty breaks into longer increments. Keep in mind that depending on the size and breed of your puppy, the potty training process could take longer, or shorter amounts of time.
By Keeping your puppy on a consistent training schedule they should become completely successful in all of their training and routines!
If your puppy is still not retaining the training commands as well as you expected, don’t worry! It can sometimes take puppies 7–10 weeks to fully be able to hold their attention on one thing and be able to pick up on training commands.
NOTE: A lot of formal training sessions taught by professionals don’t begin until a puppy is 7–12 weeks old.
Why is it Taking Forever to Train my Puppy?
Some new puppy owners get discouraged when it takes a long time for their puppy to be trained.
While this is frustrating, don’t lose hope too soon. As stated previously, all puppies are different.
It could take your puppy more or less time than others to be able to retain all the information that comes with training. Sometimes it takes puppies months to become fully trained.
Here are some long-term expectations for training your puppy:
- By 10–12 weeks old, a puppy should be able to calm themselves, not bite or jump, or showcase any of these reckless behaviors or aggression.
- By 16 weeks at the latest, a puppy should be fully potty trained. Usually, puppies are potty trained by 10 weeks, but 16 weeks is a realistic goal for puppies who are struggling to potty train.
- Your Puppy should be fully trained by 4–6 months, this is a great goal to try and reach, but it may take more or less time depending on your puppy in particular.
Keep in mind that the longer you wait to train your puppy, the harder it will be. Once they are older, they will be set in their ways and will not retain the training information and commands as easily as they would from the start.
TIP: It is recommended to begin training your puppy well before it reaches 6 months of age.
Tips to Incorporate into Your Puppy Training Schedule
There is not one “right way” to train a new puppy; however, there are many consistent tips and tricks that puppy owners have suggested work best.
Some of the most useful puppy training tips that can be included in a training schedule include using positive reinforcement, crate training, and training at consistent times/locations.
Positive reinforcement is one of the most highly recommended training methods for puppies according to owners.
Positive reinforcement involves rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior that your puppy shows.
By presenting the puppy with a reward when they follow commands, they are more likely to follow the command each time, making it easier for both the pup and its owner!
NOTE: One of the most useful tools for positive reinforcement training is the clicker, which is used to train the puppy that when they hear the noise, if they do the command right, they know they will receive a reward!
Positive reinforcement training has proven to be one of the most effective methods of training for puppies, using rewards for good behavior can only persuade the puppy to keep up the good work!
Crate training can also be one of the best ways to get your puppy trained quickly and efficiently. By creating a safe space for the puppy to calm down, sleep, eat, etc. they learn better behaviors.
Crate training is great for teaching your puppy that they cannot sleep in the bed with you, which oftentimes becomes an issue if the dog becomes overly attached to their owner, they will be anxious when they are separated.
TIP: It is best to start crate training your puppy between 8–10 weeks of age.
Timing and location are also key in training a new puppy well. If your puppy is super tired or worn out, it is best to wait on training for that moment. They will be unable to really focus, and will not retain any of the information.
It is important to remember that you must maintain your own schedule too. Puppy owners who work their pups’ schedules around their own have said that it works out much better!
Slowly but surely, a puppy will learn their owners’ routine just as well as their own, this is a good thing because they will adapt even more to their owner’s schedule and make everything much easier!
Keeping training sessions short is the best way to make sure that your puppy doesn’t get tired or bored too quickly with their training.
TIP: Try focusing on only a few tasks during each training session, that way your puppy won’t become overwhelmed and end up forgetting what they learned due to all of the information coming at once.
Training in the same location at the beginning of your puppy’s training is a good idea. Location and environment consistently help to rid of distractions your puppy may face if they are given a new training location each time.
However, after a while, it is always good to introduce your puppy to new training environments, this gets them used to facing different situations and real-life scenarios, helping them step out of their comfort zones.