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When to Start Training Your Dog?

At A Glance

You should ideally begin training your pup as early as you can. Begin with basic training when they are about 7 to 8 weeks of age and progress to more formal training when they are about 6 months old.

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Last Updated on: Feb 05, 2022

Puppies are well-known for their short attention spans and love for lounging and playing around. It may not be the best idea to start training them the moment they’re born, as they are just beginning to understand their bodies and the world around them.

Basic training typically starts at around 7 to 8 weeks old. However, experts recommend delaying formal training until your dog turns at least 6 months old when they’re a bit more mature and have some more focus.

Perfect timing plays a big part in successful training. Read on to learn more about when to start training your dog and what you can teach your dog at every developmental stage.

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puppy at park

Your Complete Puppy Training Schedule By Age

The first thing to consider when deciding what to teach your dog is its age. Next, you must remember, every puppy (as well as every dog) is different, and they all have different personalities. Also consider your dog’s breed, temperament, trainability, and innate skills.

Smaller dog breeds may need more time to learn simple obedience commands as they are more easily distracted. They are also more likely to get frustrated if asked to respond to the same command several times in a row.

6 To 7 Weeks of Age

By 6 to 7 weeks of age, your dog is ready to start socializing. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior suggests your puppy should receive at least one set of vaccines and one round of deworming before socializing or beginning to train.

Studies show that a lack of socializing during this period may result in your dog developing serious issues as they grow up.

These issues include anxiety, aggression, and mood swings.

Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Ian Dunbar recommends that your dog meets at least 100 people by the time it is 16 weeks old.

However, some trainers and breeders may disagree with the above statement. The main argument is that puppies are more susceptible to catching diseases when exposed to other dogs early on.

Regardless, experts believe that the key to raising a healthy and well-adjusted dog is to adequately socialize them from an early age. Keep your dog’s vaccines updated and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

puppy look up

8 To 10 Weeks of Age

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to start introducing your dog to basic commands during this stage.

This can include teaching them their name and to “sit” on command.

Remember to pick a pup name that is easy to say and simple for your pup to understand.

A good rule of thumb to ensure success at this stage is to remain consistent and stick to a training schedule.

Here are some things you can teach your dog during this period:

  • Potty training
  • Crate training
  • Basic obedience commands
  • Redirect chewing and mouthing behaviors
  • Name recognition


10 To 12 Weeks of Age

During this period, you should start to expand your dog’s training by adding new commands, helping them control their impulses, and increasing their daily socialization.

The critical puppy socialization stage begins at 3 weeks and continues through 12 weeks of age. Introduce them to new people, places, situations, and other animals!

At this stage, you may introduce new basic commands such as “stay”, “down”, and “place”. You may also begin training for a variety of advanced obedience commands such as “come”, “heel”, and “stand”.

It’s also time to get them used to leashes and harnesses. Some dog owners start leash training at this stage to get their puppy used to guided walking.

Here are a few tips for leash training:

Begin Threshold Training

This type of training involves helping your dog stay calm near thresholds. This involves asking them to sit by the door before you open it and helping them walk through crossroads calmly.

Help Your Puppy Curb Their Impulses

One of the easiest ways to do this is by encouraging your dog to patiently wait for their food. For example, you could ask them to stay and wait for them to calm down and follow the command before giving them their food and water bowl.

Continue Socialization

Visit friends and family in your area and take your dog along with you. Try to expose them to different environments so that they understand the world around them better!

3 To 4 Months of Age

While it’s not quite time to formally train your dog, you can start introducing them to more complex commands.

For example, you can introduce them to “leave it” or “fetch”. You should also continue practicing “heel” with them so they *get used to the idea.

puppy with owner

4 To 6 Months of Age

Your main focus at this stage should be training your dog outside your home.

This way, you can practice their commands in public and begin formal training. You can also begin practicing obedience commands in other environments like the park or beach.

6 Months And Beyond

Congratulations! It’s now time to take your dog to formal training classes. There are many different ways to go about this, but be open-minded and remember that you can’t force your dog to comply.

You should also consider hiring a professional trainer at this stage if you have trouble sticking to your routine and being consistent.

If you’re wondering what age to send a puppy to obedience training, you can do this when they are 7 months old.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the dog training timeline.

How Do I Know When To Training My Dog?

As a general rule, dogs begin to respond to training around 7 weeks. To ensure success, we recommend you enroll your dog in basic obedience training classes by the age of 7 months.

When Should I Take My Puppy To Obedience Training?

You can take your pup to obedience training when it reaches 7 months of age.

How Long Does Obedience Training Take?

Training sessions usually take 6 to 10 weeks.

an image of a girl training a puppy

Many owners have found success by making consistent attempts at training from a young age. You’ll be able to reap the benefits of correct training early on, so it’s worth the effort. However, it’s never too late to start training your dog! They’ll continue learning throughout their lives.

We hope this article was useful. Let us know in the comments section below. And share it with your friends if you think it’ll help them out!


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The Dos and Don’ts of Dog Training


Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.