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What age can you start training a dog basic commands?

Posted in Babysitting on 21st May 2011

What age can you start training a dog basic commands?
I have a 9 week old chihuahua puppy. I decided today was the day to strat basic commands. I know this takes time, LOTS of time, but he doesnt understand a thing.
I am using the Victoria Stillwell book for how to train him, and we were starting with ‘sit”.
He wont ever just sit. he just chews and chews my finger for the treat, and it just starts to hurt with those sharp baby teeth!
Is there another method for training the sit command someone reccomends, or am I jumping the gun on training basic commands?
thank you =]

I thought maybe it was a little early, but I haven’t ever had a puppy before, we always rescue.
he’s a very smart dog, so I thought maybe.. but I will wait a little longer. I just cant wait to have fun with tricks and such.

I am trainging him in the ways of housebreaking, what to chew and not to chew.. things like that.
I am going to puppy classes, but he can’t go untill he is fully vaccinated. The people I bought him from hadnt given a vaccine yet, so he wont be fully vaccinated for awhile still.

Best answer(s):

Answer by Luna
In my opinion, 9 weeks is a little early for basic commands. I start training our puppies at 8 weeks of age, but that training is more for jumping up, chewing and housebreaking than basic commands. I start with basic commands at the age of 4 months. Good luck!

Answer by theFoxCrit
Give it some time! you only started today. maybe wait a few more weeks and then go back and see if he starts paying a little more attention. i think right now, he just needs to be played with and cuddled =]

Answer by Michael W
lift the treat over his head as you tell him to sit so that when he follows it he either has to sit to look up or stand on his back legs when he sits reward him with a treat from the other hand.
I dont think its ever to early to start the basic stuff,keep in mind though small doses are best its like an infant if you try it for long periods of time they get bored and wont respond at all

Answer by NatzFJB
are you usuing treats to begin with? Hold is treat above him slightly so he has to look up and move it ever so slightly back, when he begins to sit or his bum hits the ground say sit and repeat this a few times.

Try to keep them short, 10 minute periods every couple of hours as he will prob lose interest quite quickly being so young.

Maybe puppy classes too?

Try and keep it fun though and end on a high so he likes doing it the next time

Answer by ChloeBABY
Nine weeks is fine to start training, but he is still young so he will probaly try to bit you but i find this way helps… get a treat and put it about 2 inc away from his face then slowly (not too slowly) lift it up and behind him then he fill follow it with his eyes and sit, straight away when hes sat give him the treat and praise him. Keep doing this and he should get the hang of it. But remember its still early days so dont worry if hes not responding right away.

Answer by myfurbabies45
some trainers suggest training at 12 weeks for sit , stay etc
at this age you can teach down, & no for nipping & unwanted chewing
keep it short adding a few more minutes each day
Good luck
hang in there its worth it

Answer by Memphis Belle ~ Roll on Spring
Nine weeks old is fine. I start basic obedience the day after the pup comes home. Very short fun training sessions. If the pup doesn’t understand what I want I try something else, always ending on a positive note.

Sit, teeth & recall are the ones I begin with.

Answer by Michael W
When teaching a dog to sit you dont stick the treat in his face so he can eat it. You hold it up with one hand so the dog can see it, with the other hand push his butt down while repeating the command.

When you push his butt down, give him a small treat and repeat until he gets it. Thats how you train a dog to do any sort of command.

Chihuahua’s are stupid rat dogs though, not even good enough to punt.

Answer by Animal Artwork
I start shaping behaviors around about the time the pups are 3 weeks old… moving them to the potty area of the pen when I see they are about to go..

By 4 weeks of age my pups all sit because they’ve figured out that I only pet sitting puppies.

You can approach training by rewarding incidents that are GOOD rather than trying to induce the dog into doing something. A treat for lying down to go to sleep.. a treat for a cute expression.. a treat for sitting.. (or a pet)….

When can my puppy learn commands?

Posted in Babysitting on 8th January 2011

When can my puppy learn commands?
I just got a 6 week old puppy and I wondered when I can start putting him in obedience classes and teaching him commands because i want him to be well-behaved since he goes everywhere with me. he is smart I think because he’s only had one accident since we got him on friday but i’ve tried doing some “sit” and “stay” training and he doesn’t really understand at all and doesn’t focus because he’s still a baby. when will he start paying attention better?

I called the closest training school but they are an hour away and they don’t let puppies start until they are 12 weeks old and have all their shots, but i wanted to start sooner and idk if I can drive that far regularly.
We didn’t buy him, we got him from a shelter. you had to apply for the puppies before they were ready to go home and then all the families who had been approved picked them up on the day they were 6 weeks old. the shelter’s vet said that was fine because they had been eating solid foods and their mom rejected them when they were 3 weeks old. he’s had his first shots and we take him everywhere with us for socialization just not to “dog” places like pet stores just to family member’s houses and stuff. we have a few dogs already and cats so he gets a lot of socialization…

Best answer(s):

Answer by walking lady RIP Tom
My puppies all start learning the day I bring them home, however, I’d never buy a puppy that’s still too young to be away from its mom and littermates like yours is.

Very young puppies learn amazing quickly. And your puppy should go to puppy classes once its 12 weeks old – puppies need the socializing and you’ll have a trainer to teach you how to train your puppy.

In the meantime, you can buy a good book – anything by Ian Dunbar is great for training puppies.

Answer by Adreanna
well the older the dog gets the harder it is to train them…Your better off if you train it asap…start with basic stuff like making it focus on u…u can put a treat up to ur eye and when it looks into ur eyes u give it the treat…i saw it on its me or the dog…i hope this helps…lolz

Answer by Morgan
Try using chicken. My puppy learned sit, stay, roll, crawl, and down when she was 7 weeks old. The sooner the better.

Answer by lizardlover150
You can start working with him now, just be patient and go slow. If he gets bored with it stop and come back to it later. Start with sit, just put your hand on his rear and make him sit, then give him a treat and tell him he’s good, then move on to harder stuff like lay, or stay. He needs to have all his shots and follow up booster shots before you can put him in an obedience class, so he won’t catch anything from the other dogs. Good luck!

Answer by Tiffany
at six weeks old, you can start training, but don’t expect him to be able to pay attention for very long. use puppy treats and start practicing the basics. just for 15 minutes a day or so. or as long as he will pay attention. just be patient. he’ll start learning more as he gets older. in just two weeks he’ll be much more developed, easier to potty train and easier to teach tricks to.

and no, no obedience classes till he has all his shots. it’s not safe for him to be around other dogs yet, as other dogs carry diseases he’s not immune to. diseases that can kill your puppy, like parvo. when he’s older you can go to a couple training classes just so you understand the basics and practice at home. the classes will teach you how to train your puppy, so you won’t need to go to a lot of them.

Answer by Beverly
Six weeks sounds too young to start training, but you could start with the Come command by holding a treat in your hand and calling your puppy by his name. When he comes to you, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat several times, but keep the training session short…like not more than 10 minutes.

After he has learned that, you could try the Sit command. Walk up to your pup until you are right in front of him, stop close enough that he has to sit to look up at you. Then say, Sit – as he sits, praise him, and give him a treat. Repeat several times as stated above. You’ll be surprised at how quickly he catches on. And if he seems slow to catch on, just be patient. Don’t punish him. Just try another time each week for about 10 minutes.

I recommend that you watch It’s Me Or the Dog, Saturday nights on the Animal Planet channel. Victoria Stillwell who is the host of the show is an animal behaviorist and never uses any punishment – only positive reinforcement to train dogs. She also has a training DVD available.


Answer by obsessedwithrice
Puppies can start learning obedience at the age of 8 weeks old and up. I brought my puppy home when he was 11 weeks old and I taught him 2 sit the second day I brought him home. I never took him to training classes (just seminars but they didn’t help). I taught him sit, down, stay, leave it, speak, and quiet.

Your puppy already learned some things from his mom and his siblings. He learned not to pee or poo in the “den”. He also learned during playtime that if his brother/sister squeals or yelps that means he bit them too hard. Try to start training him when he gets settled in ur home and teach him that u r the pack leader and he should respect u. Start teaching him the basic commands like sit, down, and stay.

Sit- Get a treat and hold it high over his head and he will probably sit. When he does, give him the treat. Add the word sit later.

Down- Do this after he knows how to sit. Make him sit and hold the treat down in between his paws. He might be confused and will try to scratch ur hands or try to bite it. He might lie down but if he doesnt, gently pull his arms down to the floor so that he is in a down position and give him the treat. Keep on doing this until he gets it and add the word down.

Stay- Make him sit. Go 1 inch away from him with the hand signal that looks like u r saying “stop” ( flat hand palm facing him) If he stays for 3 seconds praise him. Add more distance and add the word stay. U can walk farther and farther away and let him stay for about 30 seconds.

U can start leash training after he gets all his shots. Start by putting the leash on the collar or harness and let him drag it around the house. Follow him and pick up the leash and walk together. Dont let him get in front of u. Make sure he is on ur side, if he pulls stop and wait for him to back up and continue walking. Move it to ur backyard and then the park. It will be much harder because there r many distractions but remember that u r walking him and he is not leading the way.

U can do training school if u want but I think its better if u do it urself cuz u are his owner and he should listen 2 u.
Hope i helped good luck with the training!!!

Answer by Kaylee
I started all my dogs the week I got them. Let him settle in for a day or two but the younger you start your puppy the more obedient he will be. If you don’t bad manners and dominance will start. You don’t want that, never let the dog have its way. Your the boss. i know everyone thinks its okay to baby dogs but it isn’t. Humans sit on the coach, sleep in human beds, and sit at the table to eat. your dog shouldn’t. This is very serious in training. Your dog could turn aggressive towards you and others so train them right away so they know their place.