The earlier in your dogs life you start training the better. You can start training as early as 6 to 8 weeks and maybe even earlier. However, remember that dogs are intelligent and it is never too late to train your dog. Your dog needs strong but kind leadership. It is important that your dog always knows that you are the leader in this relationship.
1. This is a learning experience for your dog but is also a time of bonding between you and your pet. The time you spend training your dog should be fun for both of you.
2. The training sessions should be fairly short, between 10 and 15 minutes. It is better to have short, frequent training sessions rather than long, infrequent ones.
3. Training should be a good experience for your dog so you should not use negative reinforcement. Determine whether food or praise is the more powerful reward for your dog. If food is the main motivator, try to schedule training sessions before meal time. If praise works better, try to train at a time when your dog is craving your attention.
4. Use short one or two word commands. A good place to start would be with some basic commands sit, stay, come, and heel. Reward your dog immediately after a correct response to make sure your dog makes the connection between correct behavior and reward. Gradually increase the amount of time your dog has to obey your command, for example, in the STAY position before you give a reward.
5. Initial training should be in a quiet place free from distractions. Once your dog has progressed, you may want to move the training to an environment with more distractions.
6. Use a leash when you start the training. As your dogs responses to your commands improve, continue to increase the length of the leash between you and your dog until your dog obeys your commands without using the leash.