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Information and Dog Training Articles

Dog Training Age Profile

    This profile is designed to give the dog/puppy owner an idea of where the dog is at mentally, at a given age. And, to provide a look into the future, which comes as a surprise to many dog owners.  This age chart is an approximate. Toy breeds mature faster. Medium to large breeds are probably close to this chart. As a rule, giant breeds mature slower. Some breeds are known to mentally mature much slower, like Dalmatians.

   7 – 12 weeks. This is a baby in diapers (equating to a human baby.) They may or may not have good bladder control at this age. If the puppy is having lots of accidents check with your vet as you may have urinary tract infection. Do not opt for puppy training pads unless you want a puppy to pee indoors the rest of his life. I had one baby girl that I could not get potty trained... my vet suggested toughing it out till she had her first season. Magically after the season she had good bladder control and we had success. Of course this requires a very responsible and watchful owner as she could easily have been bred. I also had a baby boy (with 50 years of raising & training dogs you see a lot)with a lot of bladder control issues we were able to devise a fix for that as well.
When the puppy is in this age group you will be the center of their world. Many owners, who start training the puppy at this age, think they have a super star in the making. This may or may not be true. The puppy is going to go through a lot of physical and mental changes before it is a dog. And, the puppy is not a fully trained, responsible companion dog until it has been trained through to at least a year of age.

    At this baby age, and for a few weeks into the toddler age, the puppies world will be very small and you will be the center of its world. This doesn’t always last. As the puppy grows his world gets bigger, he gets braver, and you get boring. Usually. That is why we recommend starting training at this very young age, while he is focused on you. If training begins at this age; and, is done the way we recommend, the very least you will get is a puppy who enjoys training with you. Ultimately the puppy will be more attentive and you will not be as boring. Do not be lulled into thinking you have a puppy who doesn't need formal training.

  12 – 20 weeks. Puppy is teething and may not want to eat. May even get sick. It is best to suspend training on a day the puppy is not feeling well. This may go in spurts. It is best to check inside the mouth and make sure there are not baby teeth blocking the adult teeth. Sometimes a baby tooth may have to be pulled. They are usually easy to pull. So if you see one hanging try to pluck it out rather than going to the vet. Make sure the food is well moistened and even let it soak for a bit before offering it to the puppy.

   Supplying a wide variety of toys for chewing and tearing is a real good idea at this age. You may even see some blood on the toys while the teeth are coming in. If you have not started training by this time start now.

  5 to 7 months. This is still a puppy even if it outweighs you.  You can equate it to the toddler stage in human chronological age. At this age the puppy is bolder and is more likely to be getting into things and less responsive to you. Puberty is beginning. I personally do not recommend spaying or neutering until the puppy is at least ten months old. Especially for the larger breeds as they tend to mature slower than toy breeds. If you have not all ready started training, it is strongly recommend you start now.

  8 to 18 months. I’m very sorry to inform you that there is an age I call the "terrible twos." AND, this is it. The puppy is now mentally mature. (This is an average and all dogs vary even within a breed.) Please keep in mind not all dogs will be geniuses. There is nothing wrong with being a slow learner. In the long run, slow learners can be easier to live with, . This age group is a huge challenge. If you started training at the baby stage you will go through this "terrible twos" stage much easier than those that waited. It is the time when the very smart dogs start to challenge authority and previous training. The age of independence. The age, pardon my expression here, but there is not a better way of describing it. “Up Yours.” The age when you start looking for a dog trainer. Not all breeds are like this. But the breeds that are not like this, don’t need as much help as the breeds that are.    Most dogs of this mentally mature age can be equated to the mental capacities of a four year old child. Minus the talking of course.

For more information or to schedule an appointment call us at 541-935-0112. Or e-mail .

For those who cannot get to a trainer we offer training articles. These are in PDF format. For years people have asked for a book. But a book means I can't update. With my training articles they are updated periodically as I learn new and better ways of accomplishing training dogs and puppies. The articles now at 17 cover dog aggression, puppy training, techniques that are invaluable for a basis of training success and much more. Please write for an invoice (Paypal 29.95) and as soon as the payment clears you will have your information in your inbox.

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