For a puppy who has had a smooth start

  • Continue to practice and maintain the behaviors that have been established
  • Teach additional behaviors to maintain skills and build a stronger bond
  • Your puppy is now well on the way to being the dog you want it to be.
  • Remember: if you keep training your dog will get better and if you stop training your dog will get worse.

To move forward from your dog’s current age or condition

  • Follow through on all plans for the first 24 hours
  • Have space and equipment prepared
  • If has been injured or ill, do everything possible to include all of the following experiences and understand that you are likely to have a dog with issues right from the start. Remember: if your dog is over 16 weeks old it has an established world view – start right away to make new associations as needed. This may take considerable effort.
  • Limit the dog’s options by using a crate or pen or tether when not actively training
  • Teach the dog to love its crate or pen and dash inside when cued
  • Work at the dog’s pace – push forward patiently
  • Teach the dog to eat from a human hand
  • Introduce practical handling experiences: ears, feet, gentle restraint
  • Teach the dog anticipatory cues that mean they are about to be picked up or have the leash put on
  • Wait for the dog to sit (or any behavior of your choice) before giving attention
  • When you see behavior you want to see again, respond
  • When you see behavior you do not want to see again, do not respond
  • Teach the dog to play interactively with people: tug, fetch
  • Begin clicker training
  • To help a wild dog become calmer: click for anything that is lower or slower
  • To help a subdued dog offer behavior: click for tiny moves of any kind
  • Help the dog learn to expect the unexpected
  • List important behaviors for your situation and start them first
  • Teach some fun tricks to keep skills sharp and interest high
  • Introduce the dog to a wide variety of sights, sounds, smells, objects, surfaces, people, dogs, other animals, experiences, situations using positive association
  • Expose the dog to other safe, well-socialized dogs regularly without creating anxiety
  • Begin a training class if your dog is ready