Your Complete Puppy Training Schedule 12 – 24 Weeks!
The next stage in your puppy’s, training and development comes from 14 to 24 weeks. You probably have been home for a few weeks. You’ve fallen into a bit of a routine, and now they’re ready to explore a little bit more, but teaching them how to interact with the world around them is all about your direction and helping them be successful.
In today’s video. I’m going to give you a few tips that you can use to work through this stage. I’m Steve, welcome back to McCann Dogs. Around 14 and 15 weeks is the time to really start exposing your puppy to new things in the world, but doing it in a manner that builds their confidence in you and the world around them.
A lot of puppies at this age can develop some fears of things that they may not have worried about before. It’s what they call a bit of a fear period. Now, in those situations, it’s all about building value and letting them get comfortable with the world around them.
We don’t want to flood them and force them into situations where they’re going to be a little over at faced, but by doing things at a distance, letting them observe the things that go by the front of your house.
It’s a great way to start to build that confidence that might start with some basic walking and spending some time teaching our dogs, how to walk on a loose leash. Don’t be surprised if your puppies at this age are still sleeping a lot after you do some training or have them out front that when you head back inside and pop them in their crate, that they do crash for a couple of hours.
You know, those little brains are working hard and they need that sleep time to grow and develop. This is also a fantastic time to start to teach your puppy how to respond to their name in the face of some very, very mild distractions.
You know, teaching us solid foundation on how to respond to their name starts right now in the more successful repetitions you get of that, the stronger their response is going to be. This is also a great time to spend some time handling your puppy.
Now, I don’t mean just giving them a little Pat, but I mean, having your hands on them, checking their ears, checking their paws, checking their tail, getting them comfortable with you, examining and doing different things throughout their life.
They are going to need to be handled by the vet or the groomer. So take some time to not only handle those body parts, but get them comfortable with you holding onto their collar and maybe tucking them into your side.
All of those things are going to really help going forward. All of the things that they’re going to experience in life 16 to 18 weeks of age is about the time your dog is going to get their second set of vaccinations.
And that means they’re free to go out in the world. But it’s important that again, we look at things from the dog’s perspective and introduce things in a little bit more controlled manner, introduce things in a manner that builds their confidence, not only for themselves, but their confidence in you remember it’s all about you and your direction and helping them be socialized in the world.
Now socialization and being social are two very different things. Being social is running out and having a party with all those dogs, but that’s not necessarily the best thing. And that’s why running to your local dog park may not be the best step at this point.
Socialization is about exposure without interaction. So letting your dog see things in the world, but not necessarily thinking they should interact with every part of it. And those interactions can be good or bad things like vacuum cleaners in the hairdryers make a distinct noise and oftentimes puppies want to, or bark or even bite those things.
So bring the hairdryer out, bring the vacuum cleaner out, just sit them on the little floor, reward your puppy for simply being around it. Maybe move it around a little bit. Without it turned on, reward your puppy from being calm.
Maybe you have a family member. Take the vacuum cleaner to the far side of the room. When you have some great treats or great toy to play with and simply turn the vacuum on and off. And as long as your puppy remains, calm, reward them for that focus.
Since we are focusing so much on training and new environments in new places, it’s important to keep in mind how we’re rewarding our dogs. Now, not every dog is food motivated, but food is a great currency for most puppies.
And when you’re using food as rewards, be sure that you are keeping your treats very small. It should be something that they can easily simply swallow down without getting too distracted. By having to chew a giant dog bone 19 to 21 weeks, our dogs are getting a really good handle on house training.
And now is the perfect time to start to train them, to hold things a little bit longer in the morning. So you can have a little bit longer sleep when you hear them wake up and start to rustle. Maybe you don’t rush to them right away.
Maybe just wait and see if they’ll settle themselves again, extending their time in the crate each morning, by five or 10 minutes over a few weeks, we’ll get us to that eight hours of sleep that we’re all looking for.
You may find your puppy has a renewed interest in chewing on a lot of things around your house. And this is where your supervision and the direction is going to help them through that. Now that increase in chewing can be for a couple of reasons.
One they’re a little bit more confident and they’re trying to see what they can get away with, but they also might be teething. And those gums might be getting a little bit sore. It’s important that you are there directly supervising them to direct them and redirect them from things that we don’t want them to chew and offering appropriate things for them to chew, to help them get through the stage.
Teaching stationary commands right now is a really valuable thing to focus on. We want to engage our dog’s brain and start to build a little bit more expectation in them. So things like teaching them to sit, but not just their butt hits the ground.
We give them a cookie and they’re allowed to run off again, teaching them to sit and maintain that position while we reward them while different distractions go by, it could be something as simple as them sitting on the front porch while the traffic goes by out front.
If I can teach them to sit and maintain position while I reward and lie down and maintain position, while I reward spending some time engaging, their brain is really going to help tire them out. Mental stimulation is just as important as that physical stimulation in your puppy’s development, teaching your puppy to respond to their name is still a great thing to focus on at this age.
But it’s important now because you’ve done some foundation work in those earlier weeks. Now you’ve tried in some new places and challenged them with new environments. And that may be as simple as the backyard or the front yard or the side yard, or maybe the neighbor’s yard next door, those little changes in an environment and still focusing on teaching them how to respond is what’s going to leave that solid foundation and have them respond each and every time.
The other really important game that you can start to do is now do some recall training, spend some time doing what we call restraint recalls, have some great treats, ready to go, hold your puppy back by the collar, get them excited.
Say, come take off and run. Not only are we teaching them how to respond to the come command and build drive, but we’re also taking off some of that physical energy that they have. It’s an excellent exercise for puppies of this age.
This is about the time people start to want to take their puppies for a walk, but it’s important to keep in mind that taking your puppy for a walk and teaching your puppy to walk nicely on a loose leash are two very different things.
Yes, we can start to go a little bit further, a field and a little bit further away from the house, but it’s still going to be all about teaching. So instead of maybe just up and down my driveway, it might be between my driveway and the neighbor’s driveway, simply building value for having them walk on a loose leash at our side.
You’ve Spent all this time teaching your puppy, how to respond to your commands and teaching them how to live in the environment around them at that 22 to 24 week age. Now’s the time where you can start to test some of those skills in some easy places, places where they have been really successful.
You know, you might call their name and see what happens when they do turn. Of course, we’re going to make a big deal out of it, but they don’t. Don’t panic. We’re going to go back and spend some time teaching.
I might even go back to an even easier environment, maybe inside my house to build on that success. Your dog may be doing a fantastic job of responding to all the commands that you’re using around the house.
So now is the perfect time to take it on the road. So gather up your things, head to that park on the other side of town, be sure you’re bringing those great treats with you. Bring that fantastic toy with you.
Bring whatever motivator is most valuable to your dog. Not every dog is food motivated, and it’s not all about the food, but it is all about you being interesting and important to your dog. So don’t be surprised when you get to that park.
Even if you’re doing some of those simple commands, like having your dog maintain a sit position that you may need to reward more frequently to keep that dog’s focus. When they do that. Then by all means, pull out a toy, have a tug and play, make all of you valuable to your dog in all those situations, 24 weeks, they’re just getting that six months stage where a lot of puppies are turning into adolescents.
And this is one of the most critical times in your training because the puppies develop great skills. But as we transition from puppy to teenager, it’s important that you maintain your criteria and keep teaching them.
Dog training is all about setting your dog up for success. And the more you keep that in your brain, the more you can adjust things to help your dog be successful with your training. 14 to 24 weeks is a super fun time for you and your puppy and a fun time in their development because you can take them out into the world and you can have them experience things.
But also along with that, have them learn how to listen and have them learn that there’s value for listening to you. And overall that you’re a lot of fun in those new places. Now, if you’re looking for a step-by-step training program supported by our professional instructors, check out our Puppy Essentials online training program, the link is in the description below.
If you want more information on how to teach your puppy to walk nice and loose leash, check out that playlist right there. And with that, I’m Steve happy training.