There are certain aspects of raising puppies that almost no owner is likely to forget. For instance, most owners will remember to potty train their puppies and teach them not to be too rough with humans to prevent dog aggression. However, many families allow obedience training to fall by the wayside, either assuming the dog will be naturally well-behaved or simply giving up in frustration. Even though obedience training can take considerable time and energy, it is important for owners to put in the effort, the Times Herald Record reports.
Linda Husson, training director at Tri-State Dog Obedience Club in Pennsylvania, told the news outlet poor obedience training, or a lack of training altogether, may be the reason so many 2-year-old dogs end up in shelters.
"Shelters are full of 2-year-olds, because that's the age when they're no longer cute puppies," she told the news outlet. "If no one bothered to train them, they're out of control."
Obedience training can also help prevent troublesome behavior problems like dog barking and separation anxiety in dogs. VCA Animal Hospitals reports many disobedience problems occur if the dog is not trained early enough. Owners should start curbing undesirable behavior as early as possible - waiting until the puppy is 6 months old to start training it may be too late to reverse any behaviors that have taken hold.
Husson told the news source that "puppies are like sponges," and that the first 16 weeks is critical in determining how well-behaved it will be later on in life. She said at 8 weeks, a puppy will sit for a treat, and at 3 months, they are ready to start obedience classes.