This week we introduce you to Oakley. He is a 4 month old pup learning polite behaviors using positive reinforcement. One of the advantages of positive reinforcement training is that you can start extremely early. Back when I utilized more traditional punishment based methods pups couldn't start until they were 6 or even 9 months old. This is because with punishment based methods there is a chance of "breaking" the dog, particularly if you start too early. With this method we can start even while the pup is nursing from mom if appropriate. This means we can start training immediately and the earlier the better. Now we can start earlier and get ahead of bad habits before they begin.
How can we talk about puppy training without talking about potty training. In this video Oakley is trained using the bell method. Bells are put on the door and whenever he goes out we have him ring the bells. Eventually the pup figures out that touching the bell means they get to go outside. Oakley is no exception and although he is let out often by his mom he has on occasion started ringing the bells when he has to go.
Opening the doors of communication early goes a long way later in life. Plus starting early generally requires fewer sessions since we aren't working against acquired memories and learned behaviors.