Puppies leave their mothers between eight to twelve weeks of age. Usually, if you are buying or adopting a young puppy, there’s a good chance that the puppy is three months old (12 weeks of age).
Puppies at this young age need your full-time attention and care and you should be prepared to take care of your puppy during this developmental stage.
Having a three-month old puppy is a bundle of joy, a ball of energy, your newest baby, and interactions with them gives you a burst of happiness. So, positive training techniques for your 3-month-old puppy is what you need. You can start your training ASAP as your three-month old puppy is ready to learn the basic commands. However, you should avoid early punishment entirely. The training you provide to your puppy now is going to carry on throughout their whole life.
Positive Reinforcement Training for three-month-old puppies
1. Pick a positive Marker
A positive marker is a word, sound, or phrase that you can use to praise your puppy for when he/she has done something right and good. Common markers that you can use as a complement to your puppies are good boy, good girl, yes, or even a simple click of a training clicker.
2. The Right Reward
Do you know how to reward your puppy? Well, treats or food-based rewards are the most common form of rewarding them. However, there are several ways or techniques to reward them and to keep them pup guessing. Toys, playtime, and affection are the best ways to show your puppy that you like what they are doing. Make sure that you reward your puppies often and early. Soon your little puppies will associate the reward with the behavior and start to do it naturally.
3. Praise and Treat, Don’t Beat your Puppies
Negative reinforcement at this age is not recommendable, and it will scare your baby puppies. It will most likely create an adverse reaction. Usually, your three-month-old puppy will chew things he is not supposed to and may cause some accidents in the house. Keep your spirits high, correct the situation by teaching your puppy, and give your puppy a reward when he/she does something right.
The most important positive reinforcement training you must apply is consistency. Stay consistent with your teaching, and try to make your puppy learn new commands. Your puppy can learn by doing your orders, and the repetition will help them grow to keep them out of trouble.
Tips that make 3-month-old Puppy Training Easier
What is the first word that comes up to your mind when you hear puppy training?
Challenging? Not easy? Difficult? Well, that is true. Training puppies can be a challenging task. Sometimes, we do struggle to train them. But, there are ways to make it easier.
Here are some training tips that can help you make puppy training simple.
1. Be Consistent with Rules
A 3-month-old puppy requires a lot of attention, and you need to be consistent with the rules. Set up some clear boundaries and make sure that everyone inside the house follows those rules as well. If everyone follows the rules, it takes less time for your puppy to understand what behaviors are acceptable.
2. Encourage your Puppy’s Good Behaviors
At this early age (3-month-old puppy), it is good to train them to behave. The easiest way to improve your puppy’s behavior is to encourage them with good habits. It is an easy task to let your puppy remember how to behave, yet many of us pet owners forget about it.
When it comes to training a 3-month-old pup we tend to focus on negative behaviors, often forgetting to encourage the good ones. Our puppies regularly observe and learn from us, so encouraging them to repeat the right actions is something we need to do. Let your puppy know.
3. The Environment Makes a Difference
A 3-month-old puppy can easily get distracted, so keep your environment in mind. There are way more distractions outside than in your living room. Your little puppy takes time to build up focus, so allow them to have an environment where there are no distractions and they can learn quickly.
If you find a way to keep your 3-month-old puppy motivated, then the training will become easier. To find out how to motivate your puppy, you need to test out different rewards. To train a 3-month-old puppy, it is important to keep your puppy focused on you, and the best way to do so is to motivate them by offering them rewards. Find out if your puppy is motivated to work for treats, toys, or praise. Use those rewards in training to keep your puppy’s interest.
5. Consistency in Words
Training a three-month-old puppy, you need to be consistent with words. Just like teaching your puppy to sit, remember to use the same word and gesture every single time.
6. You and Your Dog Will Have Off Days
Not all training days are going to go perfectly. Training a 3-month-old puppy must be progressive, but it doesn’t mean that you make the same amount of progress every single day. There must be days your puppy might not have any of it. So, off days from time to time are okay. So, if you are getting frustrated with the training, take a break. You can play with your puppy and have fun.
7. Learn From Your Mistakes
Training your 3-month-old puppy doesn’t mean that you have to blame your puppy if things aren’t exactly working. Take a step back and try to figure out by yourself. One of the tips that make puppy training simple is the way you learn from your previous mistakes.
Basic Commands that Your 3-month-old puppy Could Learn
A 3-month-old puppy can learn basic commands. Their age is enough for them to know how to do those commands. So, here are the basic commands you can teach your 3-month-old puppy.
1. How to Sit
So, making your puppy follow your command to sit is necessary. It is the first command you need to teach your 3-month-old puppy.
There are two different methods on how to teach your puppy what “sit” means. The first method is what we call capturing. You stand in front of your puppy holding some food or treats. Then wait for your puppy to sit, then say “yes” and give your puppy a treat. Then, you can step backward or sideways to encourage your puppy to stand. As long as your puppy sits, give them treat. After a few repetitions, you can start saying “sit” right as your puppy begins to sit.
The other method is luring. Get down in front of your puppy, holding a treat as a lure. Put the treat right in front of the puppy’s nose, then slowly lift above its head. Your puppy will probably sit as it lifts its head to nibble at the treat. Let your puppy eat the treat. Repeat one or two times with the food lure, remove the food, and use your empty hand. But, continue to reward your puppy. Once your puppy understands your hand signal to sit, you can begin to say “sit”.
2. How to Stay
A puppy that knows the “stay” command will remain sitting until you ask your puppy to get up by giving release words such as “Okay” or, “free.” Your goal here is to teach your dog how to stay.
First, you need to teach the release word. You choose from “Ok” or “free”. Then toss a treat on the floor. As your puppy stands and steps forward to get the treat, say your word. Repeat this in a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat after your puppy begins to move. This teaches the puppy that “ok” or “free” means to move your feet.
Next, when your puppy knows the release command, give your puppy a treat. Gradually increase the time you wait between treats.
Once your puppy can stay for several seconds, then you can begin adding some distance. Place your puppy in a sit and say “Stay”, take one step back, give a treat, and your release word. Continue building in steps. Also, practice both facing your puppy and walking away with your back turned.
If your puppy can stay, you can increase the distance. The more your puppy solidly learns to stay, the longer he can remain sitting.
3. How to Lay Down
A 3-month-old puppy can learn the command on how to lay down. “Down” can be taught similarly to “sit.” You can wait for your puppy to lie down, and give a treat. Then, wait for him to lie down again. When your puppy is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying “down” right before your puppy lies down.
You can also lure your puppy down from a sit or stand by holding a treat in your hand to the puppy’s nose and slowly bringing it to the floor. Give the treat when your puppy lies down. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and give the treat after your puppy lies down. When your puppy follows your hand signal, begin saying “down.”
You are going to train a 3-month-old puppy so keep the training session short and fun. You must enjoy the training sessions, so your puppy can feel the way how you feel. End each session on a positive note. Continue to work hard and have fun training your puppy.