What Age Should I Start Training My Puppy?

Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia

Call: 770-450-0988

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At what age should I start training my puppy, is a question I get almost every day here at our Georgia locations!

The simple answer is the moment you get the pup!

Pups just like people are learning from the moment they are born, I find the biggest issue I run into is owners expecting to much out of very young pups.

So where pups can learn expecting high level of obedience out of them is just not reasonable.

First, get the pup potty trained as soon as you can so you don’t have to clean up pee and poop for any longer than you need to, here is a link to our How to Potty Train in 2 Weeks!


  1. Exposure: The more your pup sees in those first few months the better.
  2. Socialization: The more people your pup meets the better. I know a lot of people get stuck on dog socialiation being physical interaction with other dogs but until your pup has all their shots limited interaction with other pups is recommended. This does not mean you don’t want your pup so see another dog during this time, they just don’t need to physically interact.  Dog Park Alternatives for Socialization
  3. Foundation of Commands: Treat training your pup to understand the general commands.
  4. All of these and more are gone over in our Private Puppy Consultation that can be taken after your pups 2nd set of shots (usually around 10 weeks).

Then our general obedience, to make your dog amazing for life, can start at 5 months old (20 weeks). At this age dogs are old enough to understand and retain real obedience.

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How to Potty Train Your Puppy in 2 Weeks!


While training up at my Smyrna location yesterday I was approached by an individual seeking advice about potty training. They said it took them 5-7 months to potty train their last puppy! I understand this is not the norm but potty training is a headache for many. Being I have had people tell me they returned a dog due to not being able to potty train them, it is clearly an issue that many face.

Question: What is the fastest way to potty train my dog?

Answer: Consistency, repetition, and diligence, with a healthy dose of patience! Here are our favorite, tried and true, tips for success:

-Proper crate training involves a crate that is only large enough for him/her to lay down in. Most larger crates come with a divider that can be moved as your dog grows, or you can buy progressively larger crates (if you have that kind of money). Unless they are sick or not taken out enough, dogs and puppies will generally not potty where they have to lay down (unless left in there for a exorbitant amount of time). If they have room to potty on one side of the crate and lay on the other, they will do just that. Think crating is mean, please read our other blog: 4 Reasons to Crate Train

-Take the puppy outside as consistently as your schedule allows (every 2 hours, every 3 hours, the younger the more often). This teaches them that they are going to have the opportunity to go outside on a consistent basis. Gradually increasing the interval from every 2 hours, to every 3 hours, etc will gradually increase the amount of time your pup can hold his/her bladder. Note: If you take your pup out and they do not go to the bathroom when you come back in put them directly back in the crate for 10-20 minutes and take them back out, repeat as needed.

-Even when you are home the pup should be in the crate unless you are supervising him/her 100% of the time. This means you are standing with, sitting with, or playing with him/her actively. The reason being is “when” they squat to go pee you can swoop them up and immediately carry them out to the yard to show the proper place you want them to do this activity. Note: Screaming at them is not needed during this step (it will just scare them), simply say nothing or tell them OFF once as you are picking them up to take them OUTSIDE (never crate for bad behavior). Note: You only have a little over 2 seconds to catch the pup in the act, if it is later than that hit “yourself” with a paper and move on.

-Give lots of positive reinforcement every time they potty outside in the designated area, like an excited “GOOD POTTY, GOOD POTTY!” and/or some high-value treats. Note: This is likely the biggest step I see missed. People with fenced yards don’t even go out with the young dogs, while potty training your pups need to see you are happy when they go in the grass!!

-Never punish your puppy after the fact – it is your fault for not catching them in the act! We don’t punish a very young child when he poops in his diaper, so we wouldn’t punish a very young puppy for doing something natural that he doesn’t know is wrong.

-Feedings should also be on a consistent schedule. Young puppies should be fed 2-3 times a day (depending on age and adult size), if possible. Young dogs typically poop/pee immediately after they wake up and immediately after they eat/drink. In both cases, it’s a good idea to take the puppy outside before the accident happens. As puppies age they stop going immediately after eating, you can put them back in the kennel for 15-30 minutes after they eat, then take them straight outside.

As with everything dealing with dogs the key is being repetitive and consistent.

Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia offers a 1-hour puppy consultation lesson full of advice like this to get your life with your puppy off to a great start.

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How do you fix behavioral problems?

dog behavioral problems

One of the most common questions we get at all of our Georgia locations is “How do you fix behavioral problems?”

The answer is simple, We target the issues you are having while working through our obedience program!

In our opinion, behavior cannot be modified without having complete trust and control of your dog. Behavioral modification and obedience go hand in hand. As you are working through our program, we will also be working on the specific issues you may be facing with your dog.

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What is the most important command? | Dog Trainer Atlanta

Training Recall

I had a great laugh today at Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia.

During a call I was told that they had just finished “6 months plus” of obedience classes at a “large pet store chain” where they were told to not worry about recall…

Is it just me or does anyone else find this down right silly?

I would love to hear what others feel could be a more important command?

Recall “Come” in whatever language or verbiage you choose is by a mile the most important command. It is unfortunately not taught, I don’t mean well, I mean at all, by many “trainers” if that is what they want to call themselves.

Just to be clear if you can not get your dog back to you NO other command matters.

Recall is taught and with a high degree of distraction during our first lesson!

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Training Multiple Dogs at Once | Georgia Dog Trainers

I get a lot of calls here at Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia from owners with multi-dog households. I did not look up the stats but I would have to say just as many households that have one dog have a multi-dog house.

So basically we do a lot of training for owners with multi-pups and the question always arises on what is the best way to do this?

Remember pups need separate training time just like people each learns somethings faster than others. You should not expect your pups to learn at the same pace. Some require a lot more time than others but they can all end up in the same place!

The example I give everyone is you have 2+ pups standing in front of you and you tell them to sit. One sits, so what do you do? You say sit again! When pups are not excellent at their commands this just confuses the one that did the right thing.

So while pups are going through our training we ask that each gets a half hour of reinforcement a day. Lots of clients practice more, some less (you know who you are) but adding a 2nd dog just adds more work.

I will give you the pros and cons you can decide which of the following work’s best for you.

Here are 3 ways owners do our training with multiple dogs:

1. Back to Back Hours- (Most Common) This is clearly the most convenient way to do the training expessually when you don’t live close. Now if you have or make the time for the 4 weeks this works out fine. But if you know you don’t have the time due to life please don’t choose this option.

2. Different Days or Times- This is the choice of owners that either can’t handle their pups together or the dogs can not be put in the same car. I have also had several owners that just can’t be away for 2+ hours at a time due to kids or parents they take care of. The same issues arise with this as the first option, less time you put in the less you will get out.

3. 4 Lessons with One, Then 4 Lessons with the Other- (My Recommendation) (Least Chosen:-) No matter if you have time or not your have twice as much time if you train one at a time. All your concentration in to one thing at a time! I find that pups almost always come out more advanced with this option.

I never push our 2-Week Board and Train Program but if you know your life does not permit the time to practice or you know yourself well enough to say I will slack off and not put in the work, you are wasting your time with the lessons.

For the Boarding Program we require pups be dropped off at least a week apart so will not pick both up at the same time.

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