Your Complete Puppy Training Schedule By Age

Did you know that by the age of seven weeks, your puppy’s brain is fully developed? That means that by the time they’re ready to come home with you, they’re ready to start learning. In this video, I’m going to tell you about a puppy training schedule by age as well as by the progressions and what level they should be at so that you can give your puppy the best start possible. I’m Ken Steepe and welcome back to McCann Dogs knowing what you should be doing with your puppy and when is really confidence building for any puppy owners. It’s also a great way to measure your progressions and that’s really what I want you to think about. Now, before we start this video, I’m going to encourage you to grab a notebook or grab, you know, a notes app on your phone to make notes of the things that we’re going to talk about today. I’m gonna break these steps and stages down by weeks. And then we’re going to get to a point where a lot of the a weeks are similar. And we’re gonna talk specifically about the progressions that you can go through for your specific puppy. Now, most puppies come home to their new families around the eight week mark. So that’s where we’re going to start our conversation today and at eight weeks, this is a really important relationship building time. We’re not gonna Focus so much on teaching our dog specific skills. But what we are going to do is really focus on some of the natural training opportunities that you’re presented with because we’re going to start building a bond with our puppies right off the bat. And I’m going to show you a couple of really easy tricks to start doing that. Food is a valuable resource to puppies. They immediately see it as something that they want and it’s great that it’s can be something that comes through you. So at eight weeks, one of the first things I want you to start doing is taking advantage of natural training opportunities, like feeding your puppy hand, feeding your puppy, you know, you portion out whatever their breakfast or dinner or whatever meal it is, and then you can hand feed them some of that food at eight weeks. Though we can also do things like saying their name, then feeding them, saying their name, and then feeding them. This is really going to load up value on that new word that they’re hearing. Remember, they don’t know what their name is. So what we need to do is start to build value on it and we’re going to do it by doing things like that name. Then reward. Another thing I want you to take advantage of is we using the McCann Method we use yes, as a verbal marker to let the puppy know or dog as they’re growing up, know that they’ve done something absolutely right. So I want you to start building value on that. Yes, it’s going to be really helpful down the road and because you have so much opportunity to build a bond and to try to shape a puppy to love, to learn, I want you to do the same thing with that. Yes, it’ll be yes. Then reward your puppy. Yes. Then reward your puppy. Now those food exercises are going to get your puppies undivided attention, but we want to also have an opportunity to give her puppy information as they’re moving around and open space when they’re not totally focused on us and on the food. So I want you to use something like a house line. We talk about house lines in a lot of our puppy videos because it gives you so much control and it allows your puppy to make some choices as they move around the area that you’re in as you’re supervising them. So make sure you attach a house line. Your puppy. If you’re not familiar with what a house line is, it’s just a line or a leash that you’ve cut the loop, the handle off, and you clip it to your puppy’s collar so that you can keep them out of trouble and redirect them if you need to. Keep in mind your puppy has just gone through a dramatic life change. They’ve come away from their litter. They’re now in a new environment, in a new home with new people, so really set your puppy up to be successful. The best way to do that is to ensure it 100% supervision. Make sure that when your puppy is out of the Kennel or crate, that you’re there with them to give them good information. This can be, you know, a pretty exciting and interesting and sometimes scary change for your puppy, so you want to be there to make sure they’re getting 100% good information. Now, supervision in mind, I mentioned using a crate in the first day. Home is a great day to start training your puppy to love their crate. It’s so important to have a management tool because you want to make sure your puppy can’t get into trouble and that your puppy doesn’t learn the wrong things during this first week home. Your puppy is learning constantly, whether you’re there to give them information or not. So make sure you manage them a little bit by teaching them that they’re create is a great place to go. I’ve dropped the link in the description of the video for you to check out a video that will give you lots of exercises to teach your puppy to love their crate. But at the eight week mark, make sure you’re using your crate for great management and that way you’ll be giving your puppy great leadership potty training or house training, however you refer to it. We’ll also begin the first week home with your puppy, so make sure you’re really proactive about this step. You’re probably likely to have some accidents inside, but there are some ways you can minimize that by being proactive, taking them out before they go in their crate after immediately after they come out of their crate. After every meal, after every play session. If they have a nap when they wake up, you’re going to take them outside to go potty. But these are going to be really great ways to set them up to be successful. At the same time, you need to be supervising that puppy. So if you feel like you can’t keep our 100% close eye on them, put them in their crate. Another added step that you can do is put up some baby gates, puppy proofs that room. So your puppy can’t make any bad decisions along the way. So, you know, blocking off some of the areas where they might get out and get into troubles a really good idea and it allows you to set them up so that they a don’t go sneak away and pee on the carpet. I want to talk specifically about those first couple of nights home with your puppy. In their crate. So remember, this may be the first time that your puppy has ever have had to hold their bladder or bowels in the litter scenario. They may have had an area where they could just, if they felt the need, they would walk over there and go. But in this situation, your puppy is going to be in their crate. And what I want you to do to set them up to be successful as elevate that crate, try to make it line of sight. So if you can maybe put it a, an eye level beside your bed, or maybe if you’re sleeping in an area that’s nearby the puppy for the first couple of nights, make sure that you can see what’s going on. It’s likely they’re going to have to go out and you really want to acknowledge that they do need to go out. And then here that they need to go in and take them outside so that they don’t have an accident those first couple of nights in their crate. It’s also going to be a little bit soothing for them to be able to see you as they’re sleeping there at night. So really take advantage of that crate position those first couple of nights home. Now if you want to level up your eight week old puppy training just a little bit, something we’ll often do is start to lure our puppies, just guide them around, show showing them some food, having them follow, follow the food with really deliberate hand motions so that we can teach our puppy that following food is worth something that is valuable to pay attention because these foundational skills are going to be really helpful in the next coming weeks for your puppy training. Now at nine weeks old, your puppy’s second week home, you’re probably going to start to get a little bit more confidence. So supervision is even more important at this point. Using something like your house line, you’re going to see how often you’re using it to keep your puppy out of trouble, but it’s so much easier preventing problems rather than fixing them rather than to untrain your puppy to do some of these things. So really focused on supervision. Your puppy is going to be exploring more and they’re going to be more active and they’re going to have a little bit more energy. So you’re going to have an eagle eye. You’re going to keep 100% on eye on them when they have freedom in your home. Once your puppy is nine weeks, you can start to increase the challenge of some of the things, the foundational things that we were doing that week before with them. I want you to continue doing some of these natural training opportunities. Hand feeding your puppy. Absolutely you want to reinforce name, then reward name, then reward with your puppy. We really want to build tons of value on that and the likelihood is that when we first bring that puppy home, we’re probably calling their name a lot and I want you to be really self conscious about that. Really think about when you’re using your puppy’s name because if it’s not followed with some sort of reward at this point in your puppies training, it’s going to start to lose value. So take advantage of these natural feeding training opportunities with that young dog so that you can really teach them that hearing that word means something special is about to happen. You can start to include some of your family members at this point in the training with some of the simple exercises saying the puppy’s name. Then rewarding them and marking the Yes, really loading value on that word. Yes. One really important thing at this point is that you’re starting to increase the challenge and a little bit of your luring. You’re just showing your puppy that things are going to get a little bit more difficult. You’re gonna have to work a little bit harder for themselves if you are just luring your puppy back and forth at this point, maybe you can teach them to spin in a circle or how about you lure them to go through your legs. You’re just bumping up that challenge level and if you’ve spent a week teaching your puppy to follow food and that it can be rewarding. These things are easily accomplished, but what we’re really trying to do is teach our puppy that we can level things up and it’s lots of fun and we’ve already shown them that the value of it, that when they do something for you, they get rewarded. So start to increase the challenge a little bit. Another thing I want you to be doing at this point is handling your puppy’s caller a lot. You’re going to gently reach in when you reward your puppy and take their color and then reward them. You’re going to reach around maybe the other side, take their color and reward them. Your puppy is going to have their caller handled a lot over the next few weeks and you want that to be a really rewarding experience so that every time your puppy comes near, you can take their color and they know that something good is about to happen. You see, a lot of people have hand shy dogs who you, they go to reach out for their puppy and their puppy kind of away. You can entirely avoid this problem by bringing you your puppy and nice and close, taking that color. Then rewarding. Now with your preparation and a little bit of understanding from your puppy, once you get to the 10 week mark, I’m going to group puppies that are 10 to 16 weeks together because it’s much more important at this learning stage in your puppies understanding and what the progressions are rather than week by week by week. But what I’m going to do in the next part of the video is show you the exact progressions that you need to accomplish with your puppy so that you can help them to be successful and what exercises are going to be really important for them to know at 10 weeks old, we can really start to expect some reliable responses from our puppy and now that you have spent some time teaching them how to follow food, we’re going to talk about how to teach them to sit down and stand in. All of the progressions are going to be exactly the same for each exercise. I’ll maybe demonstrate the sit cause it’s very visual, but I want you to follow these same steps for your puppy as you teach them each skill. Now for our puppies that are 10 to 16 weeks old, we can start to follow a very simple formula for teaching them a new skill and it’s going to be command stimulus, reward. And I’m going to show you exactly how you’re going to do that with the sit command to teach your puppy to sit reliably. We’re going to start out with a treat in our hands, something that you’ve learned through these first couple of x weeks of exercises, something that they really like. And then we’re going to follow that formula. So we’re going to tell our puppy to sit that which is the command than lure, which is the stimulus. And then reward your puppy once they’re in that sitting position. Remember this is a brand new skill for your puppy. So a couple of mistakes that people will make is that they’ll blend the command and the stimulus so they’ll have the treat and the puppy’s nose. Then they’ll say, sit. All their puppy is thinking about at that point, at that point is the food that’s on their nose. So remember, it’s always sit, then lure, then reward. Another thing people will do is after a couple of successful repetitions, they will take the lure away or they’ll stand up tall. They’ll change the picture entirely. So for this first week when you’re teaching your cit or your stand or your down, I want you to use the command, say sit, then lure, then reward and stick to that for at least seven days. Now once you’ve put in a solid week of work on this, sit, then lure, then reward. It’s time to make things just a little bit more challenging for your puppy. Now I want you to think in baby steps here. So instead of changing something dramatically, we’re just gonna up the ante a little bit. And instead of having a treat in our hand, we’re not going to have any food, but that lure is going to look the same. Something that people often do is once they don’t have the food in their hand as they’re moving away from having to have a food lawyer on their puppies, knows their hand signal changes and they’ll s you know, say sit and change, there’ll be pointing or it’ll be like high foot. I mean there’s just a million things they can be doing, but what is challenging for the puppy is that it doesn’t look the same anymore. So that gradual step for this week’s progression, I want you to say sit with an empty handed lure that looks the same as it did last week. Lure the puppy into position. Once they’re there, yes. Then go into your bait, poach and reward. Now we’ve started, we’ve combined a couple of things there that yes, that we’ve loaded value on that marks the moment that your puppy is correct, that buys you the time to go into your Bait Pouch. It also makes it so that you don’t have to have a treat in your hand the entire time and I want you to work on that step for your sit. Stand and down for the next week. Now after two weeks of solid training and great repetition in well-timed lures, it’s time to test your puppy. So we in week three, I want you to occasionally throw in a sit with as much smaller, lower or maybe no lure at all and see what you get. A lot of your puppies, if you’re timing this well, and if you’re doing it consistently, a lot of your puppies, the moment you say sit there, a little bumps are going to hit the floor. And I want you to rejoice in that moment. I want you to Jackpot reward them. Really make it fun. Really let them know if they are offering that sort of you know, a fast response that it’s worth it. So really acknowledge your puppy success. Now, if you aren’t getting those reliable sits, I want you to take a step back. Maybe that empty-handed lure it needs to be adjusted and you need to do a few more repetitions of that. Maybe you’re in an environment that’s a little bit too busy for that puppy. There’s a little, there’s too many distractions for them. So you need to go back to a quieter environment or a location where they can be successful before you can test. We posted a really important video last week for you as a puppy trainer. I want you to watch it after this one, and it’s all about the train principle and how to get reliable skills from your dog regardless of the environment. I’ll post a link to that video in the description below. Far Too many puppy owners underestimate the value of handling exercises. There’s, there’s just so there’s so much benefit to do to doing these exercises with your puppy. Things like trust, a relationship building, allowing you to touch their feet teaching them to be calm and relaxed in certain situations. There’s just a million reasons why you’d want your puppy to be comfortable, comfortable when you’re handling them, but so many puppy owners overlook that in this next exercise kills going to show you the precise progressions to teach your puppy to be more comfortable with handling. Instill that off switch in your puppy. And believe me, whether you understand it at this point or not, you will be really grateful that you’ve practiced some of these exercises when you have a puppy who’s very comfortable being handled. Let’s head over to Kale Now what I’m going to do is start off with the very first step step to some of those handling and when I want to touch different parts of her body, the first thing that I want to make sure is that she’s in a completely relaxed position and maybe not where she’s trying to do tricks right now. So what I’m going to do is take a piece of food and I’m just going to lure her in a down position and I want her to be rotated onto one hip. So all I did there, I’ll show you that again, is I just moved her head towards her shoulder and that causes her to flip over onto one side. I’m just gonna give her all the food in my hands because once the food’s out of my hands, I’m going to allow her to be a little calmer. Now I like that there’s a blank and under here cause I can pull her around a little easier. Now what I’m going to do is brace her outside leg and I’m going to just gently push on her shoulders to get her on her side. Good girl. When she’s on her side, we’re monkey mill. I’m just going to pat her very calmly. Good girl on your side. Yes. And I actually teach and on your side command on your side. Good girl. She’s a good girl and I want her to lay here completely, calmly until I really cert. Good girl on your side. Good girl. Now for some dogs you certainly could incorporate a lot of feeding, but this particular puppy is very, very food motivated and more. The more that I use food, the more frantic behavior I get because she likes it so much. So she actually responds a lot better to just really calm praise and calm petting and touching. Good girl on your side. Good girl. Very nice. Once she’s relaxed and I can tell her, okay, good girl and let her get up from there. So that’s step one. That’s what I would start off before you do any touching of the body parts. Good girl. Yes. Now, once your dog is very comfortable laying on their side, they’re relaxed and they’re calm like I’m on your side. Good girl. The next thing I would do is start to touch different body parts. Now I have a bag of cheese hidden behind my leg. Right now it’s out of sight so it’s not super distracting and if B is able to lay here calmly as I touch her, pause, I’m going to say yes and then rewarder. Now the timing of this is very important. I need her to believe that the best part of this high love bug, the best part of this is when I actually touch her paw. It’s important that I use the word yes to pinpoint that before I get my food out. So I’m going to get her back on her side here on your side. Good girls settle. Good on your side. It’s going to take a hold of her Paul. Good on your side. Oh, you’re so good. Yes. So I’m going to say yes while I hold her paw and then I’m going to get my cheese out to reward her. Good girl could. Yes. Very nice. Good. What I wouldn’t want to do is hold the paw, let go yes. And get the food out because I want her to think the best part. So when I’m actually touching her body parts and timing is really important in dog training. They learn within one second. So it’s very important when you use your pin porter or pinpoint word, it’s at the right time. So I’m going to try the other pond now. Good girl. I might even make it a little harder. Spread her toes apart. Pull on each individual nail. That’s something that I would have to do. Oops. Settle. So she’s a little uncomfortable with that, so I’m just going to lay her down against that. I’ll go girl. Yes. She was completely calm that time. You are so smart. Good girl. Child back feet. Good girl. Oh she did? Good Baby. Yes. Good girl. So yes, while I’m touching then reward. I got one more pot to do. Good girl. I damn, I had a girl settle there. Oh, that’s good. B. Yes. Good girl. This is a really easy thing to practice, you know, between commercials or between shows while you’re watching commercials rather. It’s also good to practice this while your dog is already a little bit tired in the beginning so that they’re more likely to settle and then as they get more experienced with it, you can also practice when they’re more excited. Know, unfortunately, you can’t always choose the energy level of your dog when you take them to the vet for an appointment. They need to be able to be comfortable with this type of handling anytime of the day. And in any situation, you are ridiculous. Good girl. Now it’s not always convenient to have your dog laying on their side to do handling. There’s going to be times where you need to look in their eyes, check their ears, look in their teeth. And for that I usually prefer to prefer to have my dog sitting. So again, I’m going to get rid of the food for a second and I’m just going to have hurt my hand in her color just to brace her a little bit. And what I also like to do, and just going to swing her this way so you can see his brace, my hand underneath her chin to help keep her head still. And again, if your dog’s not very used to you holding them in this position, I would take the time to pat and praise calmly. Yes. Good girl. Yes. And you could even just certainly start off by rewarding that. Now I have done this with this puppy since the day I brought her home at eight weeks old. So she’s quite comfortable with this, but some puppies and take a little longer so you can see she just sort of settles when I hold her there, which means I can look in her eyeballs really easily. I can look in her ears really easily. Make sure there’s no you know, dirt or grime in there. Also too, this is gonna sound really strange, but one of the easiest way to say to tell whether your dog has an ear infection hypen is by smelling their ear. If they have a funky smell coming from there, they might have an ear infection. So can she be still as I get without kissing me? Yes. Get my nose near her ear to smell it. Good girl. Yes. You’re so good. And again, I take my time doing this. It’s a good idea to practice handling when you don’t actually have to check them from something. You know, I have some time to do this. I can take it slow. Now last but not least, their mouth. This is one of the hardest things. So when I start to work on being able to look inside their mouth, I start off by just simply being able to lift her teeth. Look at those pearly whites. Yes. Good girl. If she allows me to lift her lips to see her teeth, I would reward that. Then I could practice maybe trying to open her mouth for a moment. So I have my fingers brace behind her teeth. I’m just gonna open her bottom jaw there. Okay. So she wasn’t quite loving that so I can try it again. Good. Carol [inaudible]. Yes. Good. [inaudible] See we just had her do it for just a moment. What I’m looking for is acceptance. I’m looking for her to be still to be calm. If she’s fighting me and trying to pull her head out of my way. I don’t want to be yessing rewarding that. Come here. Monkey Moo. He gonna chat again. Sit Up girl. So I’m going to hold her head again. Try One more time. Yes. Good girl. Excellent. Very nice. And I can just do a little bit to the time when you’re doing handling, you can, you know, choose to do, you know, one body part and do that for a little bit. And then maybe the next day do something different depending on the comfort level of your dog. It’s always best to build on success so that your dog doesn’t get worried or stressed during this and they actually find it a pretty nice, relaxing, calm time with you. Another crucial step in your 10 to 16 week old puppy is teaching your Puppy their name. Now I know the first response you probably had when you heard that is, oh my puppy knows their name, but would your puppy know their name and respond to their name if there were another puppy around or if there were something exciting like another friend or family member or a toy in the room. At this point, your puppy is ready to learn that they need to respond reliably to their name each and every time, no matter what’s going on around them, and there’s some simple ways to set up that training for them. Let’s head over to our puppy headstart training hall where I can show you the progressions for teaching your puppy to respond to their name each and every time, no matter what’s going on in the room. When you start to teach your puppy their name, it’s really important that you pay out each and every time. So we’re going to call our puppy’s name. We’re going to say Biggie’s name and then we’re going to automatically lure him for the first several repetitions of this exercise. So I’m going to do something. I’m going to let him get naturally distracted, which doesn’t seem to be that tough with than the durable little puppy like this, but I’m going to call his name and then lure him. So we’re going to get them distracted and maybe I’ll just show them something over there. Biggie and then bring him around. Yes. Good boy. Nice job buddy. We’ll let them get distracted again. Orders for, take them out a little bit. Biggie, show him that food, bring him in. Yes. Good Job Pao. Way to go. When you reward your puppy, try to make sure you’re rewarding them almost so they’re touching your legs that we will see lots of value for coming in really close. Now we’re going to make it a little bit more challenging for Biggie bite using a little bit more motion. But when we do that, we want to use our house line and we posted a video about that not that long ago, just so that Biggie doesn’t leave me. As we’re working on this exercise I’m going to use, I need to put a leash on him or I’m going to use his house line and I’ll link that video above just so that he doesn’t, te can’t have an opportunity to be totally gratified by something that’s not me, but I want to show you how we can really build some motivation for his name by using a little bit of motion and some exciting language or some exciting voice sounds so I can let him get a little bit distracted. Biggie. Yay. Good boy. Way To go buddy and I’m going to move away from him to really reinforce the fact that him hearing his name and coming to me is lots of fun so I can let him get distracted again. Biggie. Yay. Had A boy. Very nice way to go pal and I’m gonna use that motion. I’m going to use that exciting sounding language. Biggie, yea, to really reinforce that hearing his name is lots and lots of fun. Do you want to build even more motivation into your response to name? Try having someone hold your puppy as you sneak away with an exciting toy, then call their name and release them. Biggie. Yeah. Out of, Oh my good boy buddy. 10 so big. He is really starting to know that there’s lots of value in hearing that word and I’ve made it lots of fun by moving away and using some you know, bubbly voice to really make it fun for him to respond to that name. So now we need to challenge him a little bit. We need to make it a little bit tougher. So we’re going to use something like a distraction and I’m going to recall him off that name. Now at this point, I’m not going to test him. I’m going to make sure that he can be right every single time by using that food lore while I’m using that distraction. So I’ll just set this tape down. Yeah, I’ll call him biggie. Yes. Good boy. Now I’ve also opted to use some high value food because you know, having something new like this distraction may prove to be a bit of a challenge. So when I called Biggie off of that distraction, I’m going to use something like hit some chicken or something that he really finds valuable. So an important step in using the McCann method is letting your dog make a choice and an important step in teaching your dog. Their name is the testing phase. Now I’ve reduced the amount of distraction they’ve taken that tape roll away. But this time I’m not going to automatically show biggie the food. I’m just going to call his name and see what happens. Biggie. Yes. Good boy. Very nice. Now I’m still going to use that exciting language and I’m still gonna use a little bit of, but I’m not going to automatically put the treats in front of his face. So let’s test him again. Get them over here a little bit. I’m going to stay nice and close though. Biggie. Yes. Good job buddy. And you can see how excited he is to respond to his name and how much fun he’s having. That’s really important as we’re training our puppies, that they’re loving every minute of the training. Now as we increase the challenge, it’s really important that we mark the moment that our puppy’s making a great choice. So when there’s that distraction, whether it’s a two piece of tape on the ground or maybe it’s a, you know, some motion in the environment, we marked that moment that he makes that great choice. And that’s with the yes, I use the yes to mark the moment that Biggie’s making a really good choice. What if our puppies aren’t responding right away? What if there’s some distraction that they don’t respond the first time every time to their name? Well, we’re going to help them to be right. We’re going to use something like a little touch on their side to break their focus, to get their attention back on us. And I’ll show you what I mean. So we’re going to help biggie to get used to being touched. So we’re going to do something really, really Simple like a little touch. Good boy touch. Yes. Good. So these really comfortable with that action piggy. Yes. Good boy buddy. By following these steps, you will have an excited and happy and reliable response to name No time at this age. Some puppies can make it really challenging to be working on some of these skills and working through some of these exercises because they’re using their sharp little needle teeth and they’re nipping and biting all the time. Now for the sake of brevity, I have made a playlist and it’s in the description below. If you have tried all kinds of things to try to stop your puppy from nipping while you’re training, then make sure you check out that playlist. It’s just for you. Once your has reached the 16 week stage, they’re ready for the big dog training stuff, walking on a loose leash that come command, sit and stay. If your puppy is ready for that kind of thing, make sure you click that card right there. And I want you to enjoy every minute of your puppy training journey. And if you still have any puppy training questions, make sure you leave them in the comments below. On that note, I’m [inaudible] IP training.