Some people believe that they should wait until the pet is several months old before starting training. While every pet is different, it is never too early to teach an animal a few basic rules and continue to build its training as it gets older. There are some dog training, grooming, and boarding centers which can help new owners develop positive relationships with their dogs.
In these classes the dog learns a variety of commands, and also benefits from socialization opportunities as he will interact with other dogs. Usually when a dog is about 10-15 weeks old the owner can sign it up for classes, as by that time the dog has received all of its preliminary vaccinations.
Usually puppy classes are made up of about 5 - 10 dogs, so each dog and its owner will get sufficient attention from the trainer. Simpler commands will be taught first; such as sit and down. After the owners and dogs master these commands, additional skills will be introduced, such as asking the dog to stay in a sitting or down position for increasing periods of time. While the classes are the place where owners learn new skills along with their puppies, reinforcement at home and on daily walks can help both pet owner and dog retain the new information.
The process of setting the dog up for success and developing a solid bond with the pet owner as leader, allows the dog to assume its preferred role of follower. Most dogs, even those who act out, want to please their owners. Rules and commands need to be reinforced in the same way every time, so the animal is able to learn to provide the proper response. They can be taught to do so by the trainer and can continue to learn with patience, repetition, and consistency from the owner.
The owners not only have to train the dog to behave properly at home, but they need to teach it to behave correctly in public. A good dog trainer offers puppy classes and also private lessons to help owners build a solid training foundation. They also may provide dog grooming and boarding services at their training centers. While there are many dog trainers listed on the Internet and in the phone book, there are other good places to look for recommendations. Some of these are one's veterinarian, and also breed organizations that may be able to point people to trainers who understand characteristics of particular breeds.