One of the most commonly asked questions about dog training is: “How long does it take to train a dog?”
We understand that you’re excited to know when you’ll see the results, but this question isn’t as straightforward as it seems. There are a lot of variables that come into play, including the age and temperament of your dog, the type of dog training, the amount of time you’re willing to dedicate, and how skilled the trainer is (whether it’s you or a professional).
Nevertheless, this article will share some insights on how long it takes to train a dog so you can properly manage your expectations.
Achieving the Outcome You Want
Let’s try and calculate how long it would take to train a three-month old puppy– the perfect age to start. Take note that this is the simplest assumption and this could be shorter or longer depending on certain factors such as those mentioned above.
If you want to train your dog with basic good manners, you have to be ready to spend 10 minutes, twice a day, for about 4 to 5 weeks to teach it with good attention and focus skills. During this time, you should bond with your pup to establish trust and play structured games.
If this is your first time, you should also start learning the necessary skills you need to be able to train your dog.
Only after that would you be able to teach the core skills such as the ‘sit’ command or walking on a leash– this would require another four to five weeks. On top of that, you need another 4 to 5 weeks to get started with proofing, which means practicing your dog to respond or behave in a certain way while in different environments and situations. You would want your dog to learn to do the desired behavior anywhere even with distractions.
By this time, you have a 6- to 7-month old dog with some basic skills. For more advanced proofing, which teaches your dog to perform the desired behavior in challenging situations, you would need 3 to 6 months to achieve this. In other words, you’ll have a well-mannered dog by the time it hits its first birthday.
Obviously, highly experienced trainers such as Delaware K9 Academy can get to this point sooner. In fact, we have 2-week boot camp programs and private lessons to help expedite this process.
Every Dog Learns at Its Own Pace
The pace by which they can be trained varies from one dog to another. The breed and age can also be a factor. For instance, working breeds and younger dogs learn relatively faster.
However, in the end it still boils down to the individual dog. While it is recommended to teach your dog in a quiet, familiar environment with little to no distractions, some dogs may still struggle to pick up new skills even when being trained under the best conditions.
For dog training to be successful, it’s important that the trainer knows how to communicate clearly with the dog and to move at a pace that it can handle. This is something that expert dog trainers can easily determine.
Below are some basic skills you’d want to teach your dog and how long it typically takes them to learn:
On average, it can take between 4 and 6 months to train your pup to pee outside. The key to faster and more effective potty training is being very consistent in taking your dog outside every couple of hours.
Depending on the pace of your training, some puppies can even be potty trained in as fast as two weeks.
Puppies normally use their mouth to play with you, and teaching them not to bite takes 3 to 4 weeks on average. They can learn bite inhibition at around 7 to 10 weeks old, and teething occurs at 3 to 6 months of age. So during this time, make sure that you have a lot of chew toys for your dog to gnaw on.
Obedience training is a lifelong process, but basic commands such as sit, stay, come, leave it, and down can be taught in a few weeks. The key is starting young– it’s recommended to begin obedience training when your puppy is about 8 weeks old.
The most effective approach to get your dog to obey your commands is using rewards-based training methods. Use special treats, verbal praises, and lots of playtime and cuddles to reinforce good behaviors!
Learning Never Ends
Just like us, your dog never stops learning. Even after they’ve learned essential skills and cool tricks, their training still isn’t considered complete. So make sure that you reinforce positive behaviors and strive to communicate in ways that lead to a more rewarding relationship.
Throughout your life together, you’ll be surprised by how much your dog will learn and how much you’ll learn about it as well. Good luck and happy training!