Puppy Training Schedule By Age- 3 Main age stages guide

a happy puppy

When you bring your puppy home it is essential to have a puppy training schedule to know what you should do and the right time to do it. But the most important reason for having this training schedule to help you with the when. 

Training your puppy is crucial if you want him to have exemplary behavior.

That is why we prepared this puppy training schedule by age that you can use depending on how old the puppy is. It is also a great way to tell if you are making progress and to measure your improvement with each step.

Before we start this article I would like to encourage you to note some of the tips that you may find useful to you.

You can also check the summary that we have at the end of this post.

So, let us get right into it.

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pup training

Puppy training schedule

I am going to break down these steps by weeks and then talk about the progressions that you should have for your specific young doggo.

This should start when the puppy is about 8 weeks old and this is after you take your puppy home.

1. At 8 weeks of age

This is the age where you begin bonding and building a relationship with your puppy.

At this stage, you should not put much focus on teaching your ball of fluff specific skills but more on the natural training opportunities that may be presented to you.

Building a bond with your pup at this age is going to play a major role in how the puppy is going to respond to you and your training progression in general.

There are several really easy tricks that you can use to do this;

Food-based training:

Little doggies love tasty treats and food. It is important to feed the puppy by yourself for him to know that the treats have come through you.

To be more specific it should be trough hand-feeding the puppy. But it does not matter what meal it is, you can hand feed him that food.

Another trick that you can is saying their name then feeding them.

If you have not yet named your puppy you should visit this article and get some great name ideas.

By doing this you are going to build value on the name that you decide to go with. This is because at this age they most probably do not know what their name is. (mention the name, then reward)

Another great idea is using the word “yes” to let your puppy know when he does something right.

Start building value on that yes as it is going to be important down the road as you train the pup. (yes, then reward)

These food tricks will get your puppy’s full attention but you also want to ensure that you can relay information to your pup as he moves around through open space. This is when they are neither on you nor the food.

Use a house line:

A house line is a lead of about 2.5 meters with a clip on one end instead of a handle. You can also use a leash with a handle and cut off the handle and attach a clip at that end the other end to the dog’s collar.

This helps them keep out of trouble and you could also use it to redirect your pup if you need to.

House lines give you so much control over your puppy and also allows them to make choices as he is moving around and when you are supervising them.

So, make sure that you attach a house line around your doggo. You may not know what a house line is.

Have 100% control over your puppy:

You should keep in mind that your puppy has gone through a big life change.

He has come from his old environment to his new home with new people. Having 100% supervision will help you set the pup to be a success.

When your doggo is out of his crate or kennel to make sure that you are there giving them good information.

It may be a happy or scary period for your time and give them good information helps a lot.

I have just mentioned the use of a crate and this is a great time in your puppy training schedule to introduce him to his crate.

You want to make sure that your puppy loves his crate. A crate is a great way to manage your dog and make sure that he does not get into trouble.

Remember this is the time when the pup is learning plenty of things whether you are there to train them or not.

Teaching them that their crate is a great place to be can help manage what he learns.

Follow the potty training schedule from day one:

You should be proactive about this step but you are probably going to have some incidents.

However, here are some ways you can minimize some of these incidents during potty training.

  • Taking them out to the toilet before a nap.
  • Taking them out when they come out of their crate.
  • After every meal and play session takes them out.
  • Take them out when they wake up.

These are some of the ways that you are going to see some level of success.

Puppy proof the room where the puppy stays reduce any bad decisions that the pup may make along the way. Block them from the areas that they can escape from and areas where you would not like them to go to.

When your puppy is in his crate you also need to consider that they need to get out and potty. Especially when you are sleeping, you do not want to have any incidents.

If the crate is in the same room that you are sleeping you should put it on the same level as your bed. This helps soothe them by the sight of you.

You should also make sure that you take him out several times in a night to potty.

Here is complete puppy potty training guide.

Here is what the puppy should have learned at the end of this stage

  1. When it the time to eat.
  2. Where you will be grooming him from.
  3. By now he should know where he should go to the potty.
  4. When it is time to go to bed.
  5. He should know where his bed is located.
  6. And he should also know when it is time to eat.

puppy training schedule

2. Puppy training schedule at 9 weeks of age

At this age, your puppy gets more confident and will need more supervision.

The confidence and curiosity that your puppy has in his second week home can get them into lots of trouble.

But you should take precautions to prevent some of the incidents from happening rather than trying to un-train some of these behaviors from the pup. That is why supervision is very important.

With more freedom, puppies explore more, play more, and try new things. You need to keep an eye on them as they do these things.

Increase the challenges:

You should still be taking advantage of some of the natural training opportunities and can continue with some of the things that you were doing the week before.

This will include hand-feeding your puppy and reinforcing some of the things that you were teaching them like their names.

Continue building a lot of value on the pup’s name.

Note; Overusing the puppy’s name when you are not giving them rewards can cause him to stop listening to it.

At this point, you should start including some of the family members in the training sessions and let your puppy know that things are going to be more challenging.

Start introducing new tricks such as luring them to spin circles. Bump up things a little bit.

You have already shown him that when he does something for you he gets a reward and you should take advantage of this and increase the challenge.

Handle your puppy’s collar:

Each time you are about to reward your puppy using a treat, handle him using the collar but you need to ensure that you are doing it right. You can do this by reaching for the collar from underneath then rewarding.

Over the next weeks, you are going to be handling the puppy’s collar a lot and you want them to get used to it and associate it with something good.

You also prevent the puppy from being hand-shy as you hold the collar then moving your hand to the backside.

Before you know it your puppy has got to the tenth-week mark.

3. 10 to 16 weeks of the puppy training schedule

I have decided to group puppies that are 10 to 16 weeks together as you can progress every month other than week by week.

At this age, you can expect some reliable responses from your puppy now that you have already built the foundation.

We are going to teach them how to sit down and stand and other new skills and commands.

The best way to do this is by following these steps:

  1. Command
  2. Stimulus
  3. And reward

Teach the “SIT” command:

To teach your puppy how to sit and stand on command we are going to start with a treat in hand.

At this point, your puppy is going to start wagging his tail in anticipation.

So, we are going to tell them to sit, then lure them to that position using a treat and finally reward. Is that not easy?

However, you should avoid blending the stimulus with command. This is because he is going to think of the treat instead of listening to the command.

Do not put the treat on their nose before you lure them to follow the command.

Once you have that in mind, you should do several repetitions of this over the course of at least one week.

Spend a whole seven days on this trick before making things a little challenging. Do not change things dramatically but slightly at a time.

So, as we progress you are not going to have the treat in your hand but the lure is going to be the same.

In the process, the hand signals are going to change gradually.

However, this may be challenging for the pup because things do not look the same anymore.

What you want to do is lure them into that sitting position then reach for your treat pouch and take the treat from it and tell them, “yes” to let them known that they have done something right.

train your puppy week to week

Progression test:

In the third week, after training your pup on some of the commands and lures, you need to test your puppy.

Try that specific command like “sit” with a smaller lure or even no lure at all. Wait and see what you get.

When they follow the command without the stimulus you should rejoice at that moment and let them know that they are doing great.

At this time you should have already introduced the “yes” praise. Make it fun for both you and your puppy then reward him.

If at this time you are not getting successful and reliable sits, you need to take a step back. You need to do more repetitions using an empty-handed lure. (take a step back and practice, practice and practice more)

Also, make sure that the environment you are in is not too busy for the puppy and that it does not have too many distractions.

Get a quieter environment or a location with little to no distractions where you can be more successful.

Handling exercises:

In your puppy training schedule, you should not overlook the importance of puppy handling exercises.

These are things like:

  • Trust
  • Relationship building
  • Grooming confidence
  • An OFF SWITCH

There are many reasons why you would want your puppy to be comfortable when you are handling them.

You are going to be very happy that you have taught your puppy these exercises when he comfortable being handled.

So, how do you do it?

You should first ensure that your dog is always relaxed when you are touching different parts of his body.

Give the puppy the tasty treat in your hands to allow him to be calmer.

Different dogs will react differently to different petting and touching. Some may react better when they are being rewarded and some when they are no treats involved.

Once your dog is comfortable lying on the side and is relaxed you should then proceed to touch different body parts.

You should have some treats placed out of sight so that they may not be too distracting.

If the puppy stays relaxed for some time, you should say “yes” then reward them with a treat. The timing is very important. Remember to use the word yes before giving the treats to her.

Always make sure that you use your pinpoint word at the right time. You can then hold the paw or maybe pull the individual toes at the same time giving praises to the puppy.

If you realize that your pup is uncomfortable with you touching a certain part of her body try as much as possible to make sure that she is relaxed.

It is also good to try and do it when the dog is a little tired that makes it easier for them to settle. Then as they get used to it, you can try to do it when they are more excited.

Your pup needs to be comfortable with this type of handling at any time of the day or any situation.

If your dog is not used to some of the positions such as when you are touching their teeth or ears, you can also pat their heads while praising and reassuring them.

Do this when you have the time to do it and be patient.

Teach your puppy his name

I know I had already talked about this in the first stages of the puppy training schedule.

However, you need to ask yourself if your puppy would respond to you calling his name if there was another dog around or when he is all excited and playing.

Your pup needs to know that they need to respond to you calling their name no matter what is going on.

And there are some simple ways in which you can do this.

Call his name then lure him then give him a treat.

When you are rewarding him make sure that you bring him very close to your body.

Use an excited tone when he responds to you calling him so that you can reinforce to him hearing his name is lots of fun.

Tip to note

Another top tip that I have for you is having someone hold your puppy making sure that you have a play toy in your hand. Then you can call the dog’s name as they release him and make him run towards you.

Your pup gets to know as time goes by and through repetition that there is a lot of value to that name.

You make can make it more fun by moving away and using a bubbly voice making it fun for him to respond too.

As we mentioned earlier, you always need to bump things up a little bit and make them a bit challenging.

Try calling him off a distraction.

It is always advisable that you use high value food like some chicken to make it easier to recall him.

Then finally it is time to test if your pup has got his name.

Call the doggo’s name without showing him the treat and see what happens.

You are still going to use that excited voice and a bit of motion but without putting the treats on his face.

Use the “Yes” to mark the moment when your pup makes a great choice.

a happy puppy

What if your pup is not responding very well?

This is likely to happen when your puppy is distracted.

However, you can use something like a little touch on their side to ensure that you get their focus.

At this age, some puppies can make it challenging to get these skills because they are using their teeth to nip and bite most of the time.

But once you have passed this stage of training, your puppy should be ready for more advanced training and command challenges.

Be consistent because consistency is what will give you great results.

Puppy training schedule for a dog that is much older than what we have talked about

You may have adopted a dog that is much older than the age bracket that we have mentioned.

Let us say he is 6 months old. So, what can you do?

It is simple, make sure that the training starts immediately you get home as though he was 8 weeks old.

Establish a routine and follow the steps that we have given to you starting with housebreaking and potty training.

No matter the dog’s age, when you bring him home as a new member of your family, the training schedule does not change by much.

Give the doggo a lot of praise, rewards, and make sure that you follow a routine at the same time using the correct words in training.

Puppy training Schedule table summary

Training schedule summary
8 weeks old Simple and basic commands

Housebreaking and training

Make sure that you establish a routine as early as now

The dog should feel more comfortable by the end of the first week

9 weeks old In the second week, the puppy is more comfortable and free.

He should be moving and exploring more often and you need to keep an eye on him

Do some dog collar handling exercises to make him used to you touching his collar and leading him with a leash

10 to 16 weeks Make things a bit more challenging for both you and your puppy.

At the same time make it more exciting.

It is at this stage that you need to do more handling exercises with your dog and making sure that he is comfortable with you touching him/her in any part of the body.

Teach him more complex commands and improve the quality of the treats that you give him.

By the end of this stage, your doggo should be fully aware of his name

We have seen some of the things that you need to do in your puppy training schedule. But your dog may have a different personality and you may need to tweak some of the things a bit to make sure that they fit both you and your dog.

Try out new things and see what works best for you.

We hope that you find this handy piece of information helpful.

Tell us what you think and give us your feedback in the comment section below.

There you go WOOFF!!

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