Puppies-The Importance of Early Training

puppy and teddy2

by Catherine Steinke, CPDT-KA

It’s spring and puppies are coming! Do you have a new puppy coming into your life? Did you know that you have only a very short time to make the most of what nature has given your puppy in terms of overall sociability and bite inhibition? It’s true! By 4 months of age – usually just a month or two in your home – your puppy’s entire opinion of how the world functions and what his response to it will be is set. That’s not a very long time! Many veterinarians are stuck in tradition, telling new puppy owners to keep their puppies at home until vaccinations are complete – at 4 or even 6 months of age! That’s not what the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends! Their position statement clearly states that the best thing for your new puppy is to vaccinate against behavior problems by enrolling him or her in a well-run puppy class.


At Willamette Humane Society, we use the Sensible Puppy Start curriculum, designed to make the most of early puppy raising in 7 essential areas: potty training, exam training, enrichment, etiquette, self-control training, socialization and soft-mouth training. Further, the curriculum prioritizes these fundamentals based on your puppy’s personality. So if you only have a little time each week to train your puppy, you know you’ll be focusing on what is essential for his or her success. Puppy class at WHS is fun, too – check out our videos to get a sense of our fantastic new training area and the fun we have during play time!

Ready to join us? Register for our humans-only  DogSmart class  to find out more about how we train, what our classes are like and to meet our instructors. At Willamette Humane Society, we want you to enjoy your dogs more and believe that great puppy training is essential to doing just that. Contact us at Behavior@WHS4pets.org for more answers.

Catherine Steinke, CPDT-KA is the Behavior Program Manager for Willamette Humane Society

(503) 585-5900 ext. 318