How old should my dog be to train?
Dogs may be as young as 8 weeks of age to participate in a class structure. One of the most important lessons your dog has to learn is socialization.
Socialization means giving your dog careful, positive exposure to all of the things he might encounter as an adult dog. The critical stage for this is about 12-14 weeks of age. If a dog isn't exposed during this sensitive period, he might never be friendly or confident with people or other dogs, when he becomes an adult. Fear in dogs is often exhibited as aggression when an adult.
Socialization needs to be ongoing through out the first year of your dog's life and ideally his entire life.
You need to know that there is some risk of disease involved when young dogs are exposed to the world at large, before they are fully vaccinated. BUT - if you wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated, you risk inadequate socialization; but if you take your pup out and about you risk disease. It's a compromise either way and a decision you have to make for yourself.
KEEP IN MIND, THE INDICATIONS ARE THAT MANY MORE DOGS DIE (EUTHANIZED) FROM BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS THAN FROM DISEASE!
These are the dogs that their owners can't control, are people and/ or dog aggressive, guard their food and toys and end up in shelters. Early socialization and training should prevent this in most dogs.
This the right age to start training (8-10 weeks). Their brains are clean and eagar to learn.
Older dogs can always be trained, but they have long standing behaviors that need to be changed.