A Step-by-Step Guide to Training Your 8-Week-Old Puppy

A Step-by-Step Guide to Training Your 8-Week-Old Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting adventure, and training your 8-week-old pup is a crucial step in building a strong foundation for a happy and well-behaved companion. This step-by-step guide will help you navigate the early days of training, fostering a positive and lasting bond with your furry friend.

Week 1: Establishing Trust and Routine

Creating a Safe Space

Puppy’s Perspective: Introduce a cozy bed or crate, offering a secure space for your pup to retreat.

Training Tip: Gradually increase crate time, making it a positive experience with treats and praise.

Basic Commands: Sit and Stay

Puppy’s Perspective: Begin teaching basic commands using treats as positive reinforcement.

Training Tip: Keep training sessions short and enjoyable, focusing on one command at a time.

Week 2: Introducing Basic Leash Skills

Getting Used to the Leash

Puppy’s Perspective: Gradually introduce the leash indoors to avoid overwhelming experiences.

Training Tip: Use treats and encouragement, associating the leash with positive experiences.

Short Outdoor Walks

Puppy’s Perspective: Explore the outside world in short, enjoyable walks.

Training Tip: Encourage loose leash walking and reward good behavior with treats.

Week 3: Potty Training Basics

Establishing a Routine

Puppy’s Perspective: Set a consistent schedule for bathroom breaks.

Training Tip: Praise and reward after successful potty trips, creating positive associations.

Recognizing Signs of Needing to Go

Puppy’s Perspective: Learn to communicate when nature calls.

Training Tip: Observe cues like sniffing or circling, and promptly go outside.

Week 4: Introduction to Socialization

Meeting New People

Puppy’s Perspective: Expose your pup to various friendly faces.

Training Tip: Reward calm behavior and provide treats during positive social interactions.

Interacting with Other Dogs

Puppy’s Perspective: Encourage positive play and interaction with other vaccinated dogs.

Training Tip: Monitor interactions and step in if play becomes too rough.

FAQs about Training an 8-week-old Puppy

Q1: Is it too early to start training an 8-week-old puppy?

Answer: No, early training builds a strong foundation. Keep sessions short, positive, and age-appropriate.

Q2: How often should I schedule bathroom breaks for my puppy?

Answer: At 8 weeks, aim for every 2 hours during the day, plus after meals, naps, and play.

Q3: Can I use treats for training, and how many is too many?

Answer: Yes, treats are effective. Use small, soft treats, and adjust portions to avoid overfeeding.

Q4: Should I start leash training indoors or outdoors?

Answer: Begin indoors to minimize distractions. Gradually progress to more challenging environments.

Q5: What's the importance of early socialization?

Answer: Early socialization helps prevent behavior issues and fosters a well-adjusted and confident adult dog.


Training your 8-week-old puppy is a rewarding journey that strengthens the bond between you and your new furry family member. Establishing trust, introducing basic commands, and addressing essential skills like leash training and socialization are key steps. By incorporating positive reinforcement and understanding your puppy's perspective, you set the stage for a well-behaved and happy companion. Remember, patience and consistency are the keys to success in training an 8-week-old puppy.