We get the following question quite frequently:
At what age do you start training? More specifically, what age can you begin using a remote collar or an Ecollar?
Keep in mind, you can begin training at any age but if you are looking to communicate with your puppy via a training tool, such as an Ecollar, there are a few things to consider.
While it’s typically frowned upon to start using training tools when the dog is “too young”, the pup’s age is LESS important than HOW WELL the dog understands the communication. When the dog is young, communication through training tools can definitely be taught but the dog’s learning ability is not what it would be if they were just a few months older. The appropriate age to start is extremely subjective and the opinion will vary from trainer to trainer.
So, to sum this up into an age-appropriate time frame, it’s typically great to start teaching training tools at around 5 to 6 months. Keep in mind this is only a general estimate for such a general question. There are always exceptions as there are exceptional puppies that are really tuned in and have a fantastic learning ability. But even a dog who may not have an exceptionally fast learning ability can still learn a training tool as long as you adjust your expectations and go at a pace that is right for the dog.
Remember, training tools enhance communication between owner and dog. Tools help us to create the conversation that owners have always wanted with their dog. The problem is that we typically see owner’s trying to communicate with their dog in the way that humans would comprehend. Of course this makes sense to the owners but there is a different strategy when communicating with a dog. Once we address this concern, we see relationships grow with the dog AND owner thriving in a way that didn’t happen before.
Training tools can be taught at any age as long as the information to the pup is at the right pace(typically the process is at slower pace) and the dog understands the right pieces. Of Course, for a really young pup, the speed at which you teach will need to be slowed way down, but it can be done. One you have the basic framework, you can begin to build on that knowledge at a faster pace as you see your dog tuning in to you more. It’s not uncommon to take a motivated puppy, teach them the right stuff, and see massive growth in a short time.
Here’s Brava. 4 month Belgian Malinois: