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Foundation First: Lesson 6

Stages of Dog Training

Knowing what stage of training your dog is in will determine what method of training you need to use. Learning to have a clear understanding of the training phases allows you to progress and advance your dog faster or go slower into the next stage or phase.



Every dog naturally advances through all four phases. The first thing every newborn puppy searches for is the nipple to nurse from their mom. As their natural genetic behavior generalizes, they learn about mothers’ other smells, their sibling’s smells, and the best nipple to nurse from. Eventually, around 4-5 weeks old, their mother will correct or wean her puppies when they try to nurse. But if the mom is distracted by something like eating her food, the puppies try to nurse again. But mom still corrects them. Eventually, the puppy understands their mom will correct them when there in unwanted behavior. So the behavior of not nursing is maintained by mom.