By far the most important early training for any puppy is socialization to other puppies and dogs, to people and to everything else they will ever encounter in their lives. This is also the ideal period for a puppy to “learn to learn” and that command compliance might earn a reward.
Reward-based training is the scientifically proven method for teaching dogs desirable behaviors. Treats are your dog’s paycheck, not a bribe, and having her “work” sets you both up for years of fun, exciting interspecies communication.
The domestic puppy’s unique and unusual capacity for socialization to multiple species allows us to insert ourselves into their social milieu and to substitute ourselves into a role that would otherwise be served by their parents.
Fear is a natural response that serves a useful purpose: Avoiding rather than engaging an unfamiliar stimulus might save your life. Desensitization and counter-condition is a way to help your puppy to become more comfortable with strangers, garbage trucks or whatever frightens them.
Indoor puppy socials are a crucial component of a well thought out socialization plan, forming the cornerstone of all future social abilities. They also have the advantage of being available before all vaccinations are complete, as early as nine weeks of age. I recommend at least ten socials by 18 weeks of age.