Questions about planned training of new puppy. - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Questions about planned training of new puppy.

Hi there,

We are slated to bring home our new GR puppy at the end of next month. We have high hopes for him/her and hope to have her trained, go for CGC and then Therapy Dog title in the coming year or two. We are not new to owning dogs (of all sizes) but new to GR's.

We have used an excellent trainer for our little dog about 2 years ago and we made contact today with him about the new puppy. He was very nice but did not give me a firm answer as to when to get him involved. He did suggest that we have a prelim meeting before the dog arrives to make sure we are prepared and our house is all ready. I sort of feel like we have that part under control since we have 2 dogs in the house now. But he suggested that he can give us some "homework" with the puppy almost right away.

So that leads me to ask, when should we start training him? Should we give him time to adjust to the house and new surroundings (he'll be 9 weeks)? Or do people start training their dogs soon after they bring them home. I know we need to potty train too and that is priority #1 for us. But do you also start working on sit and stay and come and so on?

Also, I am not sure how much training help I should hire him for. We have trained our other dogs in basics well and have done puppy kindergarten with everyone, etc. But then we have not taken it further with other dogs. With more ambitious goals for this puppy, I am wondering if we should have a professional by our side along the way.

Thanks for any and all advice. Kit

Last edited by kath00; 03-16-2014 at 03:21 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 10:58 AM
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Congrats on your new pup! As you said, house training will be training priority number one, but you will probably very quickly start sit, and leash walking. As soon as I wasn't carrying Shala every time we went out, she had to sit to have the leash put on. She had to sit to have her dinner (when she first came home, she jumped up and down like a kangaroo when I was getting her food. It was very funny. But it was very easy to teach her to sit). Teaching and practicing stuff before meals is really easy - they have to do something before they get their bowl.

As for classes, we started Puppy Basics just six days after Shala came home. All the puppies had the same level of vaccination (or more), so we started all the basics right away (though, ten months later, a good stay still eludes us. All my fault). And recall started right away, too. I knew I was going to want to be able to have Shala off leash, so that became part of every day training right away.

So it was part organic - I just started to do stuff that felt right from day one - sitting to get the leash, sitting to come in, sitting to get her food (she has a really solid sit!) and then added in the stuff we learned at classes. We didn't have leash issues, but if you do, you will want to work on that right away. You'll figure out what are your priorities - as you said, you have experience. It will all come back to you!

Having a good trainer is gold, though. Even though we haven't had classes for a couple of months, I emailed my trainer this week to get advice about Shala leaping up into people's faces at the off-leash park, and he came out to the park with us for 90 minutes on Friday - and gave me some GREAT ideas that I never would have thought of. It was a huge help - and he didn't even charge me!! So having a great trainer who you like and is really dedicated to helping dogs be good dogs is great.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 11:18 AM
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I can't imagine not teaching stuff right from day one. Our dogs don't get any treats unless they do something first. And same thing with food - no food unless they do something. So they learn very early all of the basics (walk on leash, sit, down, paw, spin, touch) and go from there.

As far as trainer - go to a good training club and you do not need to have a private trainer in addition to that. I honestly can't imagine the necessity of having a private trainer come to my house to help me train my dog there. My guys are on their best behavior at home - it's at class that we need one on one attention.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 11:25 AM
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Questions about planned training of new puppy.

Our experience was similar to Sweet Girl in that a lot of the basic training just kind of naturally fit into our daily lives. My suggestion is to have a clicker handy and capture behavior that your pup offers. Our Thor was a natural at sitting when he kind of wanted to observe a situation he was new to, so we just quickly gave that a name and he learned it right away. Sitting and waiting for his food came easy once he had a sit command. Puppies offer good behavior all the time, and by marking it and rewarding it when you see it you are training with zero stress and 100% good associations for the puppy. I guess my main point is that positive reward based training is fun for pups and there is no reason why you can't start with basics right away. We didn't start a formal class right away but by the time we did, the first 4 weeks of class were easy as pie. It was still very valuable, requiring him to perform his known commands in the presence of other dogs and people he was dying to play with. To be sure potty training IS going to feel all consuming for a while, and you'll want to start that from day one.



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