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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our pup is now 14 weeks. I'm wondering what age to really start training? I've tried a few things so far, but her attention span is limited and when I offer a nibble as a reward she often goes on a food frenzy. Priorities are:
1) Reacting to her name.
2) Come
3) Sit
4) Stay

The basics. Any suggestions on how to work with a pup...and avoid the food distraction? I'd like to positively reinforce behavior, but after the first treat she usually goes nuts.
 

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2 goldens and a BMD
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Congratulations on your puppy! And good for you to want to start training her early. All of my guys have started classes between 10 and 12 weeks so it's never to early.

Find a puppy class in your area. I'll be great socialization for her and you'll get lots of good tips for dealing with all the puppy issues you're going to face (not to mention other owners to commiserate with).

As far as helping her not go into a food frenzy... check out Susan Garrett's It's Yer Choice video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool, I'll check that vid out when I'm out of work...youtube is blocked here. Probably going to skip the training class. We have a 2nd dog, so I'm not all that worried about socialization, and I'm pretty confident with basic training concepts, just have never done it with a young pup.
 

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You can begin the training right now. Keep the sessions short as her attention span will be very short. Use lots of positive training and treats. As she gets older she will be able to go longer and you can wean off the treats. There is a wealth of informaton in the training section that will help on things to train.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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Cool, I'll check that vid out when I'm out of work...youtube is blocked here. Probably going to skip the training class. We have a 2nd dog, so I'm not all that worried about socialization, and I'm pretty confident with basic training concepts, just have never done it with a young pup.
Just my opinion...but a second dog is not enough socialization...go to class and have a ball :)...now that you have been through the class, you can focus on working around distractions.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Take her out and expose her to urban settings away from the house. Urban socialization is very important... and it needs to be done away from the other dog, otherwise she learns the world is safe b/c the other dog is with her. Working out in public will also help her learn to focus around distractions and expose her to other people where she can practice things like not jumping up for greetings, etc.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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I'll get some video (after work) of what Im doing with the 9 week old pup Raleigh...to teach name recognition/come...sit and stay..
 

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Here is something you can do to teach the pup self-control around food:

Put some treats in left your hand. Put your hand down where the dog can see the treats in your palm. As soon as the dog reaches for the treats, close your fist so he can't get to them (you have to be fast!). At first he will probably try to get to the treats by licking, pawing, whatever. Don't give him one! Eventually he will stop trying. Once the dog backs off the hand, open it back up so he can see the treats again. You will repeat closing the fist when he reaches for a treat and opening up when he backs off several times.

At some point you will be able to leave your hand open with the treats and the dog will not reach for them. Once that is occuring, use your right hand to take a treat from your left hand and bring it towards the dog, at which time he is allowed to eat it. If at any time the dog starts going for the treats, fist is closed again and treat is returned inside fist.

Once you are able to have your palm filled with treats right in front of your dogs face with him waiting patiently for you to give him one, it is time to switch hands. Now put the treats in your right hand, and give him the treats from your left hand.

Many people think their dog will never be able to do this, and are amazed at how quickly the dog catches on!
 
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Puppy training

There are several methods for training puppies.

One method is to not use food at all, which can encourage the puppy to work for their handler and not necessarily for food. When the puppy comes to you wanting attention you can prompt them into a sit, then they learn when they want attention they should come and sit in front of you.

It is also a good idea to practice come when they are young and not brave enough to wonder off by practicing in a large field and encouraging the dog to follow you. When the dog goes a head you should change your direction and call to the dog, praising them when they start coming. When they get really good at that you can run backwards calling their name to encourage them to come faster. You can also do this on leash and guide them in with the leash.

You can teach sit by starting with the lure then quickly fazing it out by showing the puppy you have a treat and then discretely putting it into the opposite hand and then pretending to lure the puppy. When the puppy sits show them that you don't have a treat and it suddenly appears in the other hand. After your puppy understands this concept you can reward your puppy with treats from your pocket or from a cup on a counter, etc.

Also remember to pet the puppy first and verbally praise the puppy and then give the food treat almost like an after thought.

For teaching stay the most important thing is that if the puppy breaks you put them back in the exact position they were in and you do it right away.

Also you can try treats of a lesser value, rewarding with a toy, or other things the dog likes or wants (for example sitting before going outside or sitting and looking at you before getting his food.
 

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Our pup is now 14 weeks. I'm wondering what age to really start training? I've tried a few things so far, but her attention span is limited and when I offer a nibble as a reward she often goes on a food frenzy. Priorities are:
1) Reacting to her name.
2) Come
3) Sit
4) Stay

The basics. Any suggestions on how to work with a pup...and avoid the food distraction? I'd like to positively reinforce behavior, but after the first treat she usually goes nuts.
It's none too early right now. She'll soon begin to enter an adolescence, and passive-only measures may not keep the level of control you're seeking. The Smartwork Puppy Program DVD starts the pup training with Operant Conditioning, but acknowledges the maturation of most pups will soon require more formal training. You should get some ideas [URL="http://rushcreekpress.com/page3allproducts.html"]here .[/URL]

Let me know if I can be of help.

EvanG
 

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Mine did the same thing. So I taught him "wait" first. I thought that this would teach some control, but he still went crazy for the treats at first.
Anyway, for wait I would say the command before lowering his food dish and if he moved towards it at all before I gave the release, I quickly raised the bowl back up, said the command again and tried to lower it back to the floor.
He learned this very quickly, within the first minute he had the idea.
Then I added the command to getting out of his kennel. Say the command, open the door, quickly close it if he moves to get out, ect.
Because he was still a puppy, I gave a treat a soon as his bum hit the floor for "sit." Also, I only did about 5 minutes at a time, but he picked up every command within that time span. However, I will say that my golden is almost 6 months and although he understands each command, he still gets a little distracted and is still working to get everything solidified.
So far I have taught -wait, sit, stay, lay, bed, go lay down, come, high five, bang! (play dead) and okay (release) And I started a 14 weeks.
They are amazingly intelligent dogs. And although it seems frustrating that your puppy goes crazy over the treats, at least you have found something that he is motivated to work for.
 

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I used "play training" on my dog while she was in the puppy stage.
What I mean by "play training" is to play with them on the floor and every once in a while insert the "lay" command and hold her down. Then release her and praise her.
Eventually, she will even stay in the "lay" position on her own - but not for very long. Praise her and she is on her way to learning this command.

Do the same for sit.. Play with her a while and when she is a little tired, say "sit" and force her into the sit position. I didn't scold while in the play training and some command even stuck when she got a little mature.

I found it was easier to train AFTER she got tired from excercise. If she is already tired, in most cases they will lay without resistance. It is hard to train them to do something - when they don't want to do it in the first place.

I used treats when she was older and doing things a little more "un-natural" such as climbing ladders or walking up narrow ramps.
 
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