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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

We will be getting our puppy at 9 weeks of age (around the end of May). When can we start training her? I've heard that before 6 months, they really don't learn all that much in obedience school. I'm not sure if that's true or not.

Any thoughts are more than welcome.

Thanks,
Bonni
 

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Hi Bonny,

you can start training a puppy when it is old enough to be away from its mother.
Basically, it means that training starts as soon as you bring the puppy home. At eight weeks of age the puppies brain is just as developed as an adult dog therefore the puppy is able to learn.


Controlled studies show that the puppy is an able learner. At no other time in the dog's life is he more receptive to training based on affection and reward. As early as the 8th week, EEG patterns and the results of many behavioral studies demonstrate that the puppy is functioning at a near adult level in terms of basic learning ability. The puppy's ability to learn is mature (although, of course, his body is not) before the commencement of the juvenile period at about 3 months of age. After 4 months of age, the ease with which he learns noticeably begins to decline.

The major difference between training a 3 months old puppy and 2 year old adult golden is the attention span.

Trust me, a pup's attention span is short, so make sure to keep your lessons short and combine play & fun in your training. Also, make sure that you use gentle methods, and PRAISE A LOT (most important to remember).

While the pup is exploring its world, provide it guidance, rules, manners, etc.
And remember. Motivation, Motivation, Motivation. Make it Fun. Make it Consistent.


Let the dog be a puppy, but don't let it indulge in inappropriate behavior.

Start to teach the dog what a command such as "sit !" or "down !" means.
Give the command and at the same time either gently place the puppy in the position or use a small piece of food (moved up and back or down and forward) to lure the dog into the correct position, then praise.


Have fun with your puppy and try to take an obedience class when he/she has had all puppy shots. That cannot hurt either.

Pepe
 

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Hi, i totally agree with the above answer. I couldnt believe how quickly my pup learned to sit. I used treats, but some people dont believe in that, but i had him sitting in one day!! I also have taught him that when i bring his dinner, he sits, then i say stay and he stays until i tell him to go and get it, rather than try and eat my hand off, i think this is a good thing to teach at an early age. To be honest i think a pup learns training when it has figured out its place in the house, i did a lot of reading into this and found out all about the dog being a member of the pack and it needs to find out what member it is, so there are certain things they recommended me to do like walking in the door before him and eating before him etc, its quite interesting actually, usually at about 3 months they test their leadership with you, asking who is boss, you or him!! you have to let the dog know it is you (not by hitting though, I just showed no fear and took the object out his mouth with gloves) when the dog knows you are its master, then you will find training far easier. Also if you have children make them train the dog also or the dog thinks it is above the children, good luck!!!!
 

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Hi Bonni,

I think you should start with potty training. That is the first thing for puppy to learn, well, at least before you get to 'sit' and 'stay' commands.
I agree with above, just be sensitive to puppy hints.
You guys (Mark,Bonni) will have to learn to anticipate pups potty needs.
From the start you'll need to take him out every 2-3 hours, after playing, sleeping or eating.
Feed her (if you're taking one of our pup-girls) only twice a day and at set times, that will make easier to predict
when she needs to go.

Joe
 

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I agree that a puppy can start to learn at a young age, like 9 weeks, but as mentioned, attention span is very short. I wouldn't go to an organized class until later, and not until all shots are up to date.

It is important that it be kept short and fun for the pup. Very positive, you don't want any negative experiences. Also at that age they are going to be entering into their fear stage. It is at this point where they can develop many of their fears. You want to keep their experiences to controlled situations as much as possible.

I've been using Clicker Training for 3 years and have done a lot of research on it. I would be more than happy to discuss what I know here.
 

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Welcome to GRF Timberwolfe!

What you mean by "clicker training"?
I heard that it is a very loose term, used by trainers who use the whole gamut of operant conditioning methods.

Can you define this term (maybe in a new topic) and perhaps link to it?
Thanks.
Cellia
 

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Newspapers

I'm very proud to report that the puppies are doing their potty needs on the newspapers 90% of the time now.BUT - they LOVE the newspapers, so not only do they do their little needs there, they also tear it apart every now and then, storm through it with incredible speeds, crawl undeneath it, roll around on it (don't really care if there's poop and pee all over or not), etc. It's as if the newspapers were the biggest source of entertainment (hey, wouldn't this be a great compliment for the newspaper companies?) sometimes. :D
 

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Hi Bonni

One thing that's really important to know is 'the younger you start, the better'! Just like children, puppies take in alot of information, so they absorb commands quicker. They do have a lower attention span, so keep the sessions short. Always keep them intrested by varying the activites and ALWAYS finsih with 'fun time' (throwing a ball, etc).

Toilet training can be achieved VERY easily through Crate Training. You must always keep a constant eye on your puppy at first. It is not fair to put him in a crate for 8hrs at night and expect him to hold it the whole time. Take him outside shortly after a big meal or drink of water. Once he's done his business, put him in the crate for sleep. Dogs to not go to the toilet in the same space they sleep, unless they are desperate. It is up to you they do not get to that stage. Because if they do, it is very hard to break them out of that habit. Believe me, a few sleepless nights and constant vigil now will save you much grief later.

I have used both correction leads AND food rewards and have found a good combination. When they are very young, you need to use food rewards and clear 'GOOD' or 'NO' commands. As they get older it is very important you do not continue the food. Goldens must be kept lean and food rewards (even the ones that have low fat) are bad for them. You will soon find your Golden will only do your command if you have food. This is especially bad if they are not hungry because they will not listen AT ALL then.

It's best to take him to an obedience school that uses correction leads. I still believe that these are not cruel if used correctly and in conjunction with alot of praise. Try not to use 'harnesses' because they encourage your dog to pull. If you put a harness on a Siberian Husky, it's instinct is to pull the load. So unless you WANT to be walking down the street with your dog ripping your arm out of its socket, then dont use them.


Remember, keep them intrested, keep sessions brief, lots of praise (When its deserved. Over praise will lose its effect), and CLEAR commands. This is by far the most important. You cant use the same tone of voice for NO as you would to call him. Your voice must show authority, be loud and use the SAME command EVERY time. You can't call them with their name one day and then use COME the next.

You will find your puppy responds well to this treatment and both of you will reap the benifits of your effort later. By the way, don't be discouraged if it takes you a long time to achieve this, all puppies and teachers learn differently. Keep the finish line in sight!

Regards
Charm
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow Charm!

Thank you so much for your elaborate answer.

I've been reading quite a bit about training, but I think it's one of those things that I won't fully "get" until I start. I'm very much a tactile learner, so I need to experience it to fully comprehend it. My husband and I are very much looking forward to training. We've managed to arrange our schedules so that at least one of us will be home for the first 2 weeks, with the exception of 3 days. During those 3 days, my husband will come home mid-day so that he can let Daisy out. Hopefully, by the end of the 2 weeks, she'll at least be on a schedule. It's tough when you have to work too.

I know it will be so rewarding for me to actually see her learn stuff. She's being socialized now with her littermates, but we intend to really keep that up as well. That's really important too.

Again, thanks so much for all of the great advice you gave. I will be certain to keep you updated on our progress, once we get the puppy (May 19. Only 18 more days, but who's counting?!?! :) )

Take care,
Bonni
 

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Your first Golden?

Ah, I remember only but a few months ago I was about to get my little pup. It's just so exciting! I'm sure you will provide many photos when the time comes. As you said, advise is really important, but more important is getting a feel for it yourself. So have a read of what everyone has suggested and do what works for you. Take care :p
 
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