When To Start?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by SarahtheSniper, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. SarahtheSniper Well-Known Member

    When should you start training your dog? Mine puppy is 15 weeks German Shorthair Pointer and has learned 2 tricks, but would it be easier (and the best time) to teach them when they are older? I taught my 14 year old Black Lab how to sit and bark for her treats, and she got it down in 5 minutes and that was the only training she needed. My puppy took a week to learn to sit and shake, so is the factor on why he takes so long to learn is because he is a puppy? Will he be able to learn faster when he gets a bit older and not so crazy and wild?
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  2. Mutt Experienced Member

    training is a lifelong and gradual progress. Your pup is 15 weeks so he needs to learn a lot!
    Getting to know things, walking on leash, housetraining, socializing etc. I would manly focus on these things and do some tricks in between in short sessoins. The reason why it took your pup longer is probably because her attention span isn't that long yet and it is quite exhausting to concentrate for that long for a young pup. Make training fun and I think she will do great! Keep in mind that dogs also need to learn learning :)
    Have fun with your pup and don't forget to post pics/videos!
  3. Leaf Hunter Active Member

    I got my puppy at 8 weeks and started teaching her the same day. The trick for me was figuring out what really motivated her. Its easy when all your trying to do is have fun with your pup and your using positive only methods.

    Some things (treats or games) can be low, medium, or high reinforcers. For my pup, kibble is low, Cheerios are medium, and boiled chicken is high. If my pup is being 'lazy' not not showing any interest, I start with a high value treat to get attention, but then reward using medium value treats to keep her in the "teachable zone."

    The first few things I taught was Leave-It, Look (at my eyes), and Sit. Also for what it's worth, my puppy never used to bark but then I taught her "Speak" & "Quiet" and now she randomly barks during training.

    The common advice I hear a lot is if you want a behavior to go away you should add a cue to it and control it. That may be true with existing behaviors, but if you teach her something, be prepared for your pup to offer that behavior at random and inappropriate times.
  4. SarahtheSniper Well-Known Member

    --- Don't worry, he is already house trained, socialized with other pets and people, knows how to walk on a leash, potty trained, and knows what he can and cannot do :) Thanks. I agree with the attention span. It was hard to pay attention when I was little too.
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  5. Mutt Experienced Member

    Sounds like you know exactly what you are doing :)
    What is his name?
    Indeed pups are very similair to little children.
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  6. SarahtheSniper Well-Known Member

    His name is Chilli. Haha, his feet are speckled, and for some reason it reminded me of a bowl of Chili :p And that's spelled with 2 L's.
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  7. jackienmutts Honored Member

    It's never too early to start training, so no, 15 wks is def not too early. Keep your sessions short, try maybe 3 or 4 five min sessions during the day for best results. Do you clicker train? A clicker is such an amazing communication tool, and can truly make training so much easier.

    You gave a good list of things that Chilli knows now - but keep in mind that because he's a puppy, he may go thru periods where he "forgets" these things. Keep your patience handy, puppyhood is an adventure! :LOL:
  8. 2SpoiledAussies Well-Known Member

    Depends on the puppy. Keep lessons short and upbeat and he could learn a lot. I think tricks at a young age keep them mentaly and physicaly prepared. I'd especially recommend Zak George's videos for training a puppy, because he is so upbeat.
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  9. Dogster Honored Member

    No age is too young to start training!!:)As Jackie mentioned, keep the lessons really short though, because puppies do not have very big attention spans. You do need a lot of patience. Start with easy tricks, don't start with anything too hard. I think shake, lie down, play dead would be good tricks to start off with, for Chilli. Cute name, btw!!!:love:
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  10. SarahtheSniper Well-Known Member

    Ok, thanks for the advice, and yes I do use a clicker (y)
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  11. MaryK Honored Member

    Excellent advice given by everyone. It's never too early to start training, but again, the attention span is short with youngsters, and Jackie is right, Chilli will go through adolescence when he could well 'totally forget all he's learned' don't panic, it's normal, hold on to your sense of humor, stay patient and remember he's a teenager!!!!!!!!!! He's finding his own feet in life, testing you and well being a typical teenager:rolleyes::LOL: They do suddenly remember all they've learned, it doesn't last forever, though with some dogs they really do love their teenage years and stretch them out to the max - LOL I have one like that!

    One thing I always like to start teaching from as young as possible is recall/come. It's important but keep it fun. Make a game of it. When Chilli looks like he's about to come to you, give a call and click/treat when he gets to you. Also, have a couple of other people stand around and call him, click/treat when he goes to them and then the next person calls him click/treat rinse and repeat a few times, it's a fun 'game' but really does help with learning recall/come.

    Also stay, though don't expect long stays at first, 2 seconds is an eternity in a puppy's mind.

    You're doing so well though, Chilli sounds delightful:)

    BTW love his name and yes his paws do remind one of Chili:)
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  12. SarahtheSniper Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your post :) Also, thanks for the tips about the 'come' call too.
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  13. MaryK Honored Member

    Love the quotation in your signature:love: Do you know who wrote it?
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  14. SarahtheSniper Well-Known Member

    Milan Kundera
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  15. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you so much Sarah:):love:(y) He's Cezch or rather was, now he lives in France.

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