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Old 10-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Doing training myself

If I want to do most of my dog's training myself, what should I be focusing on the most (besides the obvious, potty training)? And on the topic of potty training - is that easier when the dog can better control his bladder?

Max walks okay right now, but does bark at other dogs. Aero just ignores other dogs 60% of the time, and only growls when he sees a dog he doesn't like (like pitbulls). I want to take him on more walks where he's around a lot of people; would one of those double leashes work better, or are the dogs still best off individually? Someone also mentioned in another thread harnesses specifically for puppies.

As far as teaching him commands - what age does that start? And what all is covered in puppy classes anyways? He knows his name, come here, and is figuring out what "eat your food" means.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i think you need a trainer.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't have a ton of advice, and I do think you should take advantage of a trainer, but here's some advice to get you started.

I started training with my pups the day I brought them home. I used treats, lots of treats, lol. I worked on things like sit, down, leave it, come, all using positive reinforcement (treats, praise, pats) and molding the action I wanted by guiding them into the proper position. Those were the also basic commands we learned in puppy class.

As far as potty training goes, it's all about patience and persistence. We took Skylar out every 30 minutes (actually I think we started with 20min). We'd take her out on her leash and as soon as she started going potty we'd say "get busy" then give LOTS of praise as soon as she finished. Eventually we took her out every 45 minutes, then every hour, etc. Now she'll pretty much pee on command when we're outside .

Good luck!
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Training without someone to tell you what YOU are doing wrong is a sure fire way to delay your dog's development. You also won't get the socialization aspect of training where they have to work around other dogs and in close proximity to other dogs that are under control. There is no where that you can replicate this kind of situation in order to make sure your dogs will listen with distractions.

The fact that your puppy barks at other dogs shows that he is fearful of them...and there is no way to get through that without bringing him around dogs to show him that they aren't a threat. Sadly strange dogs are questionable at best and you can never guarantee that they aren't a true threat. At a training facility or club you are pretty much guaranteed that the dogs in there are either really good with other dogs, can ignore other dogs, or are at least under control enough to do greetings and socializing.

It really depends on your goals for this dog...do you just want a pet that will sit sometimes and down sometimes, when its not distracted and you have a treat in hand. Or do you want a trial in AKC or another venue and make sure your dog will listen to you 100% of the time and not just when its beneficial for the dog? Your 7 year old...probably great and calm at this point, but you could've gotten there faster using a trainer. You also might get help from a trainer when you just can't get through to your dog on some exercises (it happens), a trainer will give you other ideas on how to teach it different ways than what you're doing.

My club has a free "puppy class" for dogs under 6 months old. When you see puppies barking at all dogs/pups in there it is not a good sign. This is very frowned upon and those in the know will take their pups and "force" them to face whatever they are barking at. They will not accept their dogs going off on a perfectly friendly, well trained dog. The handler will help the puppy get through their fear stage and everyone in the club is a great tool for that. We all love puppies, and we love socializing our dogs with puppies. Its a win win situation for everyone that I really think you need to look into.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i invited people to visit with their dogs. i also went to other
peoples homes with my pup. a puppy class is a good place
for pups to interact with other pups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
Training without someone to tell you what YOU are doing wrong is a sure fire way to delay your dog's development.

>>>>>You also won't get the socialization aspect of training where they have to work around other dogs and in close proximity to other dogs that are under control.<<<<

>>>> There is no where that you can replicate this kind of situation in order to make sure your dogs will listen with distractions. <<<<

The fact that your puppy barks at other dogs shows that he is fearful of them...and there is no way to get through that without bringing him around dogs to show him that they aren't a threat. Sadly strange dogs are questionable at best and you can never guarantee that they aren't a true threat. At a training facility or club you are pretty much guaranteed that the dogs in there are either really good with other dogs, can ignore other dogs, or are at least under control enough to do greetings and socializing.

It really depends on your goals for this dog...do you just want a pet that will sit sometimes and down sometimes, when its not distracted and you have a treat in hand. Or do you want a trial in AKC or another venue and make sure your dog will listen to you 100% of the time and not just when its beneficial for the dog? Your 7 year old...probably great and calm at this point, but you could've gotten there faster using a trainer. You also might get help from a trainer when you just can't get through to your dog on some exercises (it happens), a trainer will give you other ideas on how to teach it different ways than what you're doing.

My club has a free "puppy class" for dogs under 6 months old. When you see puppies barking at all dogs/pups in there it is not a good sign. This is very frowned upon and those in the know will take their pups and "force" them to face whatever they are barking at. They will not accept their dogs going off on a perfectly friendly, well trained dog. The handler will help the puppy get through their fear stage and everyone in the club is a great tool for that. We all love puppies, and we love socializing our dogs with puppies. Its a win win situation for everyone that I really think you need to look into.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. So some local clubs might have free classes for young puppies I could go to? Aero was a rescue and already knew most of his commands (and then some more I taught him). He was calmer to begin with, being that I got him at 5. Max and Aero seem to get along though.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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On another note - if someone wanted to do protection training for their dog, at what age does it start, and is it wildly expensive?
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Join an obedience club like this one.

- Dog Training in Pasadena – Pasanita Obedience Club

Start with puppy kindergarten and keep going!
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Even if you take classes you'll be doing most of his training yourself. Classes are typically 1 hour a week, with most of the work being done by you as homework between each class. It's nice to have some structure to your training - each week there will be new things to train, the instructor will usually explain and then demonstrate, and everyone gets to work on it in class. In the classes I've taken the instructor (or assistants if there are any), will go around the room and observe everyone working with their dog and offer suggestions or answer any questions they may have. You may get a handout with each weeks lessons or you can take notes on what you're supposed to be working on that week. The next week there's a review of what was covered the previous week, and people can get help with any challenges they've been having before moving on to the current weeks lessons. Your classes may vary, but that's what the ones I've been to are like.

You can start teaching commands at any time. We worked on them in puppy class, but I started at home as soon as I got my puppy, so I had anywhere from 3 weeks (Halo - got her at 10 weeks and started puppy class at 13 weeks) to 5 or 6 weeks (got Dena and Keefer were both 9 weeks old when we got them, and I think she was 15 weeks old when we started classes, and Keef was maybe a week younger when his class started). By the time all of my pups started puppy class we'd worked on name recognition, sit, down, watch, come, leave it, touch (hand targeting), find it (look for treat on floor), impulse control, and learning the release word.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
Even if you take classes you'll be doing most of his training yourself. Classes are typically 1 hour a week, with most of the work being done by you as homework between each class.....
I know it's certainly no substitute, but could I look at youtube in the meantime? I contacted a trainer in my area, and she needs 2 other puppies to start a class (of which potential enrollees are pending).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
You can start teaching commands at any time. We worked on them in puppy class, but I started at home as soon as I got my puppy, so I had anywhere from 3 weeks (Halo - got her at 10 weeks and started puppy class at 13 weeks) to 5 or 6 weeks (got Dena and Keefer were both 9 weeks old when we got them, and I think she was 15 weeks old when we started classes, and Keef was maybe a week younger when his class started). By the time all of my pups started puppy class we'd worked on name recognition, sit, down, watch, come, leave it, touch (hand targeting), find it (look for treat on floor), impulse control, and learning the release word.
So Max is definitely the prime age to learn. He already knows his name, come, and kind of knows sit. Leave it doesn't seem to work, so I'm guessing I need to entice him with lots of treats, right? I also don't know if it's too early, but I'd like him to sit and wait before he eats a treat. I trained Aero so he'll sit and wait until I give him his release command with a dangling piece of raw meat above his nose.
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