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Old 06-09-2014, 01:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I just brought home an 8 week old puppy of working lines and I want to get involved in an activity that will stimulate his mind once he gets older. The breeder works her dogs in schH and says he would be suited for any dog sport. I've researched the schH a lot and I'm not certain I want to go that route. I've looked into obedience as well and think that may better suit me. I've looked for a local club, and found one but haven't contacted them yet. Is there anything I can do to help start him on the right foot? Specifically, I've never trained a dog to do a heads-up heel, is there a particular method to make that come easier?
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are there any puppy classes near you? A well-run intro class (i.e. not a puppy free-for-all) can be a great intro and a great way to meet people locally who are into dog sports. I would get in touch with the club and see what they say. For now, rather than focusing on teaching more advanced, specific stuff, there are some great threads on engagement with your puppy-- making "work" FUN sets the foundation for future training. Make teaching the basics into a game. Learn how to lure or shape behaviors- you don't necessarily have to use a clicker, but it makes marking the EXACT moment a lot easier.

Intro to Clicker Training (perfect for puppies!)

Teaching a trick is the least important part of teaching tricks

There are several other great stickies in the puppy sections

As for focused heeling, start with shaping hind-end awareness. There are great youtube videos on doing this with puppies using a pedestal (I used a small rubber feed tub from tractor supply). Don't expect too much too soon- between short attention spans and general clumsiness, it takes a bit.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! I've been working with a trainer at sit means sit with my very timid fearful dog and they have helped a lot with her. She's a different dog three months later. I'm going to get him involved with them, but they don't start until 4 months. She's helping me with him as well, and once he has all of his vaccines I'll be able to start working on socialization with him.
I've had him since Friday and today is the first time I've actually worked with him. My current plan is to take five minutes at a time several times a day. We have done sit today, and also getting him used to the leash and come. I took two weeks off of work so that we could work on house training and set a good foundation for basic obedience.
I'll definitely look up some of those videos to see how to best do it. We aren't ready for heel yet, but I wanted to be sure I taught it right when the time came.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitbit317 View Post
Thanks! I've been working with a trainer at sit means sit with my very timid fearful dog ..... once he has all of his vaccines I'll be able to start working on socialization with him.
.
Be very careful how you go about socialization. You don't want to set your already somewhat timid dog up for failure by introducing him too soon to something that might bring out more fear. Make sure you are in 100% control of every external factor.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Obedience is obviously going to be crucial, I'd look into a well run puppy class to start out. This is a great mental workout for a dog, especially a young pup.

Scent work - tracking and scent detection are both mentally and physically challenging for dogs, and is another thing you can do with dogs of all ages and physical limitations. And they LOVE IT!

Is it your existing dog that is fearful, or the new pup?
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You could just start him with the basics like down, sit, stay and start recall with him. That would be quite a bit to keep you busy for awhile. Heeling also. The heel sit means sit teaches is more a loose leash walk. I used them too with good results on my dog. He was just head strong and wanted to run everything. Not now.



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Old 06-09-2014, 04:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My existing dog is the fearful one, she's come a long way but is still very much a work in progress.
I'm no expert, but the pup seems pretty solid. He doesn't seem scared of anything, recovers from a startle easy and is very food driven.
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