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Old 01-21-2014, 04:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When can I start training?

Hello! My Juice is 9 weeks old, which is still very young, I know.

I was just wondering when I should start training with verbal commands such as sit, down, stay, etc. He's far too rambunctious to do any of this now, I made the mistake of trying and he nearly took off my fingers because I wouldn't let him get the treat immediately.

Is there a general age when training should begin? 4 months? Thanks so much!
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can start right away! At first they are quite crazy but catch on really fast. Baby puppies are like sponges, love to train and learn. My puppy learned sit, down, shake, and twist (I flick my hand and he spins in a circle) in one week. He's 13 weeks today. Right now we are working more on positions for obedience and some self control so I'm not introducing any new commands this week.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We started at 9 weeks, he will be 11 weeks on Thursday. He can Sit, down, leave it, come, his name, no biting, all with varying levels of success mind you but he is getting it. We are working on a release command.

We got him at 8 weeks and spent the first week bonding and working on crate training and potty training.

Potty training is being challenging with this pup but we are making progress slowly. He also has bouts of stubborn.

We put him in puppy classes already in a clean and controlled facility with a very small class. We thought it was worth the risk.

I hope that helped. They are smart, smarter than we give them credit for. I've read they have the learning capacity of an adult at 7-8 weeks. Get that focus started now and you won't regret it.

I thought this was a good article. German Shepherd: Training Throughout the Stages of Development
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coraliine View Post
Hello! My Juice is 9 weeks old, which is still very young, I know.

I was just wondering when I should start training with verbal commands such as sit, down, stay, etc. He's far too rambunctious to do any of this now, I made the mistake of trying and he nearly took off my fingers because I wouldn't let him get the treat immediately.

Is there a general age when training should begin? 4 months? Thanks so much!
I started at about 5 weeks with the basics. My girl now already knows more than any of the other dogs I have had. After that, I'd recommend anyone start the basics as soon as possible! Just make sure that the sessions are VERY short and upbeat. It needs to be a good experience she is 11 weeks now and knows verbal commands as well as hand signals. Enjoy your baby... German shepherds are Amazingly smart.




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Old 01-21-2014, 09:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, any time! Start with very easy things to get them into the routine of training. I like to teach "touch" first, which is just holding your hand out sideways, palm facing dog, about 6 inches from their face, eye level. Dog investigates, and for any interaction with your hand that isn't teeth, gets marked/treated. The ultimate response is *holds hand out* "Touch!" and the dog noses the palm of your hand. This is easy, and invaluable for getting attention back on yourself! I used it about a billion times this weekend when my 12 week old puppy wanted to run to the end of the leash and buck like a bronco in our puppy seminar. I bent over, asked for "touch" with my hand out and without a food lure, he came running back to nose my hand and then was in a calm state of mind to follow commands like sit, down, etc. until he decided to run to the end of the leash again.

Once I teach touch I teach sit, down, bang or spin, then positioning and rear end awareness for heelwork, sending puppy around things, stay, teaching to hold/pick up items, got to your spot... This is my puppy spinning on a pedestal last night, at 12 weeks (13 weeks today) with no food lure. It works their mind AND body, so you have a real sleepy puppy afterwards. (he didn't wake up once to go outside last night after this. The night before we didn't train and he was up 5 times throughout the night!)

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Old 01-21-2014, 09:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You should definitely start immediately. Work on teaching him his name, and reward him for eye contact. You can lure (with a treat) simple behaviors like sits and downs. Make sessions very short and fun. A great game for teaching impulse control is It's Yer Choice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc

Hand feed him some of his meals this way each day and soon you'll have his rapt attention!
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh yes, "touch"! I teach that from the beginning too. Hand targeting is a great foundation skill because if he'll follow your hand you can later use that to train other things like heeling, or even tricks like spinning in a circle or weaving between your legs while you walk.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Cassidy's Mom, that's such a clever idea. Scout (5 months) has been cooperative with training once she's calm, but we've had a hard time with impulse control through just the basic commands and I was struggling to come up with a new plan. The video is a great idea for dinnertime tonight. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My puppy is 10 weeks old. She can do sit, down, stay, come, roll over, look at me, leave it, shake, and crawl with a food lure. She will only do sit, stay, come, and look at me without a treat.
Now I think that I should teach her touch and spin, though. :-)
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Right away and I'd recommend ---> Top Training Expectations for Puppies

Have fun!
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