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Old 02-07-2014, 06:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Puppy training question

Just curious what you all think is the best training method?
My puppy is only about 6 weeks old (rescue situation) so its still pretty early but I want to make sure he grows up to be a well behaved dog.

I want to be able to watch youtube videos but there is so many conflicting styles out there, I was wondering if one is really better than the other.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Everyone has their own personal preferences you'll find. We are getting professional training through a local K9 trainer who specializes in police and military dogs and shows GSD's, however some people like clicker training, food driven training, ect. All comes down to personal preferences I think
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It seems Michael Ellis is well liked in these parts. Training positive also seems to get a good review around here. That should get you started.

It is never too early to start training. We got started as soon as we got our pup home. You have likely done some good bonding already with your pups situation. Of course your working on potty training already. I highly suggest crate training.

Find his currency. What is he most excited about? Toy, ball, treats etc. What motivates him right now?

My non-professional advice.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like positive reinforcement based training.

Food, toy rewards and preventing bad habits from starting by rewarding the correct behavior to make it more likely to appear than non-rewarded behavior.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It seems Michael Ellis is well liked in these parts. Training positive also seems to get a good review around here. That should get you started.

It is never too early to start training. We got started as soon as we got our pup home. You have likely done some good bonding already with your pups situation. Of course your working on potty training already. I highly suggest crate training.

Find his currency. What is he most excited about? Toy, ball, treats etc. What motivates him right now?

My non-professional advice.
Its so hard to tell what motivates him right now. He likes his toys but im not sure how training would work with those.
Are there any recommended treats for puppies?
He is also doing great on housing training! I take him out about a thousand times a day it feels like but we haven't had an accident in about a week.
Crate training is going ok as well. He is actually currently in his kennel just hanging out. When I brought him home at 5 weeks the only way to get him to not cry was to put him in the kennel with our other dog and that seems to have worked wonders. It also helped our other dog who hated the kennel and will now go willingly into it. They sleep together at night in there and go in together when we leave the house : )

Also I watched the youtube videos of Michael Ellis and I did not like them because it was just advertisement for his DVDs. Does he have any videos on youtube of training or do I have to buy his collection?
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like positive reinforcement based training.

Food, toy rewards and preventing bad habits from starting by rewarding the correct behavior to make it more likely to appear than non-rewarded behavior.
That seems to be the popular vote so I think i will try that. Thanks!!!!
Our other dog needs some training and she is a very submissive dog and I think anything other than positive training would be bad for her.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Are there any recommended treats for puppies?
We don't have a specific brand, but make sure you're getting soft bites, not biscuits. With training, you want them to get the reward quickly and get back to training, not sit chewing on a biscuit to forget you. I get the meat sticks (they look like little jerkies) and break them into tiny pieces. Try a few different kinds and see what he likes best.

Also, a few people including my vet have recommended using meals as training time. Scout LOVES dinner time and we have gotten a lot of good training in with hand-feeding her dinner. And it's great bonding. David Winners, I think, recommends it too. One of the best training recommendations I have gotten.

Whatever you do, have fun!
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Never understood "clicker training"...bought one...gave it to the dog...she chewed it up...but she did enjoy herself.

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Old 02-07-2014, 07:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We use a number of different treats. Anything from biscuits, kibble, hot dogs and we got a bag of treats that our trainer uses, all natural etc. I can't remember what it's called at the moment. But he loves them. Honestly, they look like rabbit turds... smell good though.

There are some home grown videos of Michael ellis on you tube that shows him giving training classes. I like his philosophy on a number of different things.

All our training has been positive until recently. He is 13 weeks and can be a touch stubborn at times. We are only using a few leash corrections but we really don't have to do that much. Ours is very treat driven.

With a dog that is on the soft side, I would only use positive reinforcement. Especially at the age of your pup. Our last Shepherd, if I raised my voice at all she would fall to pieces. I had to be very careful about my tone of voice. My wife is also big on facial expressions.

Listen to Danielle and David Winners. By far some of the most experienced.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My personal experience has always proven that socialization, exercise, discipline (obedience), and reward are the keys to success. You can read all kinds of ways to train your dog, but I have found that consistency of a cue and the amount of time spent on training along with a positive atmosphere have always been the best way. For example, all my dogs know that when I make an "L" with my hand it means to sit. They also respond to word commands as well. However, hand signals help when I am talking with someone and do not wish to interrupt them with a command to my dog. On that note, you need to be sure your dog is always watching you for a command. Food/toys are a great way to start training. You can teach the main commands (come, heel, sit, stay, lay down, up, down) with the use of treats. As a puppy, your sessions should not be longer than 10 minutes of commands and consist more of play and exercise. Exercise first. It helps to get the edge of before you try to get them focused on learning their commands. I have never use a clicker basically because I just don't want to have to keep up with one. My dogs go with me to various places, and I only use a leash because its the law in some areas. My dogs listen to me. They know to "stay in the yard", "go home", the basic commands, and many other commands because during their entire life I tell them what to do throughout the day not just during a session. You need to think of your training as a way to let them know what you want when you are in a situation. This includes riding in the car, socializing with people and animals, being in public, being in the house, being outside the house, etc. Dogs like boundaries. They like to know what is expected of them. There are several ways to teach commands. My personal favorite is treats but eventually my goal is to have them do the commands (by three years of age) without reward simply because it is what is expected of them as a pack member.
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