WIBackpacker - Hadn't heard the term "shaping" before. I have a couple training books, so I understand the concept. So far she's learned "sit" and "crate" to go in her crate, she still kind of does them when she feels like it though (or when a treat's involved). I've also been trying to teach her "stay" and to walk nicely on her leash without pulling. The main problem I have with training her is that she just doesn't seem to focus on me very well. Even when I have a "high value" treat (bits of chicken or cheese, which she loves), a couple minutes seems too much to ask, then she just wants to wander off, get a drink, sniff around, etc. Yesterday I was working on leash training with her and she walked away and went into her crate and sat down. I was like, really, you'd rather be locked in here than get tasty treats? So I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong to not be able to keep her attention.
By the way, what's a general age range to be able to expect a dog to "give a darn what you want"? lol. My impression was that they're MORE interested in pleasing/interacting with their people until they reach adolescent age at 6ish months, then they stop caring. (For the record, my puppy is 14 weeks tomorrow.)
Start doing the basic games (lure - touch - start shaping games) in a small boring room with the door shut. No toys, no cats, no open door, no TV, no other people. Just you. And don't be afraid to make her "work" for her meals - waiting to feed breakfast until after some training won't harm a 14 week old.
Once she is reliably playing all those games, understands the words, and will do them reliably in a small boring room, you can gradually
make the environment more distracting.
Move to a slightly larger room, or even take a smaller first step like opening the door. Baby steps! You want to build a very good foundation, and don't be afraid to scale back if you're losing her focus. Have a quiet person sit on a chair in the corner of the room. Highly exciting things like running cats comes later.
Aim for a few minutes of really good quality interaction, then break it off with some happy praise, take her out to potty, and immediately time for a crate nap.
Repeat later in the day.
Everyone has a different opinion about what to expect from young puppies, and when to expect it, and you can always course correct as you go.
For my goals for my own dogs, conceptually I want my dog to understand there is a "verbal leash" in place long before I worry about teaching physical leash manners. Obviously if you're in public, you need to be safe, leashes are important - but if you focus on your dog wanting to interact with you, a lot of things will be easier in the long run.