Puppy training schedule advice needed - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy training schedule advice needed

Hey there,

I haven't finished planning and writing down everything yet but any advice for my current schedule and goals attached below will be highly appreciated. Also I am deciding between a private trainer or a group socialization/obedience class for her.

Thanks,
cat
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 08:33 AM
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Absolutely group obedience class, especially if you don't have any other dogs around. If you haven't found a trainer yet, you can ask to sit in on other puppy classes to see what they are like before you sign up.

Your goals seem good, maybe a little bit lofty. It's totally possible to teach 3-4 month old pups long sits, long stays, etc, but make sure you BOTH are having fun with obedience. Don't get frustrated. Enjoy the puppy phase.

That said, puppies are mouthy, noisy monsters, and have a lot of energy. Try to have fun with her, laugh when you want to cry, be patient, and don't be afraid to ask for advice on this forum!
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 08:48 AM
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Having a plan and goals is very good, but be prepared to deviate. You are setting some high expectations for what is basically a baby. With puppies I think bonding is the most important, and teaching them that you are the most wonderful and rewarding thing in their world, and can be trusted to keep them safe. Behaviors can be trained at any point, and are often easier once a puppy has matured a bit and can focus for longer periods. Keeping training light and fun will pay off in the long run. Let your puppy be a puppy and enjoy it. If you put all that much stress on training behaviors you are going to miss out on the joy, and likely end up frustrated when things don't go to plan. Relax and enjoy the ride.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:23 AM
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So... where is plan B, C, and D for when your puppy starts throwing wrenches? I think having a potty / meal schedule is great... but the rest just seems like a lot of work that has a 99% chance of being for nothing... puppies have a way to make plans go poof.

Every puppy is different. Not all puppies will learn the at the same rate... to have goals to know 'A' by 'X' weeks is optimistic at best. Heck some stuff your pup will pick up in a single session - other stuff will take ages to learn. My own boy got the concept of sit and down in no time flat.. stand was another story! Took a few months to get a decent stand stay for him.

It's important to work the dog infront of you.

Personally, I prefer to spend early puppy hood p (8 - 16 weeks) bonding, socialization/exposure training, and using the dogs natural instincts to build a foundation for the type of behavior I want as an adult. Reinforcing eye contact. Reinforcing natural puppy following behaviors to set a foundation for off leash obedience. Letting them explore the world and developed their minds and bodies - and most important of ALL: lots and lots of play time. Every mammal on the face of this planet learns by playing during that stage of their lives. You are going to teach your puppy more about how to be the perfect dog with an off leash walk in nature then you will with a dozen training sessions.

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with 'winging it' when it comes to puppies sometimes
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:24 AM
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i would say keep the corrections to a minimum until the dog matures a bit especially try to refrain from grabbing it by the collar and shaking it as a correction that young if at all. The best thing to do is keep the dog from doing bad things rather than giving it free run of the house.

As for training try to focus really hard on engagement sure obedience is fun but this young you want the dog to have a strong base of you being the best thing in its life that way obedience later while go much better. Just to make myself clear im not saying dont do any obedience. but focus on play and engagement more.

Also walking on your left side on a loose leash will almost certainly take longer than you are expecting unless you plan to have treats for the entire duration of the time you are expecting the pup to be in position. Using corrections for that is fine but i would wait until the dog is mature as a puppy it will be a long hard process and a lot of corrections. In general happy flashy quick obedience is taught will all positive but then later when the dog is mature you use a mix of correction and high value rewards to solidify it under increasing distractions. At least this is how most competition people will do it but the same thing can apply for an above average trained pet.

For the schedule you have i would push back ecollar until she is at least 6 months old. And instead of feeding in the crate only hand fed the dog and only do it while training. this way the dog learns faster and is more likely do have very good quick obedience if they think they are gettign fed. basically the dog learns the only way to eat is to work.

As far as potty training there are many schools of thought but i would ditch the pee pads especially in the house. crate the dog and take it out to go potty. its best to have a clear distinction of where it can pee/potty and where it cannot. then only give it free run of the house after it has both pooped and peed outside.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:27 AM
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Having a plan is all good, but where is the fun time for your puppy? You know how you read that too many kids are too scheduled? I have a four month old puppy. She knows sit, down, stay, wait, come, with me (as in walk with me), watch me, leave it and drop it. She knows a few other things but not as well. She goes to a group class that's not an actual obedience class, but a class where I work as a trainer for service dogs, but she gets to learn to work following what I tell her to do with lots of distractions around. So by your schedule I am way behind. I'm not. She's a puppy. She LOVES class, every time we walk outside she runs for the gate to the SUV. Training is fun because there's no pressure, it's fun and games. She learning on her schedule, her maturity for what she's ready to do.


One thing I don't see in your schedule is exposure. Enya has been to Lowes, Tractor Supply, spent nights in a hotel, to the lake, to Festivals, to craft fairs, to a pumpkin farm and been on a hayride. She isn't afraid of new places, she's walked on many different kinds of surfaces. I can take her anywhere and she has no fear of people, animals or other dogs, she walks calmly next to me taking it all in. I don't push her and I don't let everyone pet her or have her play with dogs other than friendly ones I know.


Personally I would not use peepads. I don't want my dogs to think it's ever all right to pee or poop in the house. I used a crate to housebreak her. She only had two accidents. But it took lots of diligence on my part.


If you set yourself up for your puppy to do all those things by a certain age you're likely setting yourself up for failure. Instead, take time to enjoy your puppy, they grow up so fast. I love that you want to make sure you do all you can and have a great dog, but you're going to end up so schedule fixated that you'll miss all the fun of a puppy! Relax and set up tentative ages where you'd like your puppy to be doing something by. And if it doesn't happen, then just extend that age by a few more weeks.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:33 AM
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And throw the shock collar idea out the door! Find a puppy class for obedience. I love S.T.A.R. puppy classes. I use food and praise, though you'll find others that don't believe in it. My corrections are a firm 'No'. Her worst correction is some crate time. Consistency is the key, if she can't do something that means she can't no matter how tired you are. When you get into class talk to your trainer there.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:53 AM
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Sorry for not replying earlier, I rehomed my pup a while ago and was depressed for a while and now return for my new puppy. I rehomed my pup because two trainers evaluated her to be very high energy hyper personality that do not fit with my life style. I can provide 1.5 hr exercise per day, but that is not nearly enough for my previous pup as she is super high energy. I bought from a backyard breeder for cheap price as you may have guessed, that breeder told me their dogs are calm, laid-back, but protective. This time I bought from a registered breeder who bred for low energy stable white shepherds for 2x the price of my previous pup. I hope this time works out as if it doesn't I won't be getting any dogs anymore. This new pup's parents and grandparents are snow white, but if this pup turns out to have yellowish furs I will be fine as long as her temperament is as advertised as I realize that is what is the most important.

Anyway my previous pup was all vaccinated and microchipped before rehoming to a good large family who will take great care of her and have more people and time for her.

Thanks for your time,
cat



Cat, I think you're going to find your new puppy is going to have the same problem as your last one. When your current breeder explained they bred for calm temperament, that means the adult dog. A puppy is not ever calm and an hour and a half is not enough time for a GSD puppy to expend all the energy it has. Enya can go outside and play nonstop with my Golden and then go to class for an hour and then come home and continue to play nonstop. It's like expecting a child to be calm all the time except an hour and a half a day, it's not going to happen. I think your expectations are a little to high for a puppy.


It sounds like with your lifestyle an older dog who is already trained and no longer a puppy would work best for you. Probably a middle aged to senior GSD would be exactly what you're looking for.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Cat, I think you're going to find your new puppy is going to have the same problem as your last one. When your current breeder explained they bred for calm temperament, that means the adult dog. A puppy is not ever calm and an hour and a half is not enough time for a GSD puppy to expend all the energy it has. Enya can go outside and play nonstop with my Golden and then go to class for an hour and then come home and continue to play nonstop. It's like expecting a child to be calm all the time except an hour and a half a day, it's not going to happen. I think your expectations are a little to high for a puppy.


It sounds like with your lifestyle an older dog who is already trained and no longer a puppy would work best for you. Probably a middle aged to senior GSD would be exactly what you're looking for.
Yes I understand puppies are more energetic, but the trainer told me she won't be able to survive on 1.5 hr exercise even as adults with her energy levels. She is so hyper that my vet recommends me biking her at 4 months to keep her sane and my trainer recommends me to ask my vet to prescribe meds for her hyper-ness.... And yes if this puppy can not survive with 1.5 hr exercise per day at 4 months then I will not get another puppy again!

Last edited by lonecat; 12-10-2016 at 12:18 PM.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lonecat View Post
Yes I understand puppies are more energetic, but the trainer told me she won't be able to survive on 1.5 hr exercise even as adults with her energy levels. She is so hyper that my vet recommends me biking her at 4 months to keep her sane and my trainer recommends me to ask my vet to prescribe meds for her hyper-ness.... And yes if this puppy can not survive with 1.5 hr exercise per day at 4 months then I will not get another puppy again!
What are you going to do if the new puppy is just as energetic and hyper as the previous pup? Will she ALSO be rehomed?

Or if it doesn't stay in line with your training goals?

The way you described the previous puppies energy level is not out of the ordinary for gsd pups in general.

ETA: you do understand that GSDS are working dogs. That they were bred to go ALL day long. Right? Some need a LOT of exercise.
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Last edited by voodoolamb; 12-10-2016 at 12:25 PM.
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