Puppy capabilities - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy capabilities

I imagine that just like people some dogs learn faster and some dont so this is all relative but are young puppies able to adavance in training commands? What i mean is adding in distractions and such. When i watch training videos i see these young dogs (7-12weeks) executing commands well and in my mind i just assumed wow that puppy is really trained. Realistically though the puppy is in a room with little to know distractions. So what i guess im asking is this... are your young pups able to sit, stay, come, or down even in public because i dont see that part of the video and it makes me wonder about my expectation level? I just play around with my girl right now and she knows a few commands in our house but if she is capable of more id like to know. I dont want to overload her at all but i also want to have fun with her and if she's enjoying it i will do a little more training with distractions.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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An example of what I'm looking for would be " yes/no you can expect an 11 week old pup to sit in public in general" or "yes/no the best a young puppy is going to be able to focus on is doing commands with little to no distractions" or " yes/no a puppy will execute commands but the puppy will not be able to advance with that command until older"
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 07:28 AM
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It is amazing what little pups will figure out but be prepared for ups and downs. Some days it will seem like they have forgotten everything. Some days they may learn something you didn't intend. Remember that a bad behavior from a little guy is cute but it won't stay cute for long. No letting them practice something you don't want them to do. Forget training with distractions. The whole world is distraction enough right now. You are absolutely right to do it in small bits and pieces and fun fun fun. And remember naps! Very important at this age. And let the dog nap, too
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 09:21 AM
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Most puppies 8-14 weeks are capable of learning and executing everything an adult dog can do even under distraction. Generalization will take a bit more time but not as much as people think if you know what you're doing.

The problem is getting them there. To get them there tactfully and without fallout is an art form and if you are not a high level trainer it is best to take things slower.

There is a balance to be had between obedience training and play and relationship that is hard to get right. If you are not even aware of this then you probably need to work play and relationship first for a while.

While I train young puppies for others, and as a result accelerate the process for those dogs, with my own dogs I generally take things a bit slower.

My main priorities are teaching an iron clad recall, a door stay, and then a language of agreement or disagreement. Games and organized play are also high priority. From there it is mostly about teaching routine and conditioned calmness. Downs, sits, or anything more are just not necessary or needed and don't get worked until 4-7 months. Not because I can't do it, but more because it just doesn't matter to me.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-14-2017, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post

There is a balance to be had between obedience training and play and relationship that is hard to get right. If you are not even aware of this then you probably need to work play and relationship first for a while.
^^^THIS! The mistakes I see people make most frequently is that they either expect too much - and by that I mean a strictly linear learning curve - and get frustrated, damaging their relationship with the puppy; or they effectively train their puppy to ignore them by asking but not enforcing. Either way is problematic, and won't get you closer to the "dog" you're hoping to see later on.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
My main priorities are teaching an iron clad recall, a door stay, and then a language of agreement or disagreement. .
@Baillif, could you say some more about what you mean by "a language of agreement or disagreement" and how you go about teaching that?

Thanks!

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-15-2017, 02:13 PM
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Dogs learn by consequence. For optimum learning to occur you need markers that are able to bridge the gap between a target behavior and a consequence that is desired or undesired for the dog. One marker for yes do more of that choice and one marker for no bad thing is coming as a result of that choice. From there it's about consistency, timing, and clean procedures.

If you want any more than that you're going to need coaching, but that's the basic idea. Just enough rope for you to hang yourself with on accident.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-16-2017, 01:16 AM
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Thanks for responding, @Baillif. I was simply curious as to what you meant in the previous post.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 03:07 AM
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First thing I taught my pup at 8wks was sit. We would work on it when going potty outside and someone would walk by. Then, because I'd have to take my shoes off once back inside, she'd get put into a sit. So multiple times a day we were doing sit. Now at 18wks, she knows it well when treats are involved, but when out and about with distractions, it may take me a few times to get her to sit (I know I should say it once, but she'll usually sit after saying it 2-3 times. Any more and it's because she's super distracted)

I've been working on other commands as well

I understand your possible frustration. Even with puppy trick videos, you are never shown how the pup was up until the real video was, so it gives you false expectations not knowing how long the pup and owner/ trainer really worked at it

Also, I found with an 8-12wk old pup, I could only get a few repetitions before she stopped caring about doing tricks for treats. The more tricks you're able to add into the mix as they get older, the more fun it will be for the pup, and their attention will hang around longer
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