When to begin training older puppy? (long) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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When to begin training older puppy? (long)

Hi, my husband and I just bought our German Shepherd after weeks of searching! But we didn't get exactly what we set out after. We were originally looking for a younger puppy to buy from a breeder, but instead found ourselves answering an ad for a 6 month old puppy off of Craigslist. We were both skeptical at first, but after talking with the owner this morning, I knew we at least had to meet him.

"Bear", now known as Kaiser, was originally purchased by the people we got him from when he was 12 weeks old. Medically, he's been very well taken care of. He's been to the vet once a month since they got him, he has all his shots, and has always been on heartguart and frontline. Last week they noticed he had a cough and took him right to the vet. He's currently on antibiotics for a slight cold, which we were given, along with a 6 month packet of heartguard plus and 2 more doses of frontline max. It really surprised me because alot of people around here (Jacksonville, NC) would never do any of that, sad to say.

But when I asked if he was housebroken he said no, they didn't have the time so he was only an outside dog. When I asked why they were getting rid of him, he said it was because he wasn't aggressive enough- he was too friendly with everyone. Seeing as they had 2 small children (a 6 yr old and a 3 yr old), I thought that would be a good thing, but hey, their loss!

Now that you know the background, my question is: when do we begin training? I read somewhere else that when you get an older puppy like this, it's best to push back formal training until they've adjusted to their new family, home, and lifestyle. But I'm thinking it should begin right away- it would be a good bonding experience as well as making him an active productive member of the family. But seeing as I'm not a dog trainer, I thought I'd get some more opionions. So let me have them!

KC, proud owner of...

Kaiser, "The Tornado"
Baron, "The Pacifier"
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 12:08 AM
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Re: When to begin training older puppy? (long)

Immediately! Make it fun and give lots of rewards! The training will help him settle in because you're setting up a routine and boundaries and establishing yourself as the leader. Dogs thrive on structure!

I would enroll him in a class ASAP too.

He's adorable--congratulations!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 12:40 AM
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Re: When to begin training older puppy? (long)


You can start training now!

Start practicing NILF(Nothing in life is free, you can google this for more suggestions). Basically, your dog needs to earn what ever he wants. Teach him to sit before you put down the bowl at feeding time. Have him sit and wait before going out the door to go outside. Have him sit and wait before putting on his leash to go on a walk. This will become a way of life for him.

If you can find an obedience class near you, that would be great. I would enroll him in one asap.

It sounds you and your husband really lucked out. What a handsome boy you have! And he was given up for not being aggressive enough? Pfff. Whatever. Being super friendly is not a defect.

Good luck with your new friend!


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 12:46 AM
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Re: When to begin training older puppy? (long)

to the forum and congratulations on your new family member.

Just as BowWowMeow said, you want to start training immediately. In fact you started from the moment you picked him up. He's already learning by observation and his interactions with you and your family.
So become proactive and get started. There are some great threads here in the Training our Puppy (basic) section. Here's a link to a recent thread: Different methods of puppy training

Good Luck and thank you for giving this puppy a better opportunity.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2009, 08:19 AM
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Re: When to begin training older puppy? (long)

He sounds like the PERFECT dog with a great temperment. Puppies are SUPPOSED to be friendly!!!

ARe you crate training? Best way to get a handle on the housebreaking and him doing well in the home.

And 6 months is also the PERFECT age to find some good dog classes and start up with him! That way everyone one is learning together and you can continue with the vital socialization with the car rides, new people and pups!


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