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Hey everyone, I'm curious to know what age is best to put your dog through obedience training? Is there a such thing as too early or too late?
 

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I got Gunny quite young. Just under 7weeks. Followed breeders advice and hand fed him. This worked for bonding and teaching. After about a week I started luring sit,down,"big" (my stand) and to follow my hands wherever. All marker based.
 

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Any puppies I had started school at 12 weeks.
 

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I'd say earlier than 3 months is too soon. It's never too late but the sooner the better I'd say. In my opinion 3-6 months is the ideal time to really get started. Shaping before then with food is fine too I just wouldn't be using any aversives.
 

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thank you for all the feedback! Now another question would be, would you board the dog for obedience training in the early months or go to a school where you can take them there and back - this way you can spend more time with the puppy at this young age?
 

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Training is as much for the human as it is for the dog. You are learning to communicate with each other, not just teach your dog skills. If a top notch trainer for specific skills training was too far to commute to and from than boarding might be the answer...but for pups I'd think doing the work together is the much better way to go.
 

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I'm guessing you mean obedience training with a trainer/at a school/whatever. I'd wait a couple of months in that case. But if you just mean general training, you can start that yourself the second you have the puppy. Puppies can learn to sit as young as 6 weeks. Just don't take it too seriously or do too much.

Teach little things. Like sitting before getting a meal/treat, going outside to pee; and learning to look at you, what a collar and a leash are for, what toys are for, and how to follow you. These are very, very basic things that set up a nice little foundation as the puppy gets older. Itty bitty 2 minute sessions a couple times a day with lots of play mixed in. Only use treats/praise/toys and no corrections at this point.

In terms of in-depth training, I'd make sure you're the one training with the puppy. Don't send them off to boarding school. They need to learn that you're the leader and are the number 1 person to turn to for direction.
 

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I say 3 months? Here is my 3 months old Husk. He's male and he's a working line. I started training him at around 2 and a half months but I'd say that was too soon as I was getting mixed reaction. He just wanted the treat and wasn't soo much into learning. Now at 3 months he looks okay and he does all the commands right. But another day he awoke his aggression. He's hair around the neck stood up, almost put me down on leash. Strong dog this. His force /energy is nearly twice his weight.
 

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thank you for all the feedback! Now another question would be, would you board the dog for obedience training in the early months or go to a school where you can take them there and back - this way you can spend more time with the puppy at this young age?
All training is done by myself. I personally would not send any dog of mine to a board and train.
 

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Now what if training becomes difficult for the owner and you need assistance, should I still not rely on boarding even if it's only for 2 weeks?
 

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I started training "sit" at 8wks, but it was contextual. Before getting a treat. If someone was walking by outside. I then did "down" around 10-11wks... not sure. Those were the bigger ones I wanted to get down

I started doing more after 3mos

Remember that for a young pup, you might LITERALLY only be able to do a few commands commands during a "training session." I did a combo "sit-down-stand." I could prob get up to a 3rd round before my pup was done

Just always remember to end training strong and don't force the pup to keep going. If you find your pup gets bored after 5 commands, then only do 3 commands (I would use "sit" as a final command and then give lots of big praise and extra treats).
 

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Adjusting to our home at 10 weeks old; as soon as their little feet hit the floor: sit by the door at the sound of the door bell, recall and walking next to me off leash, sit for food. At around 14 - 16 weeks a basic class, followed by the next one and then decide what else we are going to do based on the dog's preferences.
 

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Age to start training? As soon as they are off mom. So about 4 weeks old. Puppies are like sponges and soak things up.
So true. By the time mine were in class they were like 10 steps ahead of all the others. They were like honor student pups...lol

APOLLO did that star puppy class(I think that is what it's called), he was the only one to pass that class out of the whole class. I take the training(especially the first year to give them foundation)seriously and it doesn't end after you leave class. We did all kinds of stuff at home. He was miles ahead of the other pups. I could never understand how you take a pup at class and do nothing at home. It does not work that way.
 

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I start shaping behaviours as soon as they come home mostly by luring.

Heel, front, sit, down and stand. I also like to do some perch work and focus/attention stuff. Crate games is fun and so is the recall.

I don't necessarily put words with anything until a bit older and everything is done with food and toys mostly.

I am just starting my pup (10 weeks) and her first club (IPO) day is this Saturday. I'm assuming we will do some recalls, a bit of luring and rag work. I also see a private trainer to help with my obedience for the sport which will start in a few weeks time (winter here and I don't want her in a public dog building until all her vaccines are good). For now we will do stuff at home and at our club where I can be sure it's safe for a young pup.
 

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I began pretty much as soon as I got my pup. We got him at 5 weeks, too early I know. By six weeks, he was sitting. 7 weeks we were sitting, and laying "down". All of this was done with treats. 8 weeks, we worked on sit, down, come here, and shake ( I taught him this to please my kids, not important at all), and we really started focus exercises . By 9 weeks we ran drilled often through out the day, with and without treats. At 10 weeks now, he responds to all these commands most of the time regardless of treats. This was all the while potty training, and kennel training. We are constantly working on bite inhibition, and currently working on wait, stay and some leash work. I'm no trainer, and never realized teaching them to sit before meals and at doors was so important, so we're now establishing this. I love how smart this breed is.
 

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I got Xena too early as well; 5-5 1/2 weeks. I do believe it has harmed her in the way of biting and nipping. I didn't work with her as much as I should have until she was about 7-8 weeks. I was going to go the board and train route but something happened at the place I was going to send her; and I found a place an hour away and cheaper that we travel to work for an hour and we come home. It's suppose to be 2x weekly but my work schedule won't allow it. She knew sit okay and she sits before I give her food; she sits before we go inside the house. It's a work in progress; I love training with her; I do work with her at home almost every evening unless it's raining or too cold. When she gets older if she develops any behaviors that aren't good then I'll have to do the board and train but I'm hoping not.

Xena is a GSD mixed with a Mal...sometimes I think the Mal genes are stronger with her than the GSD. I'll post updated pictures soon.
 

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Now what if training becomes difficult for the owner and you need assistance, should I still not rely on boarding even if it's only for 2 weeks?
My own preference would be to hire a trainer to work with you and the puppy. If you're training a puppy and running into problems, 99.9% of the time it's not the puppy it's the owner/trainer. So sending your puppy off to even a two week board and train fails to effectively train the weak link - you. Not trying to be offensive, or pick on you in any way, it's just a fact. Lots of people with puppies end up having issues they don't know how to deal with. Nothing to be ashamed of, it happens all the time. But working with a trainer early on can help you view training a new way, and help you to hone your training skills so that next time something comes up you'll be able to deal with it on your own effectively. For serious problem behaviors later on, depending on your knowledge level, experience, or personal situation, a board and train might be a good option. But when your puppy is under 4 or 5 months, you will be better served working with a trainer personally. I hope this helps, and congrats on the new pup!
 
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