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At what age should I begin training?

2362 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  GSDOwner2008
Aside from potty training, do any of you guys/gals recommend an age to begin training. I'm not thinking of anything too rigorous, more on the lines of: sit, stay, roll over, shake, etc?

I know it is important to create a positive bond with our new puppies (mine turned seven weeks old today), thus not jumping into training, but when did you guys/gals begin?

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We started with Max when he was 12 weeks doing puppy socialization, sit, stay, lay down, and leave it.

Start now!

LOTS of socialization is important so they get to start experiencing the world. And that doesn't necesarily mean dog parks and pet store outing where your little guy might not be safe. Funny noises, children in the neighborhood, local playground equipment, all kinds of things that can be new and different are great things to expose your dog to.

You can also start imprinting different commands. I would say for me the 2 most important ones are Come and Watch. "Come" for obvious reasons is a very important command and one that very few dogs do reliably. And I like Watch, because then later on I can always direct my dog's attention back to me. A dog that is looking at you is more likely to be obedient. I also like sit as a default position. So ideally what I get later on down the road is when my dog wants something, he will sit and look at me until I cave in!
Start as soon as possible. The sooner the better
The breeder I want to get my puppy from starts clicker training at 5-6 weeks of age.
Every interaction with the puppy is "training" in one way or another.

You can start teaching a puppy simple things without formal "commands" from a few weeks old.

At seven weeks old, I would work on things like:

follow me
come to me
watch me
lay quietly and let me stroke you ("settle")
let me play with your feet, tail, ears and teeth
let other people greet you and touch you
interact appropriately with other puppies
and start teaching the pup's name (when you say it, if he turns his head to you, reward that)

Keep "training" at this age short and upbeat. after 10 minutes you'll have lost their attention completely.
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Thank you for all of the great tips!
Re: Thanks!

You already have. Every interaction you have with your puppy from the moment you bring it home is carefully observed and processed by the puppy.

Formal type training (sit, stay, etc.) can wait a few weeks. You'll be busy with potty training. It is a good time to start showing leadership though...
Re: Thanks!

My little girl is 10 weeks old. Today, we were working on sits, downs and come. She LOVED it. Pieces of kibble (which was her lunch) to run to Mom. Wahoo! I love Mom! I love my kibble!

Bits of Cheese? To plop my butt on the floor? Wow! What a great gig this is! I could do this all day!

And what's this? Mom's holding a piece of treat between my front paws? If I just lie down, I can reach it. Oh wow! I get the snack and Mom's thrilled. Hooray for me!

I don't see ANY reason to wait. Yeah, we're potty training. Yes, we're socializing. And yes, she's doing sits and downs. And she's scoring nice snacks for it.

As Tracy says, we keep training sessions brief. And I scatter commands throughout the day, so she learns things as she moves through life. Before we cross the street to get the mail, when she's on a leash, we stop, and I tell her Wait. She doesn't understand now. But slowly, she'll learn it without my ever formally training it to her.
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Re: Thanks!

Like the others have said, every interaction you have with the puppy is training. I however from day one with the pup begin on basic manners and leadership. Such as potty training, crate training, sit, etc...
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