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Discussion Starter #1
We have been working with Apollo on "light" NIFL training. When I say light I mean, he sits before we go through a door. He sits before we feed him.

Right now when we go through a door he will sit until I open the door. On ocassion Apollo has reacted to the command before Rocky.

However, when I feed him he will also sit, but it is not for long. I have tried to place my hand in front of him/on his chest to increase the time he is in his sit, but he still jumps up. Any suggestions for keeping him in a sit longer, (right now I would like to have him sit until I can put his food bowl down. I will gradually increase the time between putting the bowl down and releasing him, but how do I increase it now?
 

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Start using a release command. When they sit before you open the door, they should not move until you tell them "okay" (that's the word I use). You should be able to walk out the door while they are still in a sit-stay inside and not move until you tell them "okay". Practice using a release command so they don't have to guess how long you want them to stay. They will start to look for you to give the release command instead of thinking 'I have sat here long enough'. Eventually you should build up to a 20 minute down stay inside and the outside. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I already do the release command when going through the doors. And Apollo will sit for several minutes right now. Not bad considering he is a little guy.

Really looking for suggestions at feeding time. Rocky was older when we started this so it was much easier.
 

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Instead of using a sit/stay, we use wait and either eat or outside. It works pretty good. I haven't heard or seen anything but what has been stated for feeding. You could always repeat wait every so often to keep reminding him that he is in a wait until you release him.
 

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As long as you are just getting started, a release word is a good thing,
but pick a word not so often used with different contexts. I've seen so many avoidable silly issues with using "Okay", I use "freedog", it never means anything else, I never say it while on the phone, then wonder why the dog broke it's down, etc.

Also keep the times in command short, reward with praise after release.
Over time, increase time. Set him up for success until solid.
 

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How old is he?

And the training method needs to 'set him up to succeed'. So 'babysteps' with the training level that you KNOW he will do.

Like have him 'sit' when you are holding the bowl. Put the bowl down and IMMEDIATELY give the release word. So he's rewarded for the 'sit' he did the entire time you were lowering the bowl. Don't mess around in slow motion while you are doing this. Just have him 'sit' put down the bowl, stand up and release him with your 'ok' or whatever.

IF HE GOES for the bowl before you release it's no big deal and no corrections. But this is where your training skills and TIMING TIMING TIMING comes in. Because you should be RIGHT there and when he breaks early, you reach down and up the bowl comes into the air. So no food.

You are calm. You are NOT correcting and saying 'no' or anything. You are, instead SHOWING him what the consequences are for his actions. And because you are quiet and calm he can THINK and figure it out.

Only once he's doing this perfectly do you add a longer wait for the release. Or you can get further away. Or you can have him sit further away. But remember, the goal is to have him 'win' and figure it out so he gets the food. Not that you push him further than he's ready so he gets corrected or frustrated cause it's too much too fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Maggie great idea I will try that. I normally start from a kneeling positin when putting down his food, so he doesnt have to wait as long. As soon as he sees the bowl being lowered he is on the move.

He is 8 weeks by the way. I am trying to do things as baby steps so he does not get too confused.
 

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At his youg age I would be happy with any little success you might have. It will help him to understand how training works as he gets older. As the weeks go by itll be eaiser and eaiser to get him to follow commands. As for the food bowl, I agree with the responce if he breaks the sit before the bowl in on the floor, pick it back up and start over. Its a very good visual for him. It helps see what happens when moves too soon.
 

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8 weeks old is a teeny teeny baby. So our expectations should also be small at this age. They truly have the attention span of a gnat. So asking for much of a stay is really pushing their limits.

If you keep in mind 'how can I set my pup up to do this RIGHT', that always helps me break things down into much smaller training steps.

8 weeks old is a perfect time to start clicker training! Best thing is it's clear to the puppy. And since we are learning also (how to use the clicker) it puts alot of the burden back on us. WE are learning and figuring it out too. So both pup and handler are learning and progressing. Cause it uses food (something that does keep our pups attention for a sec) really a motivator to help the pup learn.

Here's some short videos that really explain this well. It's perfect for puppy training:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=IC367wKGi4M

http://youtube.com/watch?v=15vKqCSNhqY&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=PnRSeuHD_fg&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=BJP9QCXhL1k&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=BIHDwnK6DOw&feature=related
 

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Originally Posted By: DSudd
He is 8 weeks by the way.

Howcome he isn't getting any older? Seems like he has been 8 weeks old for a couple of weeks.

When was he born?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So then my opinion if I can get him into a sit right now even if his butt just touches the ground we are making progress. I am thinking he is understanding this concept, because if I start to raise the bowl back up he will either sit down or jump for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Originally Posted By: BlackGSD
Originally Posted By: DSudd
He is 8 weeks by the way.

Howcome he isn't getting any older? Seems like he has been 8 weeks old for a couple of weeks.

When was he born?
Im not sure, somewhere around 8- 10 weeks old. Im not excatly sure when he was born. If it means that much to you ill see if I can find his birth certificate. But for now we'er talking about training
 

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Originally Posted By: DSudd
Im not sure, somewhere around 8- 10 weeks old. But for now we'er talking about training
I realize that. But it might make a difference in the avdice you are given if he is 8 weeks old and you have been doing this for 2 days, or if he is 10 weeks old and you have been doing it for 2 WEEKS and he isn't getting any better. If that is the case, maybe someone could give OTHER ideas to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, lets say he's 10 weeks old and ive recently started doing some basic training with him. So now that we'er all on the same page and everybody is happy anyone else have any thoughts.
 

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DSudd, we don't mean to be critical but there IS a difference between an 8 week old and a 10 week old puppy. As well as in the next 2 weeks when it goes from 10 to 12 and so on.....

Did you go to the videos I posted the links to..........shows puppies and what you can expect....

AND way more than obedience, we first time puppy owners tend to mess up in another part of our puppy raising. The 'socialization'. This is WAY more important the first 6 months (few years..) then just focusing on 'obedience'. Fact that is seems easy and fun, so we put if off, is a huge issue.

Cause, once again, every WEEK our puppies go thru different stages mentally and emotionally. So things that happen at 8 weeks can be taken in stride, and then at 12 weeks the same situation can freak a puppy out. If we haven't been socializing and preparing during those weeks, we are in big trouble.

Socialization is taking the puppy in the car everywhere, meeting everyone, and exposing the pup to everything in a safe manner. Not overwhelming but not babying either. There are stages the pups go thru in the beginning and if we miss the socialization during these stages, we can't go back and fix it, instead it may be an issue for the rest of their lives.

Here's some great sites about growth stages and socialization:

http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/DevelopmentalStages.html

http://www.doberman.org/articles/puppy.htm

http://www.vanerp.net/ilse/GSDINFO/understandyourpuppy.htm

Puppy Primers:

http://home.flash.net/~astroman/primer1.html

http://www.gsdhelpline.com/willis2.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Maggie I have not looked at them yet. I am not a first time puppy owner, I am just trying to refresh my memory the correct way to teach him the commands while building his little esteem.
 

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Quote: I am not a first time puppy owner,
That's great too! But my advice is still the same. No matter how many puppies I have raised.... (just 3) it's the socialization for the first months that's way more important than any obedience. Course I'm doing tiny little 'tricks' all the time with them (sit, down, shake, etc. all fun 'tricks') but I realize they will learn all that and there's plenty of time for the teaching.

There is NOT, however, plenty of time for socialization. Those 'windows' of opportunity, to make our pups the fantastics dogs we want them to be, slam shut as they grow the first year.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I appreciate you advice. How do you handle socialization when they have not gotten all their shots? He has been with Rocky and another dog. He has been around adult, teenagers, children and small children.

How else can I safely socialize him?
 

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Originally Posted By: DSuddI appreciate you advice. How do you handle socialization when they have not gotten all their shots? He has been with Rocky and another dog. He has been around adult, teenagers, children and small children.

How else can I safely socialize him?
I'm going to say as far as the obedience goes, that clicker training is really a good way to go. It's easy, and fun for the dog! I highly recommend it. I will gladly give you tips and such if you need them!


Socializing the way your doing right now is fine. Taking him out whenever you can for car rides, friend's houses (that don't have dogs of unknown vaccination status) and such are also a good way. I'd just be sure to keep him away from other dogs until he is fully vaccinated. Other than that, if there no strange dogs are going to be there, take him.


Just always pay attention to his body language so you know if he's stressing out or not.
 
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