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Discussion Starter #1
I work with Bella everyday after work, before it gets dark outside. She is always so excited to see me though, and wants to play during training. When is the best time to start getting serious - after a little ball retrieving and running around the yard? Or should work come first, and then playtime? I'm confused.
 

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Work and playtime should be one in the same really if you are using motivational training. Short spurts throughout the day for a young pup like that followed by a little crate time so it sinks in. Always end with the dog wanting more too.
 

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IMO, at her age training and playing should be pretty much the same thing. 3 months old is far too young for serious training. Right now training should be exciting and fun, focusing on building in her a desire to learn and work, a positive outlook on obedience as it being something fun to do with you, the idea that listening to you brings good things, etc...

Rather than keep them separate, I'd have a pocket full of treats and your ball, and go outside and mix the two together. Have her perform some simple obedience commands to earn the ball, throw the ball a bit play with her, then another command to earn more play, and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys! I sort of am doing that already - I didn't mean to insinuate that she has to be perfect during training, and that training isn't fun.

I am using treat motivational training - I have a big pocket full of treats, and everything she does that is desireable, earns her a treat. I only spend about 15 minutes at a time with her expecting her to pay attention, because more than that and she gets too antsy. But I am working on several different things with her because she is catching on so quickly: heeling off the leash, sitting at every stop, staying, coming.....I'm taking most of my tips from the forums and what I've known in the past.

I just didn't know if I should be separating the training from playing, and now I realize that combining them is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Thanks again!!
 
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