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Hello!
My fiancé and I brought home our first ever puppy (Steel) a couple weeks ago. No real big problems right now - just puppy teeth and not caring too much to walk nice on a leash (doesn’t not like the leash, just not a huge fan of being told where to go). Very food motivated and not afraid of anything. (Thinks the vacuum is his friend!). We have started training. He will be 9 weeks tomorrow and responds decent to his Name now. I think in a week or two his ability to learn is going to surpass my skill to teach...lol..

Anyway, any words of wisdom are welcome! I have found this forum very helpful for my specific questions.

Meet Steel!
560583
 

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What an amazing picture and a beautiful dog!

My Jupiter will be two on Halloween and we are very happy with him. Here are the things that I think were important for us:
1. get Patricia McConnell's Puppy Book and, well, do what she says. It's very important that the pup gets socialized--this doesn't mean playing with other dogs, but that he needs to get positive or neutral exposure to all the things he'll ever need to interact with in his life. So--yes, other dogs, but also people, children, men, women, people in hats, people in masks, cats; cars, bicycles, skateboards, rolling garbage bins; concrete, slick floors, sliding doors; ducks, pigs, etc.
2. regular training: Might be hard right now, but we enrolled in classes starting around 14 weeks. We felt the risk of disease was lower than the risk of not socializing. The classes weren't a big box store, but a reputable company, and Jupiter learned lots of commands (and I got better teaching), while being around other dogs. Learning to ignore them and that they weren't a big deal.
3. lots of exercise: These dogs are powerhouses and need to run around and do stuff. I was able to take Jupiter out for exercise and walks every day, multiple times a day. That's probably why he's never destroyed our house (Okay, he did eat the iPad power cord, but that was on his first week, give him a break!). One thing I wish I didn't do is that we played fetch every day. The recommendation is to hold off on too much fetch and that it might be bad for his joints.
4. He did get a good food, Nulo. Don't know how much that matters, but loves it and I used it to train him.

That's probably enough for now! Enjoy your pretty boy!
 

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Thank you! The note about fetch is a good reminder with a breed so prone to joint issues. We will keep that in mind. I was hesitant of puppy classes, mostly because so many trainers seem to be kind of a rip off/ineffective, however nearly everyone I’ve talked to recommends doing it for the socialization which is a very fair point. I will definitely be looking into it - hopefully COVID hasn’t cancelled all of them!
 

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What a sharp little guy you have there! I'm no expert but went thru obedience training when my pup was still a pup. One thing I wish I had known sooner was teaching her focus. My trainer had me do a "watch me" command while holding a treat. After the dog did it 5 times in a row, I'd giver her a treat. Sounds silly, but if it helps your dog look at you, he may be able to focus on your commands vs a distractions. Good luck.
 

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Sweet looking pup, having a good trainer help you is invaluable. You can also supplement the training or get a head start with some good training videos. Look up Stonnie Dennis and Nate Schoemer on youtube, they both produce some great training videos.
 

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Thanks for the feedback Rionel! I’ve been trying to use his name as a focus command, but haven’t decided if I’m going to want a “watch me” or “focus” as well. Great advice!
 

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Thanks for the feedback Rionel! I’ve been trying to use his name as a focus command, but haven’t decided if I’m going to want a “watch me” or “focus” as well. Great advice!
You got it- in fact one lady trainer on youtube does exactly that. She puts the pup on sit, then says her name and rewards. Then she moves to "Gypsy, come" and the dog comes and sits at her feet for the next treat.
 

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Take lots and lots of pictures. Keep him off of manmade surfaces. Take him somewhere where he is safe from traffic and start walking him off leash now. Buy the book Purely Positive Training by Sheila Booth, and watch Stonnie Dennis videos.
 

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Great looking pup. No off leash until the "come" command is down cold. Long leash training is the middle ground.
Training is life long or much longer than most do. Don't settle for OK, your dog is capable of tremendous things that will make him a joy to you both
 
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