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My puppy is just 11 weeks old and I know this could take a year or two(?) but a big goal of mine is to be able to take her to any large open area with or without people around and have her come right back. I'd also like to be able to take her on leash to stores that allow dogs and be well behaved. We start puppy classes soon, and if all goes well I plan to continue with the other classes they offer.

Do any of you take your dogs with you a lot of places and/or play fetch with them around other people with a good recall? Any tips at this age?
 

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Work in a non distracting enviroment so that the puppy will learn the command. Then once you see the puppy acing the command, start adding distraction. Start by adding noise, kids, friends, other dogs, etc. Then move from the controlled enviroment to the park. Look for a park with low crowd then build the puppy up to a high traffic park.

It takes patience but GSD are fast learners

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Pretty much what Kona said.Go at his own pace when adding distractions.If it's just way too interesting and he can't seem to pay attention back up to the point where you were having consistent success and try again next week.Avoid giving him a chance to blow you off.
It's helpful to walk with him outside in a safe area off leash and whenever he comes near or gives eye contact he gets a treat or whatever is a high value reward for him.You'll start seeing very soon...sniff,sniff,run a little,check in with you.
 

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engagement engagement engagement. build a relationship where all the good stuff comes from you. food. toys. ball.

at 11 weeks old, you can do all food training protocols. Start inside the house in the least distracting environment. build a relationship with your dog through training, you can teach him sit, down, place, heel, recall all using food. once his obedience indoors is bomb proof, then you start doing it outside around your house or on pavement (when its not hot) once you move into the grass it becomes harder because its more distracting for the dog due to the smells. start recalls on a 6 ft lead, then eventually move to a long line. dont rush on the foundation stuff, it takes time, patience, and consistency.

as a puppy food will be the ultimate motivator but as your dog ages, find what really motivates them (it still might be food, or maybe your dog has high prey drive and is very ball driven, or likes affection) whatever the motivation, use it to your advantage.
 

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I read once by slamdunc on here that he's more exciting for his dog than anything else.
So be exciting. Be loud, high pitched, and animated. Have rewards.
I try to do this. At 11 weeks youll build a great foundation. And you are still faster than your puppy. But when they get to their jackhole stage, a check cord really helps for off leash work.
 

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engagement engagement engagement. build a relationship where all the good stuff comes from you. food. toys. ball.
Totally agree. We have lots of regional parks near us, and one of them that allows off leash dogs under voice control has free range cattle during part of the year. We used to take Dena and Keefer there after work all the time, and they were SO into chasing and retrieving tennis balls that we could play right by the herd and they would totally ignore the cows.









With flyball training we determine what the dog is most willing to work for. Sometimes that's food, sometimes that's a tug toy or a ball on a rope, or a frisbee type toy. We do restrained recalls, where one person holds the dog while the owner revs the dog up and then runs away. The restrainer releases the dog and it runs to the owner for a reward.

You don't want to do a lot of running with an 11 week old puppy, but you can work on playing with her and keeping her engaged both at home and in public places, and calling her back and forth between two or more people for a reward for short distances.

I also did recall games around the house when my dogs were puppies. I'd drop a treat on the floor and as soon as the puppy went for it, I'd run to another room in the house, calling the name. When the pup got to me it got another treat, then I'd toss one on the floor and run away again, over and over again. I love teaching my dogs that it's way more fun to chase me around than to make me chase THEM around! I've never had a dog that didn't love this game.

Even when we out somewhere on leash, I'd occasionally run backwards a few steps, mark and reward, and then continue forward again. Be sure and be very happy and upbeat in your demeanor.
 

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Yep. I can bring my dog anywhere and let her off leash. She'll run a couple steps then turn around and look at me for guidance. She knows hanging with me is to her benefit.
 

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For indoor variety, you could start taking her to the stores and practice her sit while you are at the counter. I used the post office, town hall, police dept, bank, etc (low to no dog traffic places) to teach and proof patience and no jumping while at a counter. I did stay away from pet shops though.
 
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