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What sorts of things should I be working on with Rajko at this age? He is actually almost 13 weeks old. I am a believer in letting a puppy be a puppy and not forcing him into a robot dog with strict obedience at a very young age, but I also do not want to miss out on things I could be working on that he'd be able to take to, even with his short attention span.

I have mostly just worked on having a strong and positive bond with him, a positive recall with tons of praise every time, basic sit and platz, focus on my face, and "settle" commands. He has tons of prey drive so I am trying to work on retrieving, although he usually brings it ALMOST all the way back to me and then stops and wants to keep it to himself (unless I trade for a treat).

Anyway, please comment with anything you might suggest, or explain what you were teaching your pup during this stage! Please don't just say what it was... actually explain how you did it.
 

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We are just keeping it at the basics like you and just reinforcing that. Also walking on a leash, which you didn't mention, and lots of socialization. we won't be focusing more in obedience until they are 6 months. Then more heeling and more obedience training. Just working our way up slowly.
 

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ardavis324, sounds like you are doing well. All happy and positive training at this age. Getting your pup to WANT to be with your, WANT to learn, and love it at the same time. No 'have' to do whatever, but figuring out how to get your puppy excited about learning and being with you.

SOCIALIZATION is way more important in the next few months. A happy and confident puppy in any situation is always going to also be easy to train. One that, instead, is freaking out because of the 'scary person with the hat over there' won't be able to focus or listen/learn at all.

So putting that puppy in the car, driving everywhere. Meeting EVERYONE. Going to friends homes. Meeting friendly dogs. Main St USA, playgrounds, parking areas, farms, woods...... Just bring them everywhere you are going, and when you get there, take them out of the car!

If you go to This site there are ideas of things to do with your dog and places to go to get them up and onto things and be comfortable in new situations.

But really getting AWAY from the house/yard and known things to new places with new people/situations are key. That way they really learn to look to and rely on YOU as the leader. So if you are calm and happy, then so are they!
 

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My pup is close to yours age and we are just doing the same things you are doing. We are playing fetch and "find it" games around the house. I hide treats and then she has to find them. She loves this one!!

Also, 6 days out of 7 we are at softball games for our kids. She goes to all of them and loves to meet everyone we see. She has been taught to sit for petting and is doing well with that. She hasn't met anyone she is afraid of yet. I have also introduced her to our local police in uniform, military men in uniform, construction workers with hats, (they were working on our road), etc. The loud spontaneous cheering at the park doesn't make her startle at all. Lots of dogs on leashes at the games too so she gets to meet them also.

Lastly, she is in puppy kindergarten at a local training center. This is ALOT of fun and we met nice puppies and people. There is no "off leash" time at ours so she gets to meet and greet other dogs without being overwhelmed.

Keep up the good work!!
 

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Jackson is 12 weeks as of yesterday...we do the same thing, basic sit, down (still a little iffy), sit and wait for dinner, etc...and definitely socializing..he loves going to swim practice.

The biggest problem has been ME...I want to teach it all now because I know he is that smart....but I don't want to pressure him with too much too soon.
 

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Quote:Also, 6 days out of 7 we are at softball games for our kids. She goes to all of them and loves to meet everyone we see. She has been taught to sit for petting and is doing well with that. She hasn't met anyone she is afraid of yet. I have also introduced her to our local police in uniform, military men in uniform, construction workers with hats, (they were working on our road), etc. The loud spontaneous cheering at the park doesn't make her startle at all. Lots of dogs on leashes at the games too so she gets to meet them also.

Lastly, she is in puppy kindergarten at a local training center. This is ALOT of fun and we met nice puppies and people. There is no "off leash" time at ours so she gets to meet and greet other dogs without being overwhelmed.
WOW, if I come back as a puppy I want to live with you! Great job!!
 
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