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My pup is 9wks old tomorrow... when is a good age to start training? Is it better to train myself? Or send him to classes?

If I train him myself... what are some recommended treats without upsetting his stomach?
 

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You can start any time. :) It's better to TAKE him to classes, not send him to classes. Typically classes are an hour a week, so even if you do enroll in a class, you'll be doing the training yourself - the bulk of it at home between classes. I usually train at home on my own for a couple of weeks before starting classes, because we needed to have at least the first two rounds of puppy shots before enrolling.
 

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agree with Debbie. You can start training at any time. Its best to go to classes WITH your dog so you both learn and your pup learns to listen to you and look to you for guidance.

as far as treats go, you can use your pups food. Just portion it out so some is used for actual meals and some is used for treats. If you want to branch out, there's really any number of things you can try.
 

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Yes you can start going now. I would go to classes. I thought that I needed to wait and so I did until Dante had all of his vaccinations at 4 mos. When my trainer told me that we could have started at 8 weeks I was bummed because I felt like we had really missed out.


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training starts when you pick your dog up. riding in the car,
potty training, crate training. my dog was in a puppy class
at 10 weeks old (after his 2nd round of shots). when he was
4 months old OB started. before OB it very basic training, crate
trained, house broken at 11 or 12 weeks, he knew his name,
working on come. i don't remember what else he knew before
OB classes but when OB started things just took off. one year
after starting OB he was trained. two years after starting OB
he was very well trained.
 

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I'd start training now and get him enrolled in training too. It's typical a 6 week course you go to for an hour once a week. :)

There are loads of treats to use for training. I switch between kibble (take some from a breakfast/lunch/dinner portion and train with it piece by piece and larger quantities as jackpot rewards), pet botanic's beef training rewards (200 for ~$2), hebrew national hot dogs cut up into pea size amounts and, plato's freeze dried salmon broken up into smaller pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
training starts when you pick your dog up. riding in the car,
potty training, crate training. my dog was in a puppy class
at 10 weeks old (after his 2nd round of shots). when he was
4 months old OB started. before OB it very basic training, crate
trained, house broken at 11 or 12 weeks, he knew his name,
working on come. i don't remember what else he knew before
OB classes but when OB started things just took off. one year
after starting OB he was trained. two years after starting OB
he was very well trained.
Forgive my seemingly stupid question, but what is the difference between basic training and OB training?
 

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I agree completely with Doggiedad! Training begins the second you pick your puppy. Your interaction with your puppy in puppyhood has a drastic impact in the dog that he will be.

Puppy classes taught at mainstream pet stores usually accepts puppies at 10 weeks to 5 months of age. If you are looking at mainstream pet stores for socialization I recommend you call several of them as trainers are not always equal. Good questions to ask them is the amount of experience they have, if they own dogs what breeds, how many dogs are currently enrolled in the puppy class and etc..

When my puppy was between 8 – 10 weeks I took every chance to introduce him to family member pets that were current on vaccinations and dog friendly. Sylar meet a GSD, Chihuahua, Puggle, Fox Terrier, Cats, Black Lab and etc. Also take advantage of introducing your puppy to people as well. GSD grow up fast but when they are a puppy no one can resist petting them. This changes quickly as you will find many people are afraid of larger dogs and as I said GSD grow fast.

Most important thing in training I wish I focused on more was attention and building a better food drive at an early age. Attention is so important. Finally keep things positive and have fun with your puppy. They grow up way to fast.
 

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I got her at 14 weeks started at about 19 weeks. I let her get settled, then started taking her to classes which I practiced at home everyday.wanted to minimalize the stress and she excelled tremendously
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree completely with Doggiedad! Training begins the second you pick your puppy. Your interaction with your puppy in puppyhood has a drastic impact in the dog that he will be.

Puppy classes taught at mainstream pet stores usually accepts puppies at 10 weeks to 5 months of age. If you are looking at mainstream pet stores for socialization I recommend you call several of them as trainers are not always equal. Good questions to ask them is the amount of experience they have, if they own dogs what breeds, how many dogs are currently enrolled in the puppy class and etc..

When my puppy was between 8 – 10 weeks I took every chance to introduce him to family member pets that were current on vaccinations and dog friendly. Sylar meet a GSD, Chihuahua, Puggle, Fox Terrier, Cats, Black Lab and etc. Also take advantage of introducing your puppy to people as well. GSD grow up fast but when they are a puppy no one can resist petting them. This changes quickly as you will find many people are afraid of larger dogs and as I said GSD grow fast.

Most important thing in training I wish I focused on more was attention and building a better food drive at an early age. Attention is so important. Finally keep things positive and have fun with your puppy. They grow up way to fast.
Any idea how GOOD mainstream training is? I really want home to learn, and I'm willing to make the time and put in the dedication to him following my commands as well as him being a well mannered and respected/admired dog.

Which is why I was considering doing the training myself... any suggestions?
 

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This is my opinion about socialization, training and obedience:
When I first got Sylar at 8 weeks I knew that how I interacted with him on a day to day basis would shape him into adulthood. Basic training at 8 weeks for me was focused on building a trusting relationship with Sylar in the most positive manner as possible to establish a foundation for future training. In addition I also educated him on the rules of the house. For example potty outside, chewing on shoes and wires are unacceptable, how to greet people calmly and etc. In addition I also worked on attention, his name, sit and come. Although, he also learned down, rollover, paw and etc. the important thing I worked towards was having him look forward to training by making it interesting and fun. A puppy between 8 – 12 weeks have very short attention spans. Although, I wanted him to learn commands I didn’t want to force it upon him where he didn’t enjoy training. I think any kind of initial training should be as positive as possible and short. What I didn’t want was a dog that only performed commands out of compulsion. In addition to what I consider above as basic training I also on worked on other drives such as playing fetch and etc. I don’t consider training a puppy a race in how many commands they know but more focused on the foundation.

I think puppy classes at an early age (Sylar started at 12 weeks) benefits a dog with socialization and some behavioral conditioning. I know they go over basic commands but what I really wanted out of it was to teach my dog how to be calm in distractive situations and focus on me! People here will have differences about when to start puppy classes based on a puppy immune system and vaccinations. Some wait till 12 – 16 weeks and etc. When I was looking for puppy classes I called both Petsmart and Petco. Living in the city I had many options. Out of the seven stores I called I found a trainer that I liked. She has been a trainer for 15+ years and also owned GSDs. In her class she went over principles that most cookie cutter trainers probably wouldn’t have covered if they solely followed the curriculum. I based my decision on what class to enroll him to the trainer not the store.

I have a specific dog trainer scheduled for formal obedience that Sylar will be starting at five months. This is the trainer that I will be working with for titling Sylar. The difference between formal obedience for me is learning more complex commands with expectancy of prompt and acurate execution. At five months a puppy has more attention but training should still proceed slow and positively. Sylar knows 2 sets of commands already. The first in English for basic commands such as sit, stay, down and etc. He also knows a second set of commands that we will expect him to perform with urgency.
 

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We train at home and started puppy classes after 2nd set of shots, it's really fun to train with them! especially if you have the only GSD in class! they become demo dogs for instructors, super fun!
 

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We train at home and started puppy classes after 2nd set of shots, it's really fun to train with them! especially if you have the only GSD in class! they become demo dogs for instructors, super fun!

I know!!! That's what I was just telling my girlfriend! Haha... Cause I know if we sign up for a class... and he's the only GSD, for sure he's gonna be setting the bar high for the rest of the breeds.

Recommend any places here in L.A.?
 

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We plan to join the GSD club of WI and their beginner class starts at 6 months old. Our female is currently 4 months (born 6/11/13) but the first GSD club class that she is old enough for is January putting her at 7 months old. We are going to Pet Co for puppy play time and will go to puppy "kinder garden" at the GSD club the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month but do people recommend a puppy OB class from a place like Pet Co before starting the training programs through the GSD club? I don't want to wait too long. We work with her at home on OB and tricks (sit, down, stay, come, off, leave it) but doing commands in a distracting environment would be beneficial. Thank you for any advice! Henry
 
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