We're going to be bringing home our puppy when she's 8-9 weeks old, but she can't start Puppy Kindergarten until she is 12-13 weeks old. I'm considering having the trainer (where we'll be taking classes) do some in-home sessions during that first month. I'm wondering if it's worth it to get the "head start" or if really all I should be focusing on during that time is house and crate training. What do you think?
Also, how do you know what to look for in a trainer?? I like the woman I've been talking to, and she is a CGC evaluator, does obedience/agility training in addition to the basics. In reading her bio though it seems she does follow the Cesar Milan way of thinking (pack leader, etc) and I've read some of your posts that say this is more of an old school train of thought. She says she tailors her method of teaching based on the dog, but I didn't know if this should be a deterrent.
Thanks in advance for any advice!!
Don't know about picking a trainer since I've had good and bad from the same D.C. dog club. I wouldn't pay a trainer early lessons before 12 weeks. Besides housetraining and getting used to your family you can do simple things like sit, come, NO BITE (which is a biggy). Good luck, can't wait to see pictures.
Just an opinion and I am sure others will chime in but with the pup only being 8-9 weeks old their attention span is about 30 seconds so at this point while you can do some training on your own hour long trainings with a professional trainer are going to be more to train you what to do and not the pup. Puppy kindergarten is more for puppy socializing than training. I would focus more on house breaking right now.
I agree -- Whatever 'training' you want to do at that age doesn't really need a trainer. You'll be doing well to get a solid name-recognition and potty-manners within those first weeks.
Thank you! I figured we would have plenty to work on during that time, but wanted to check with all you professionals! Sounds like we'll just get her used to her new home, the crate, housetraining, etc. and then start up with her classes when she's old enough. Thanks again!
I'm with the other posters, do it yourself and save the money! We brought Beau home at 7.5 weeks, and I've been doing clicker training with him since about 8.5 weeks--he's 14 weeks today. (Finally had his last round of shots, so we are free!) Anyway, in that time we've learned sit, down, come, go to your spot, crate, off, gentle, leave it, etc. He even rings a bell when he has to go out. I've made use of a great website, Sue Ailsby's Training Levels http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20DOG...evelsBook.html with great success. Beau is partway through level two. Obviously, since he is a puppy, all the above skills are not perfect, but we've made a good start. The first few weeks we mainly concentrated on house training and just getting him used to being in the family. He's quickly become an integral part of our family, right down to meeting my husband at the door each night. Enjoy your new furbaby!
Definitely do the early stuff yourself, just the basics like house training, no bite, learning their name, stuff like that. Puppy class is SO fun, definitely go when he/she's old enough.... aaaahh I miss it.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Agree with the others!
There is no reason why your pup can't start puppy kindergarten/socialization classes before 12-13 weeks as long as the other puppies are up to date on their vaccs (unless the particular class you're looking at doesn't start until your pup will be 12-13 weeks old)... most of the ones around here start at 10 weeks.
My priorities for Oliver, who came home at 8 weeks, and is now 12 weeks were:
1. household etiquette: housetraining, chew-toy training
2. crate training
3. socialization with people and healthy adult dogs
4. bite inhibition
5. name attention
6. sit, down, stand, settle, leave it/take it
before we even started our Kinderpuppy classes at 11 weeks, and in that order.
You can teach all of that on your own, before your puppy class starts.
As far as choosing an instructor, see if you can go and sit in on one of her classes before you register your pup, that way you can see if her training style meshes with yours.
Good luck, and have fun with your new pup!!
I was going to post the same as Felicia, most puppy classes let your puppy attend after 2 shots. So they can attend quite soon without having to wait for the whole round of shots. Make sure your puppy teacher insists that all puppies have had their 2 shots and they sight all vaccine records and that it's held indoors or on concrete and go for it.
I also started teaching as soon as Milly was brought home (same things as the others have suggested) There is a sticky post up the top of the training section which has loads of great tips from members on here. And after puppy school.. try and enrol in an Obedience class on a regular basis! It's worth it's weight in gold when it comes to socialisation with other dogs and different looking people (people with hats, big hair, different skin colour, males, females, kids etc) as well as the behavioural benefits of course and it's also a really great way to bond with your dog.
Can't wait to see puppy pictures!!!