We are getting our sweet girl on Sunday and I have been reading everything I can find on the internet, but I still feel I have lots of questions. Any advice/help would be awesome!!
1) Where do we start with training? It is so important to us that she grow up to be an obedient, sweet, mannerly girl so we want to start off on a really good foot. I guess my main concern is that I will do something wrong and she'll grow up completely unruly. How early do you start with the basic commands - sit, stay, down, etc.
2) We are definitely going to crate train her. Some things say feed her in there, others say don't. What is your thought? Any other beginning advice for the crate training would be lovely
3) What is the best collar/leash to get her as a puppy?
4) I've read a lot about NILIF and love the concept. Can we start this from day 1?
5) What book(s) would you recommend?
I will stop there...I have more, but those should at least put my mind at ease a little
Any other advice/tips you have, please don't hold back!!!
I thought of one more! *blush*
I have been reading about "recalls". I'm so new to this, but I'm assuming this means that they come when you call?! One thing I read said to never call them if they might not come. So, even from the beginning we shouldn't call her, but rather do recall training on a lead until she "gets" it?!
Congratulations on getting your pup and trying to do thngs the right way. We crate trained all 3 of our labs and never fed them in the crate- had never been told to do that. Others may have better insight.
Look for some good puppy classes that use positive reinforcement and are designed for puppies. This will include some good socialization experience. Your vet may be able to reconmend someone.
Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson is a great read. I just started reading Positive Perspectives by Pat Miller-my husband liked it better than Culture Clash.
Last edited by jebsmama; 04-06-2010 at 07:34 PM.
Bayou Bay's Jeb's Trouble Too, RN, CGC
They aren't about Labradors, but I love the books by the Monks of New Skete. They are German Shepard's, but the books are very interesting. They are "The Art of Raising a Puppy" and "How to be your Dog's Best Friend".
Congrats on the new puppy. Fun fun fun.
Congrats on the new puppy - I'm a new owner too and I know exactly what you mean about worrying you might do something wrong...puppies are like children they survive in spite of us and they forgive us when we get things wrong. It's a wonderful journey and you'll all learn as you go along.
I'm sure you'll get lots of good advice on here, they're a very friendly bunch and more than willing to share their experiences.
"The Monks of New Skete" was recommended to me, also, and I bought and read it but -- while the principles they advise may be useful for German Shepherds -- they're not very well respected among most Lab owners.
"NILIF" is great and you can begin early. "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson is probably the most widely respected dog training book; it's practical, it's scientifically mainstream; (read the reviews of it in Amazon.com). Books by Dr. Patricia McConnell ("The Other End of the Leash" and any others by her) are also superb for understanding dogs.
ETA: Also read https://justlabradors.com/forum/train...new-owner.html
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 04-06-2010 at 10:47 PM. Reason: ETA link
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
What everyone else said, and you can start training sit, down, stay, on day 1. Just remember you are dealing with an infant, maybe a toddler. Do no expect the dog to stay for more than several seconds, and reward it before it breaks the stay. If it breaks the stay, no reward. You want to catch the positives quickly.
I would find a couple puppy training classes, and try to get to a couple classes to observe. You will be able to learn a few things before your pup is old enough to go, and will be able to assess which one you actually want to sign up with when the time is right.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
I start training the day the puppy comes home- nothing intense, just "house manners" like sit, down, name, not jumping, housetraining, no biting/mouthing, etc. I just incorporate it into our daily life- puppy wants a treat, he has to sit first, same with putting a leash on, meals and petting. At meal times I'd have them sit next to where they eat, and I'd put my hand on their chest telling them to "stay". As soon as the dish touched the floor, I'd take my hand off their chest and say "OK" (my "release" word). Little by little I'd increase the time they had to stay, and the distance from the dish they'd have to sit. Once your pup is old enough, puppy classes are an excellent socialization & training resource. A really good, basic book is "Labrador Retrievers For Dummies".
What the Monks of New Skete's books espouse is a little dated. One of the authors has publicly stated that he no longer embraces those concepts.
GSDs are different in many ways from Labs - but in essense - you would train them very similarly to Labs or any other dog. They are just more intense.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Thank you guys! I *so* appreciate the advice/tips! I don't think I said, but she will be just shy of 8 weeks when we get her on Sunday. Her name is going to be Nala (our 3 year old daughter came up with it and I love it). I have some more questions
How do you teach "no bite"? Do you use "no bite" just for when they are actually biting and "leave it" for when they are chewing something? When do you use "leave it"?? Do you "do" anything when you tell them "no bite"? I've read some people pinch their nose or yelp?
I am going to go pick up a few things for her today. What size food bowls should I get her?
Also...what kind of collar/leash should we start with? In the beginning, should I *always* take her potty on the leash? We have a privacy fenced backyard, just FYI. I've read to keep the leash on her while I can supervise her...what is the purpose of this? To get her used to it? What do you recommend?
Again, can someone explain "recalls" to me?! Does this just simply mean her knowing her name or specifically knowing to come to me when I call her name?
Sorry for all the quesitons. Thank you guys so much!! I'm soooo excited to get her this weekend! I feel like a new, nesting mommy (puppy-proofing, making a list of what I need to get her, saying her name out loud to make sure we like it - lol).