Training Starter Tips
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Thread: Training Starter Tips

  1. #1
    TimC is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultTraining Starter Tips

    My new chocolate lab puppy will arrive in its new home in a little less than a week at about 8 weeks. What i was planning to do was as soon as my puppy Mocha (yes i named her already) arrived was get right on the training of basic commands. I also want to mention I have met and seen the puppy and have made visits to check up on her until she arrives at 8 weeks when i can take her home so their is some level of familiarity and trust between us two. Im in need of advice concerning what i should use to start the training off. I was thinking of using treats and my voice apposed to a clicker or anything of that nature. What is the best way to go about training of lab pups at 8 weeks old? If you guys and gals could help me with this I would greatly appreciate it

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  3. #2
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    For a young pup, I like using Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF). Google that and you'lll get several references. This is great for teaching basic commands (sit, stay, down, come, etc.).

    For later training, I highly recommend Jean Donaldson's book, "Culture Clash," in paperback about $12 from Amazon.

    FWIW, I also have a Lab that I started training as a very young pup. I found that every several months (up to about 13 months or so old), it was as if she forgot much of her training. This puzzled me but I decided it was probably due to changing hormonal levels in her body. Several days of retraining, especially with the NILIF method, always rapidly brought her back to her previous level of performance.

    There's something that's known as state dependent learning which has been fairly well studied. Animals &/or people trained while on some drugs or chemicals will lose their previous level of performance when that chemical condition or level is altered. So I figure the first 13 months or so of life, there are a LOT of those chemical changes going on as a female puppy matures. Very likely the same thing also applies to male puppies but I've never raised a male pup.

    I mention this because some others who've also noticed similar behaviors often attribute it to 'teenage rebelliousness' or similar human behaviors -- and this can lead to using methods other than quick retraining of basics with NILIF.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

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  4. #3
    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimC View Post
    My new chocolate lab puppy will arrive in its new home in a little less than a week at about 8 weeks. What i was planning to do was as soon as my puppy Mocha (yes i named her already) arrived was get right on the training of basic commands. I also want to mention I have met and seen the puppy and have made visits to check up on her until she arrives at 8 weeks when i can take her home so their is some level of familiarity and trust between us two. Im in need of advice concerning what i should use to start the training off. I was thinking of using treats and my voice apposed to a clicker or anything of that nature. What is the best way to go about training of lab pups at 8 weeks old? If you guys and gals could help me with this I would greatly appreciate it
    I pretty much do what you're talking about- treats and praise. I've also used toys as a reward- puppy wants what's in my hand, puppy has to sit first, etc. Same for meals- puppy has to sit before I put the dish down, and can't eat until I say "OK". Start that one real slow- puppy sits right next to you, as the bowl touches the floor, tell puppy "OK". Gradually increase the amount of time the pup has to sit before you say "OK". Putting your hand on the pup's chest will help her remember to stay, too. Then increase the distance between where she sits and where she eats. Give her a treat when you say her name and she comes to you. In puppy class we taught "hide recalls". Have someone hold your puppy while you walk out of sight. Then call the puppy and, no matter how long it takes her to come to you, make a big fuss/tell her how good she is/give her a treat, etc. Like Bob said, puppies tend to go through phases where they seem to forget what they've learned (especially Labs). Strick to the rules you've established, and this phase will pass. I promise!

    Oh- An easy rule to prevent jumping up on people- puppy only gets petted when her bottom is on the floor. Because he's quite the wiggle butt, Caleb has a hard time wagging his tail while he's sitting, so when he was young, I had him lay down. Now I don't care if he sits, stands or lays down, as long as he isn't jumping up.

    Good luck with your new girl, and don't forget, we like pictures! hint, hint

    Oh, BTW- you aren't the only one who named their puppy before brining it home. Caleb was actually named before we picked him out.

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  6. #4
    TimC is offline Junior Member
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    thanks for the advise guys and gals ive had a rottweiler previously and have trained her but she was around a year or older when we got her and it was very difficult at first but she was a smart dog and caught on after awhile. But ive read very good things about labs and how intelligent they are but i wasnt sure exactly how i should approach training a 2 month old

    Also how soon after she arrives home can i start with training
    Last edited by TimC; 07-22-2010 at 03:23 PM.

  7. #5
    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimC View Post
    ...Also how soon after she arrives home can i start with training
    I start the day they walk in the door. Not the serious, obedience stuff, just what I call house manners- sit, down, name, walking nicely on a leash (which for me includes being somewhere on my left), not chewing, jumping, that kind of stuff. Don' t forget to get her used to being brushed and having her paws, ears and mouth looked at, too.

  8. #6
    TimC is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the tips everyone I just want to Make sure I start as early as possible and do the right things for my pup that will have her behaving and obeying so that she can be a lovable pet like spoken before my previous dog and currently living rotty was the sweetest and still is a loving pooch I jus want this Choc lab pup to be the same way

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    GulfCoast is offline Senior Member
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    Two good resources: Bill Hillman's Puppy DVD, and Jackie Merten's Sound Beginnings DVD.
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