opinions on when and how to train please
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Thread: opinions on when and how to train please

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    Novarobin's Avatar
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    Defaultopinions on when and how to train please

    When do you start training puppies and do you reward with treats or not? The breeder gave me a book that included a section on training. It said besides house training, responding to it's name, etc., command training starts at 6-8 months. For command training it suggests using a choke chain I have noticed alot of people on this site teach their puppies to sit and stay at a young age and reward with treats. I realize the book is just the author's opinion so I was wondering what your opinions are on what to teach at what age and whether you rewards with treats or praise.


    Chatham ~ chocolate Labrador Retriever
    Kaper ~ German Shepherd
    Hary ~ German Shepherd

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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    When do you start training puppies and do you reward with treats or not? The breeder gave me a book that included a section on training. It said besides house training, responding to it's name, etc., command training starts at 6-8 months. For command training it suggests using a choke chain I have noticed alot of people on this site teach their puppies to sit and stay at a young age and reward with treats. I realize the book is just the author's opinion so I was wondering what your opinions are on what to teach at what age and whether you rewards with treats or praise.
    You start training from the day you bring your pup home. I have no idea what book your breeder gave you but they are WAY off the mark. By not doing any formal training for 6-8 months you would impact your dog in a big way...they NEED training, rules and boundaries. Without these how on earth do they know right from wrong?

    Choke chains should never be used on a puppy. With time and patience puppies can be trained on a regular collar and leash. Used incorrectly choke chains are extremely dangerous -- they can permanently damage a dogs neck. The average person does not need to use a choke chain. Used correctly they won't hurt but other tools are kinder.

    I use treats for all the early stages of puppy training. When the dog matures other rewards can be used (just praise, toys, etc.) but with a pup, nothing works better than food. Food is an incredibly powerful tool but make sure the food is a reward and not a bribe. When the food turns from a reward to a bribe you are in trouble. Avoid this by not treating your dog obsessively for every good behavior. As long as the pup knows that he won't get treated EVERY time he will look forward to and work for the reward rather then demand it.

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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it used to be believed dogs were reading for training at 6-8 mos. That's not the case, though. They're ready when you bring them home.

    Personally I don't use a choke chain, and certainly wouldn't use one on a small puppy.

    A book I'd recommend is The Power of Positive Dog Training, by Pat Miller. She explains to you step-by-step clicker training, and with treats....or if you don't use a clicker, your voice is used just like a clicker. There are other good books on positive reinforcement training, too (can't think of 'em at the moment, and don't have 'em nearby).

    I used treats to train, and positive reinforcement. Just play with your puppy, and as you go through your normal daily routine, include training...in short sessions...a few minutes at a time. Have pup sit at the door before you go out, sit before eating, etc. Puppy is learning as you include things in the daily routine.

    ....and your puppy's adorable


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    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    most dogs, my dogs especially, are highly food motivated, so yes, i use food rewards during training, and it's never too early to start training. whether you like it or not, your puppy has already started learning all on their own.

    get this book. it has lots of good tips on training, including step by step How To's and lots of info.


    http://www.amazon.com/How-Teach-New-...e=UTF8&s=books

    Book Description:
    Fun training with toys, treats, lures and rewards. Easy and effective, dog-friendly techniques for teaching a new puppy old tricks (such as basic manners), or for teaching an older dog that is new to training.
    Heralded by many dog trainers as 'the best dog training book ever written'. A comprehensive workbook for the motivated dog owner, comprising sections on basic off-leash obedience, temperament modification, behavior troubleshooting, training theory and health care. The definitive text for lure/reward training philosophy.



    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

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    Novarobin's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    Thanks for some quick answers and book suggestions. Just to clarify, It suggested a choke chain later on, not now, and I haven't used it one. And he has been trained from the day he came home, housebreaking, not to chew or bite, not jumping, and now leave it (I picked that up here. I was getting really tired of picking tissues out of his mouth he found on the side of the road.) He is actually are really well behaved puppy so far (only 16 weeks in though). The vet actually commented on how well he listens when we were in for our last visit. I was just worried that if I started to teach him to sit or stay with treats, he would always look for one when I required him to be obediant.


    Chatham ~ chocolate Labrador Retriever
    Kaper ~ German Shepherd
    Hary ~ German Shepherd

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    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    Quote Originally Posted by novarobin
    I was just worried that if I started to teach him to sit or stay with treats, he would always look for one when I required him to be obediant.
    that's like saying you always have to threaten to and follow through with punishment in order to obtain obedience.
    with treats, once the dog learns the cue/command, you can go to a random and variable schedule of reinforcement, where the dog gets a reward sometimes like a slot machine. when the dog becomes a gambler, their responses to cues will become almost addictive. when a cue is fully trained, the dog simply reponses to the cue bc he is conditioned to respond. also, do not expect 100% blind obedience. dogs are not robots.

    a couple of other recommendation on training methodolgy and learning principles:

    How Dogs Learn by Mary R. Burch,Jon S. PhD. Bailey
    Don't Shoot the Dog by Karon Pyor

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

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    Novarobin's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    Quote Originally Posted by luke from georgia
    Quote Originally Posted by novarobin
    I was just worried that if I started to teach him to sit or stay with treats, he would always look for one when I required him to be obediant.
    a couple of other recommendation on training methodolgy and learning principles:

    How Dogs Learn by Mary R. Burch,Jon S. PhD. Bailey
    Don't Shoot the Dog by Karon Pyor
    Thanks. I just finished ordering the first one online. Too bad its Friday and I won't get it until next week. I will look into the other ones.


    Chatham ~ chocolate Labrador Retriever
    Kaper ~ German Shepherd
    Hary ~ German Shepherd

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    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    a very important tip to preventing expectation of treats: keep treats out of sight. show/provide the reward dog AFTER performance is given.

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    I have also just brought home a new puppy yesterday. I started with the 'kennel' training. He doesn't go right in the kennel yet, but if i lay down next to it and toss a few pieces of his food in there he gets right in. That is followed by a "Good kennel" The book I read was Labrador Retrievers for Dummies, which instead of treats it suggested using the puppies food kibbles. He seems to respond to these with the crate training, but can't seem to get him to be still enough to start the Sit, Stand, Down commands. Would treats work better here to get his attention?

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    DefaultRe: opinions on when and how to train please

    The mistake most people make when training with treats is they ask the dog to perform, then give the treat, then praise. This is not the correct order. The correct order is the dog performs, you praise with your voice and petting, THEN you give the treat. This enables the dog to associate your praise as the reward. The treat then just becomes a bonus. When people treat in the wrong order, you train a dog to work for the food, not your praise.

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