I love the advice on this site-a lot of it has been great in getting us on the right track with our puppy. My question is this-how do I know at what age my puppy can do some of the things that people are suggesting. Shelby is 9 weeks old right now-what should my realistic expectations be in training her? About how old before I should be able to leave her in the family room while I go get the laundry without the worry of coming back having to clean up an accident? When can I expect that she should be letting us know she has to go out? How many commands should I be teaching her at this age? It's a little confusing. We're getting her into a class soon, so I'm sure that will help.
I varies a lot per dog so no one can say for sure. I lived in an apartment for Mocha's first year so it was pretty easy to keep an eye on her. I didn't leave her out if I wasn't in the room until probably 4 months then only for a few minutes but she's a clinger and follows me everywhere so it wasn't an issue. If I was going to be unable to watch her she was in her crate.
Mocha took a while to let me know when she had to go but you can encourage them to let you know by using a bell by the door. Tap the bell with their nose every time you take them out. They will eventually catch on and ring it when they want to go out. Some are a little too smart and do it just to go out and play though..lol
As far as commands keep things simple now. You can work on sit and getting them to respond to their name. Keep it light harted and always end on a good note. No more than 5-10 minutes at a time maybe 3x per day. A puppy class would be a good idea for socolization after she's had all of her shots.
<br />Barbara, Mocha, Zeus, & Smeagol
I agree. Kassa took months before she let me know she wanted to go out. I had to learn her language and if she sat by the door then I let her out.Originally Posted by bacatherine
I couldn't leave her until she was about 18 months. She was a chewer. If I went from one room to the other she would follow. If it was longer she would get up to mischief.
Remember she's a baby. Has the attention span of a flea. At 9 weeks...no, you shouldn't let her out of your site. And just when you think she's trained...she'll remind you that she's a baby. Patience is a virtue my friend.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
I guess impatient is a better word than frustrated. I know she's going to be a great dog-she's already a great puppy-I just want to teach her so many things. I'm the same way with our daughter, so I guess it's coming from a good space. I guess I'll just have to learn to bide my time and enjoy this stage of puppyhood. Thanks
Just for what it's worth, I have done lots of reading, and have come to feel that young dogs can learn ALOT, and probably need to be introduced to the concept of learning early on. It seems that the concensus is that the teaching should NOT be rigorous, but basically the idea is that you are "teaching them to learn."
We got Misty, our first pup, when she was 6 weeks old. She is now 15 weeks. I started teaching her simple stuff at 7 weeks (once she settled in at our house). Within a day or two, she learned sit; by week 8, she was getting the hang of down. By 9 weeks, we were getting the hang of "come," and recognizing her name. By 10-12 weeks, she was going to the door and sitting, her signal to be let out to potty. At 12-14 weeks, there were no more accidents in the house; she learned to whine at the door along with sitting there and looking out; if we didn't come "quick enough", she would jump up and rattle the door knob to be let out. She now knows sit, down, she can do a 5 to 10 second sit-stay, we are working on down-stay (she can do maybe 5 seconds and then I release her); she knows "get the paper" (she will run down the driveway and get the newspaper and bring it back). When we are walking on-leash, she knows how to do a halfway-decent heel, about 50-75% of the walk; when off-leash, she knows "leave it" (to not pick up something that has caught her interest) and she knows to stay relatively close to me; she also knows that when a car is coming and I call her, to come to me and sit (while I hold her collar), until the car passes.
Now, I am NOT bragging -- please understand. I am just giving an idea of what my particular pup can do (and thus presumably some of what an "average" puppy is capable of), and offering a counter-example to some things which I had heard in the past about how you should wait until your pup is 6 months to a year old before you try teaching them commands. Also, please understand that most of these commands are not 100% perfect with Misty. She will sometimes not "come" when she is outside and something has her interest (squirrel, a person walking by, etc.). She will also treat "come" as a game at times, and run and hide just to get us to chase her. So we are by no means perfect on these commands. But, I just try to be consistent, keep the "training" sessions very short, and fun (lots of affection and treats), and I have been really surprised at her capacity for learning.
Hope this helps some!
Yes it does. Thank you Steve.