How to begin teaching pup?
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Thread: How to begin teaching pup?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    DefaultHow to begin teaching pup?

    Now that Abbey's home, I'm antsy to start teaching commands. She's 7wks 2 days. Is it a bit too early yet? I do know to keep sessions short and pleasant.

    One problem...she does not want to focus on me...at all. She just wants to play, so that's what we end up doing.

    Currently, for "sit", I physically push her bottom into a sit and then praise. Repeat.

    I'd prefer to teach using verbal praise rather than food rewards. So far, it seems to be working well with house-training. I just need some advice and suggestions on how to START the whole process of "training" with a new puppy. Thanks!




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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    Sounds like you are doing it right. You can also praise when she's doing something on her own. If you see her laying down praise her "good down" etc. I've always used treats but I know it can be done without them as well. It's never to early to start but just be patient now and just do things here and there since their attention span is about a nano second. She's probably not going to focus on you her attnetion span just isn't there but you can make a game out of coming to you and giving her lots of praise and things like that. She will learn from them and they are still fun.

  4. #3
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    7 wks is very young. Her attn span is going to be 1/12th of a second. Keep training VERY short and VERY upbeat. It's enough for her at this age to get a grasp on her name and potty training.

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    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    Quote Originally Posted by dweck
    7 wks is very young. Her attn span is going to be 1/12th of a second. Keep training VERY short and VERY upbeat. It's enough for her at this age to get a grasp on her name and potty training.
    Ditto. I remember the attention span well, it was almost comical. "Hey, a table leg!! Hey, the steps!! Hey, you moved!! Hey, my toy!!"

    I think name recognition is a good thing to start with, as many people neglect that step. Show her a treat, call her name, when she looks at you, she gets the treat. Soon you'll be able to call her name and she'll look at you, then she gets the treat.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    I started my pup just this week. I am using the clicker method and it appears to be working. A great dvd to reference for this is Corally Burmaster's Puppy Kindergarten. You can find it on Dogwise.com.

    Good luck-

    Doug

  8. #6
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    Even if you don't want to use lure/reward or food treats, you've got at least two, likely three ideal points for training through your day - mealtime! Put 1/2 or 1/3 of the scheduled ration in a bowl, show it to her, and raise it up slightly over her head. Wait. chances are good that she will either sit or lay down, and you can then praise and put the bowl down. Repeat for the remaining portions, and again for each meal.

    I'm not a fan of forcing the dog into a position, I would rather it learns to do the action on his/her own.

  9. #7
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    A good method to teach "Sit" is to hold a small treat in a closed fist and motion your hand from the dogs nose over the top of his head. This will naturally put him in a sitting position without physically forcing the dog into position. As the dog lowers himself into the sitting position you say "yes" or good boy, and open your hand and give the treat.

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaytris
    Even if you don't want to use lure/reward or food treats, you've got at least two, likely three ideal points for training through your day - mealtime! Put 1/2 or 1/3 of the scheduled ration in a bowl, show it to her, and raise it up slightly over her head. Wait. chances are good that she will either sit or lay down, and you can then praise and put the bowl down. Repeat for the remaining portions, and again for each meal.

    I'm not a fan of forcing the dog into a position, I would rather it learns to do the action on his/her own.
    This idea ended up being perfect for us! I had completely forgotten that I had wanted to teach Abbey to sit nicely BEFORE I put her food bowl down. This is working like a charm. She usually goes crazy when she sees me getting dinner ready and now she is calming down quickly, knowing that I won't let her have until she does. Thank-you!

    On the forceful positioning, I'm actually very gentle. Kind of like helping my kids learn to walk, roll over, hold a pencil etc. Aiding, not forcing.

  11. #9
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    Yep, I understand, but you're still PUTTING the dog into a position, rather than letting it figure it out on its own.

    Subtle distinction, perhaps, but an important one.

  12. #10
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How to begin teaching pup?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaytris
    Yep, I understand, but you're still PUTTING the dog into a position, rather than letting it figure it out on its own.

    Subtle distinction, perhaps, but an important one.
    I'm really intrigued by this and want to understand what you're saying.

    Do you watch-watch-watch the dog, waiting for a desired behavior, which you then praise? You're scanning the dog to stand, and when he/she does, reward with GOOD STAND!!

    (??)

    If so, does the delay between the action and the praise prove to be a detriment? I don't think I /get/ this.

    If I want Wesley to STAND, I say WES STAND. I've positioned him enough by taking his collar and guiding it forward and reaching under his belly to rub and praising so that he knows when I say STAND, he responds.

    Whereas your method would, what?, have you merely saying GOOD STAND? Before the dog stands? Because that's how he/she's been conditioned? ? ? ? ? ? Isn't there a disconnect, then, between commands and praise?

    I do like the idea that you're not using treats in your methodology. I am very anti-treat-training.

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