I have a lab that will be 4 months old this weekend. I know that I should have started already, but I haven't. What is the best way to start training? I was thinking about enrolling in a class. Is this a good idea? How difficult is it going to be to train the puppy with a 7 year old lab at home that is set in his ways? Any thoughts or suggestions would be great. Thanks!
I would sign up to classes it will help socialise your dog and help teach you how to train properley. Google puppy training..i would start with a basic SIT..make your dog sit for mealtimes and treats. Then move onto, down, heel and come.
Enrolling in an obedience class is not just a good idea -- it is a great idea! sign up as soon as possible if you can.
In the mean time get as many books as you can on basic obedience training and put them into practice.
Agree with the classes.
re: books, my favorite is Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash" -- about $12 + S&H from Amazon
Here's a representative customer review (not mine):
I am a professional dog trainer, and *Culture Clash* is the only book I recommend to all dog owners, regardless of experience with dogs, training knowledge and ability, etc. Donaldson covers what I feel is the most important aspect of dog ownership -- bite prevention -- with a thoroughness that no other book does. Rather than blaming the dog for doing what comes naturally, she teaches the reader how to change the dog's natural responses to ones that are acceptable to human beings. And this will save many dogs' lives.
Donaldson has been criticized for her up-front language, particularly when it comes to her criticisms of traditional (largely competitive) obedience trainers. But this is one of the things I like BEST about the book. Rather than pussyfoot around the issue of punishment, she confronts it head-on and then offers alternatives.
A wonderful book that is not only very informative, but so well-written that you read it like a novel.
I think JD has a bit of a chip on the shoulder or in your face attitude but her methods are mainstream with scientific principles of learning.
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":
Thanks for all of the advice. We are going to talk with an obedience instructor tomorrow.