Most say that Formal Training should start at 6-7 months. If you are going to train her yourself that is a good time to increase the pace of training. Unless I was under a time line to get her trained and finished just as the season starts. I like to have the dog be a little older when they come for professial training. Professional training is usually a faster pace training, and a little maturity goes a long way. But 6-7 months if you are going to train her.
Heree is a letter I ssend to all of my clients who buy dogs from me. Just nd idea of the way to get started of these thing, without pressure. But keeping the energy and excitement level of the dog at a high level is really important when the Formal Training start. I would also recommend getting a couple of books, from different writers. They will have different ways of doing some things, which gives you some choices if the dog gets hung up in training. Hope this helps. cooter
The main thing is to not be hitting or yelling at the pup. Teaching is done by reps, and dogs aren't like people in the respect of seeing what they can get away with. Once the dog understands what you want him to do, he will pretty much perform it. If he is not doing it. It is because you haven't gone through enough reps or he doesn't understand what you are wanting. We don't want ANY of the fire gone from the pup. In the Formal Training, he will be shown how to turn it on and off. But if we take the spirit out of them at a young age, they will not be able to handle the Formal Training. They will learn to submit when they don't understand and will start cowling. If we start getting this we are done. So it is called training because we are teaching, not forcing the dog to submit to our wishes. Hope that makes since. No need for hitting during house breaking or any other time. There will be accidents, but if you follow this plan there will be less of them.
We have also found that when you are feeding. Put the Food & Water down together, and give them time to eat & drink. We usually do the feeding in a create, it will get them to eating more per feeding time, and maybe they will eat it all which is the plan. When they are through, and leave to go checking other things out or starts barking wanting out, take the food and water up. I don't let them bark in the create after feeding, as the barking will make them need to go potty and they will mess up there create. This is the only time I will let them out of the create due to barking. They probably haven't eat all they are going to want, but you don't want to let them graze all day on the food or water. If you leave the food and especially the water down, every time they come get 2-3 licks of water, they will go leave 2-3 licks worth of Tee-Tee on your floor. So while we are house breaking, pick up the food and water. Then every hour or two put the water down and give them a drink. Once you take the food & water up, then take the pup outside ASAP. As soon as they get drinks, they go outside. This will get you less accidents and make the process easier on the dog to understand. Usually they will go potty ASAP. We also do this on a leash. Walking helps speed up the process. As soon as they start doing their business, we start saying, Good Boy, Potty, Potty, Good Potty. When they are through, a lot of petting with the same commands.
This will help later when you are hunting. You and the dog may be staying in a Motel. You will feed them and go outside. When you start saying Potty, Potty, they will know what they are there for. Not Hunting, Not Playing, it is time to do their business. I mainly duck & goose hunt, so it will be colder than _ _ _ _, and I don't want to stand outside until the dog feels the need to go. So this is a great Que to let the dog know why we are here.
When you are sitting around the house watching TV, sit on the floor and lean against the couch or chair. This will get the pup to coming and jumping in your lap and such. Just put him on the left side, command SIT, and put him in the sit position. He will not sit there long, so don't force him to sit for a certain length of time, but just put his butt on the floor. We are not looking to make him do anything. Just associating the command with the position. Every time he comes over to ya, just put him on the left side, command SIT, and put him in the sit position. Then pet him and tell him good sit. Reps is what will teach the dog what we want him to know at this point. He will get where he will sit there longer due to you petting him. If something like kids or wife is playing, then he won't stay long. Thei si ok, we are only trying to get him to understand the SIT POSITION.
If you have a Hallway in your house, close all the doors that lead in or out of it. This means there is only one way out of the Hall. Through the opening to the living area or den. Get a bumper or what ever toy, socks, etc., that the pup likes to retrieve. Sit on you knees in the opening of the hall, put the pup on the left side, command SIT, and throw the bumper to the end of the Hall. Soon as you throw the bumper, call his name. His name will be the trigger that we will use to send him on retrieves. So we will start that training also. Every time you send him on one of these retrieves, just call his name as soon as you throw the bumper. He will run down and pick up the bumper and realize that there is only one way out and that is back through the door way you are sitting in. He will usually try to run by you, because it is a game of keep away for the pup. Just grab him as he comes by, take the bumper, and line him up for another retrieve. Then start over again. I would not do but 3-4 of these about 2 times a day. Morning and afternoon. We are always wanting to leave the pup wanting more. Then put up the object that you are using for the retrieving. It is not something that we will want him playing with or the kids or wife. It is strictly a training tool. He will soon realize that when he see's this bumper, we are going to play, and the pup will get all fired up.
Take the dog for a walk everyday, or if he is going to be a house dog, then every time he goes outside then he needs to be on a leash. Even to Potty. Once he gets into a training program, he will never be out of the kennel that he doesn't have a leash on. So this just gets him use to wearing one. When walking start out in the grass, due to puppy will often stop and roll over and try to refuse the leash. But don't even show that you are noticing. Just drag him through the grass. On his back, stomach, or whatever. He will get up when he is tired of being dragged. Doesn't need to be jerked or anything like that. Just steady pressure on the leash and keep walking. If he is biting at the leash, no problem. Just keep walking. Don't even act like you notice it. It will all go away in a short time, and won't even notice the leash.
Once you get him working on a leash, then try and find a longer leash. Small rope with a snap on the end is fine, but something about 10-15 feet long. As he starts to wondering off a little ways. Just command HERE and reel him in. When you get him to ya, just praise him alot with Good Boy, Dood HERE, Good HERE. Every time you get the chance with him wondering off a little way, just command HERE and reel him in. Reps will get him to understanding. About 3-5 of these per walk will be enough.
Taking him for a walk is the main thing. So once he will walk on a leash, you can get 2 things done at a time. Then once he will starts acting like he is understanding SIT, then you can move it to the walking time also. Walk a little ways and command SIT, then put him in that position. Walk a little ways farther and give him a HERE and reel him in. It won't be long till you will seeing him doing these things on his own. The biggest thing is No Hitting or Yelling, and lost of Praise. Good Boy, Good HERE, SIT, & POTTY.
There is NO NEED to teach STAY as SIT means the same thing. As Formal Training kicks in, SIT will mean be there until I tell you to do something else. So STAY has no use. keith
member of: Team GREEN