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Old 01-18-2013, 05:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How quickly should my puppy be progressing?

I have been training my two 6 mnth olds for close to a month now, and i have just about got them to sit and lay on command for the most part and i am really anxious to move on to something else. Am i moving too fast? when is it good to proceed to the next trick?
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They go as they go. Sorry, but really there isn't a good answer to this IMO. Do you go to class with them? One-on-one? I really don't expect much from puppies, but they are all different.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My puppy isn't a Doberman puppy, but I've raised a few puppies now and this time around I'm not rushing anything and just enjoying her completely. There isn't really a time frame or time limit in which to learn a bunch of things IMO. Some puppies know a whole bunch of things by the time they're, say, 4-5 months old, and some take longer. I bet Journey could know a ton already by now, but I've only been working on a handful of things: wave, high five, a proper drop down for Obedience, and stacking (for show). She doesn't know any of these completely except for the first two, but she has a good idea about the others. I've been keeping sessions short and fun.

A previous puppy of mine, way back in 2003, knew all of her basic commands plus multiple tricks before she was 4 months old. She was just super eager to learn, incredibly smart, my first puppy to train (all the prior dogs were trained by my mom as I was a little kid), and I loved teaching her things, so we did a lot in a short time. In retrospect, I probably wouldn't have done things so quickly had I gotten that dog now. Not that it affected her poorly, but I would have focused more on fun instead than simply getting her to learn a behaviour 100% in a short time period.

So, my advice is not to rush things. Keep practicing different things every day, keep sessions just long enough so that the puppy doesn't get bored, and you'll get there eventually. I think knowing two behaviours completely in just a month is pretty good. And it'll depend on the dog, too. Some dogs learn quicker than others.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Puppies learn sooo quickly that in my opinion as long as training is light and fun, it doesn't matter how much you teach them. FUN being the most important part! Keep training sessions short, use lots of rewards and PLAY! I think it's really important to do a lot of foundation work with young puppies, lots of free shaping.. teach them how to learn, how to manipulate their environment... Lots of FUN!
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