Question about Obedience training. - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question about Obedience training.

At what age should dobe pups start obedience training. I'm talking about sit, stay, heel, etc...type of training? In our area there are obedience training classes starting in January. He'll be about 4 months old at that time. Is that too early?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 07:56 PM
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I don't think it is ever too early to start but they have to have shots and stuff before they attend class and you have to be careful when they are that little that they don't have a bad experiance with an older dog that will scar them. The goal is for it to be good experiance for them and to learn how to act around others. I say find a trainer in your area and ask them the best age. I had training material from a class I attended with another dog so I taught mine everything before we went to class. It was fun for him because he already knew everything and was not under any stress.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 09:52 PM
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You can start the basics at any time at home. You can already have him started on the basics before class even starts and then use class to continue training in a more distracting environment. At home you can keep training sessions really short and upbeat, whereas in a class you are generally working for a solid hour which will give a really young puppy more chances to get bored and find alternate entertainment.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help! We've started working on sit, stay, but we're having a hard time with come and heel. He tends to run away from us when we call him. I know he's a puppy and trying to be real patient, but the patience with that is starting to wear thin. Have any suggestions on teaching him to come when called?

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 10:01 PM
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That's an easy one. You should never ever give the command to come to a puppy that isn't on lead so you can enforce the command and make it happen. Always set a puppy up for success, and never leave the door open like that for failure or you will just reinforce that they don't really need to come. Off-lead work comes later on in training.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie W View Post
That's an easy one. You should never ever give the command to come to a puppy that isn't on lead so you can enforce the command and make it happen. Always set a puppy up for success, and never leave the door open like that for failure or you will just reinforce that they don't really need to come. Off-lead work comes later on in training.
That makes complete sense. Do you reccommend a length of a lead? Thanks so much Julie W, for your help!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 10:46 PM
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Just a standard 6 foot leash is fine for most obedience. If you are working on "come" you can use a much longer line (like 30 feet) and just hang on to the end of it and let him sniff the yard and do his thing and when you say "come" make a fool of yourself and intensely interesting and fun to him, praising and reeling him in and running backward to draw him toward you and when he gets there praise him like he just saved Timmy from the well and offer him treats or a fun toy and make him feel like the most brilliant amazing puppy that ever lived. If he's on a lead he has no choice but to comply, but you want to do your best to make the draw to come more of his idea because you are having such a really good time over there and he wants to be a part of it rather than just dragging him in reluctantly. Do it just a couple of times a few times a day to reinforce it. If he's reluctant then try practicing it when he's hungry right before a meal and offer really good treats as a reward. I cut up our left-over grilled steaks and baked chicken and keep it in baggies in the freezer for really enticing treats. I added grilled chateaubriand tidbits to their baggie tonight Show me a hungry puppy that won't do headstands for that! LOL
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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It won't be hard for me to make a fool of myself! LOL I will definitely try your suggestions. It might be easier than I thought (not that it'll be easy), especially when it pertains to food/treats. He'll do just about anything at that point! Thanks again Julie W!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2007, 11:08 AM
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as for the having trouble with the heel, I would suggest not actually using the formal heel command that young. The puppy is only a baby, and expecting a "formal" heel is a lot. Try not to wear out the command and instead use something like, "with me" or "lets go" or something and use lots of treats and lots of voice. See if you can keep the pup beside you and if possible looking up at you. Work in small steps and reward often for the behaviour that you want to see! Goodluck!

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2007, 12:36 PM
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Leanne's suggestion for heel is great. At this point you want your dog to pay attention to you and look at you. Later on you will incorporate that into a heel. If you use a command word too often without a young puppies ability to really comprehend it at such a young age you can totally ruin a command. I've know some people who could never use the command come because of it and have to use "here" or another word for come.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2007, 12:42 PM
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You can even keep a lead attached to him while he is in the house, just make sure it is a "drag" lead without a handle on the end, and make sure you can supervise him while it is on.

If you keep treats in jars all around the house (what I do) It is easy to reward them for "come, or here" When Ziris was a puppy I always gave her treats for the come command. She got treats for doing other things, but "come" was always special, because Rommel is a little butthead, and gave me trouble on that one. I learned my lesson.

I later proofed the "come" command with an e-collar.....but that is way down the road.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2007, 12:55 PM
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for the come command I actually use what I refer to as a "two tier" system with Lexx. I have a formal and an informal COME.

"here" means, hey, you, come over here, I want to see you/ time to go inside/ come eat this treat etc...

"COME" means, "stop what you are doing right now and bust your little bum to a sit RIGHT in front of me RIGHT now"

I never use the COME unless I can back it up and I never use it when I KNOW that he won't do it because he is still a puppy and still learning. I don't want my formal come ruined.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2007, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bianca's momma View Post
At what age should dobe pups start obedience training. I'm talking about sit, stay, heel, etc...type of training? In our area there are obedience training classes starting in January. He'll be about 4 months old at that time. Is that too early?
Try to find a good puppy kindergarten. It starts you off with a good foundation for teaching those basics. The dog learns to focus on your during distractions, learns training is fun, some socialization, you learn more handling skills, there are fun recall games, it builds up puppy confidence, it is a win win.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2007, 06:46 PM
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When I taught the come command I waited until my puppy was running toward and me then introduced come. She VERY quickly realized when I said come I had some kind of goodie she wanted. Later in formal Obed. I use the word Here which for us means come and sit in front.
As for your puppy running from you. I played ALOT of hide and seek with my pup. She wouldn't be paying attention and I'd take off. (of course a fenced area is the only place to play this ;O) ) Soon I had a pup right with me at all times.
I agree with the posts about naming something before it is a learned activity. I constantly here people yelling come, come , come to a puppy who 1 has never heard it before, 2 isn't even looking at the owner, and 3 has NO clue what it means. Careful using a cue for heel right now to. Especially if your planning on competeing in formal obed. IF when you say heel you want your dog looking at you, don't use the word until it is a learned behavior.
Most of all make EVERYTHING you do fun. I have learned Dobermans are far to smart to work for peanuts, so if you make training fun as a pup you will definately have a willing, and happy partner.

Hope this wasn't too long and boring :O)


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-05-2007, 06:51 PM
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One more thing Sorry.
Remember your puppy is ALWAYS learning. So here and there throw in a command and have fun. You may take a 1 hour class to show you how to train your dog but use the other 23 hours INFORMALLY having fun and training in SMALL doses. The good foundation you set now will be invalueable in the future. GOOD LUCK


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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-06-2007, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for all of your help! I guess I've been doing things wrong! Good thing I aksed when I did. I certainly don't want to ruin his obedience by doing the wrong thing. Again THANK YOU!!
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