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At what age would you start using a clicker with a pup? And what age would you start serious obedience? I figure you'd want to start right away (9 1/2 wekks) with basic stuff like potty training and not chewing on things, but at what age would you start with the hard stuff like recalls and such? Is this something you gradually want to get the pup into, or is it important to start training at day 1? I know everyone says a bored puppy is a destructive puppy, which I no reason to refute, but should they be allowed time to be a puppy?
 

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i dont know anything about clicker training yet...but I feel with a puppy you can start right away to introduce him to the idea of POSITIVE training. Every puppy will get excited when you clap your hands and call his name...so the idea of coming when called or for a recall is introduced. I wouldn't do anything formal right away...but general things.
for chewing we simply said no and gave duchess a bone or toy to chew on instead.
socializing is a big part of training for a real young puppy...it gives the confidence to pursue something like formal training when their older...and be polite and well behaved in a bunch of situations.
with socializing I would just take a puppy everywhere with you...car rides, to the park, letting all different people pet him, meet other friendly dogs...
If duchess was in the car with us when she was a puppy and my mom went into the grocery store for a bit...I would sit with Duchess outside by the enterance but not at all in peoples way...so she can observe...or I'd take her when she was real little to pick up the kids i babysit from school.
puppies can learn "sit" and "down" pretty early...so those are some basic manners you can start teaching.
However, with a young puppy...there attention span isnt to great...so the things you can work with like sit, down, calling his name, saying "off" when you dont want him jumping up crazily...are all things you can do while just going through the day...
You should never allow the puppy to chew on something he isnt suppose to just because he is bored...or being a puppy...just remove whatever he was chewing on or bring him away from what he was chewing on and give him a bone or toy like I said earlier...
as long as everything stays positive and there is no HARSH disipline the puppy will learn that training...and learning basic manners can be like a game and actually really fun...
as for tricks duchess learned "paw" almost instantly...then soon she knew to give the paw that we were asking for based on what hand we were using...
I would just say to encourage basic manners and have fun...and you'll do fine. :) :) :)
 

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What I have done with my puppies is start them in puppy classes where they get to socialize with othere puppies and people. They also learn some basics like sit and down. Then at 6 months I take them to basic classes where the sit and down are reinforced and the stays and recalls are introduced.

Don't worry, your puppy will still be able to be a puppy, he will just have better manners.
 

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yeah I forgot about that coal-s-mom! lol I loved Duchess puppy class...I especially like when they INTRODUCE them to some agility equiptment...and when we all went into the center...talked...let the puppies play...but then called their name and ran out of the circle...or when we played Pass the Puppy...and everyone passes their dog for someone else to hold onto the leash and they say hi to your puppy...and continue to pass them around...
that is a great excersise and I feel prepares them for that part in the Canine Good Citizen test when you have to leave your dog with the handler holding onto the leash and you leave the room for 3 minutes.
 

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Puppy class is a must IMO, it is lots of fun and teaches the puppy a lot and helps with socialization.

Recalls should be one of the most important things. I start right away with baby puppies calling their name and running backwards, having them chase me and they get a treat for coming.
Choose a word, like come, and when they respond, they get rewarded, lots of praise, and it is very fun. Always keep it fun and exciting and do it at random times in the day, b/c puppy attention spans are almost non-existant.
Play hide and seek and call the puppy to find you, really easy stuff that teaches the puppy to come when you call. That builds a good foundation and helps the puppy know when you say come, it is a fun and good thing to do so.

Maybe you call the puppy to come and start playing a fun game, like fetch or tug. Maybe you call puppy to come when you bring home a new toy or bone. Come is always a good thing, never tell the puppy to come for things that the puppy doesn't like, like nail trimmings or bathes or stuff like that, keep it always happy while they are so young.

You can also play a recall game, where people stand in a circle and call the puppy individually and when the puppy comes to them, puppy gets lots of praise, petting, and a treat or toy.

Now the the stay the recall and then front is a little harder, I would wait until at the very least 6 months to start teaching those things, and just focus on all happy, good, and easy things and set the puppy up to succeed while young.

The puppy stage is a favorite of mine. Enjoy this time, it is going to fly too fast....
 

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I don't use clickers, I use my voice as a reward marker. But I know many people who do use clickers with success. Keeping track of a leash and treats and teaching the dog was enough for me to focus on without holding a clicker too. <vbg>
 
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