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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's been a little over a month since we got Karma and it's been everything I was hoping for... and more. She has slept through the night since the first day we got her home and for that I thank my lucky stars.

Housetraining has gone pretty smoothly as well. "I've" only had a five or six accidents but as my wife says, I'm probably the one who's trained, not Karma. We go out right after she wakes up, right after she eats and every couple of hours in between.

Bite control is well underway but when she gets excited, my arms suffer the consequences. She loves tug 'o war with both me and Dogma. They get along great but occasionally one will bite too hard on the other and I'll have to step in and help them make up. I make sure Karma doesn't maul Dogma as she's now quite a bit bigger. Karma loves high jumping over Dogma as she walks, it's quite a sight to see lanky-legged puppy hurtle a leg-challenged adult dog.

There'll be a couple shots in the gallery of Dogma, one where she got behind Karma while she was digging and suffered the consequences.

Socialization so far has been less frequent than I would have liked because of our schedule but vet visits and trips to my in-laws (who have an overactive Bichon) have gone very well. Even though she was a bit timid when we got her, she's showing no signs whatsoever of shyness around people and other animals. She successfully navigated the fear imprint period with no major events. Now she's becoming quite assertive and I try to strike a balance between letting her pull me around on the leash and me leading the way with gentle tugs of persuasion. We're going to kindagarten next month.

Obedience training is going, very, very well. She's as smart as Niki was at this age. She has sit, down and stay pretty well mastered but is obviously quite easily distracted. The stay command is obeyed until I get out of sight and then she runs to find me. Come is still a work in progress. Some days she does it every time and others she just looks at me like I'm nuts. I'm guessing I have about a month more of this almost blind obedience until she starts testing her limits.

I can't remember who wrote this but whoever it was is a genius, "A tired Dobe is a happy Dobe". Kongs and a sterilized bone filled with peanut butter provide hours of entertainment in between walks and play sessions.

Now for a couple of questions. As she's coming up on 3 months old I'm wondering if I should start working on heel but I've read that starting too early before she has developed her natural stride is a waste of time. Another question I have is about collars. She's using a regular nylon puppy collar now but will soon outgrow it. I was thinking about changing her to a wider leather collar but I've read that a rolled leather collar can be a better training aid as is a nylon slip collar. Anyone have any strong preferences one way or the other?
 

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I think at three months she's too young to be doing out of sight stays. Heeling can be started at this age without a leash, as puppies have a natural tendency to follow along with the mother duck, so to speak. You can use that instinct now to your advantage to instill the principle of walking beside you before formal training ever starts. Stride, developed or not, doesn't matter at this stage, if ever. You can lure her with food, so she gets the basic idea. At this age it should all just be fun learning for her. I don't know how you're doing the recall/come but if you're doing it offleash and she doesn't come when you call, run away from her so she'll follow, then praise her lavishly and/or give her a treat and see if that perks up her interest. I don't think you need to get more formal before puppy kindergarten class.
 

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I think you've already gone above and beyond most puppy owners and Karma sounds as though she's blending into your family beautifully. The trust that she is developing in you is more important than her ability to stay put when you are out of sight. She just wants to find out where her pack leader went - and god forbid she not be in the middle of any/all the action! I think if you can get her used to a collar and lead you are ahead of the game. You don't even have to go outside to do this - just have her follow you through the house. Naturally, she'll think that this is a game - which is not a bad thing. Training should be fun and not a source of anxiety for either of you, as you know.

Java has several collars - some nylon, some leather. She also has a training collar for Obedience Class, which I also use when needed when we are out walking. Java still has that dominant Dobe tendency to want to lead, and the collar is just a gentle reminder to follow my lead. More times than not, though, she just wants to please and has been much easier to train, more focused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"Java has several collars - some nylon, some leather. She also has a training collar for Obedience Class, which I also use when needed when we are out walking. Java still has that dominant Dobe tendency to want to lead, and the collar is just a gentle reminder to follow my lead."

I think Karma's getting to the point of needing a training collar as she's beginning to want to lead all the time now. Since she's still small, a gentle tug in the direction I want to go is still working but I'm not sure how much longer that's going to be the case. I looked at some of the rolled leather collars at Petsmart yesterday but didn't think they'd be an improvement over the nylon one she uses now. The flat leather collars that I was wanting to try were still too big for her. I think I'm gonna give the training collar a try in the next couple of weeks.

"More times than not, though, she just wants to please and has been much easier to train, more focused."

With the possible exception of Golden Retrievers, I don't think there is any other dog that's as anxious to please as Dobe's. Just one of many things I love about them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"I don't know how you're doing the recall/come but if you're doing it offleash and she doesn't come when you call, run away from her so she'll follow, then praise her lavishly and/or give her a treat and see if that perks up her interest."

Doing everything off-leash now. Most of the time she'll come when called but even when I back up and excitedly call her again, she just stays in the down position, cocks her head to the side and looks at me like I'm nuts.

We worked on heel a bit yesterday and I've finally gotten her look up at me as we trot. When she does that, she'll stay right with me. But as soon as she looks away, she bolts ahead.

I'm tryng to find a balance between challenging her as much as possible now while she's young but keeping the sessions short and fun.
 
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