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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are 2 general school of thought - train the puupy now, or wait until 8mo - 1 yr to train.

Which one do you follow and why?

I try to do all my puppy training before 16 wks. Even if nothing is on cue and I'm just clicking behaviors. I find the dog is less likely to favor one direction of movement or get stuck on a behavior (but those can be avoided with awesome training skills.)

I a perfect world, I like clicker imprinting to begin at 4 wks - in the whelping box. Then start training a place command and focus at 5 wks. At 6 wks put the place "mat" into a crate to start crate traing. At 7 wks, get operant behavior and at 8 wks, put a new behavior on cue every day. (Drive uilding every day)

I'm training my pup for stunts, high jump, agility, etc. So different from a protection sport dog! I', doing drive building to, using a disc as a prey object.

My pup is 10 wks old. Has sit, down, stand, spin (counter clockwise), place on cue. Offers a clockwise spin, backing up, climbing on a box. Luring come to heel on the left and the right and coming to front. Luring weaving through the legs. Presenting treats to imprint an out. Luring a roll over and a "bang" play dead.

Most important, we have fun and she LOVES training. She doesn't get any food in a dish. I'm feeding kibble now and every individual kibble is earned.

I based what I am doing now off of going to a Mike Ellis seminar, comparing progress with other pups that are training for the same goals, and reading about puppy development (at 16 wks, the rate of learning slows).

What do you guys do with your pups? Train now or train later?
 

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I like clicker imprinting to begin at 4 wks - in the whelping box.
Wow. How do you do that?

What do you guys do with your pups? Train now or train later?
I've always started training by 12 weeks, using food and praise to teach the basic commands, but that's been for pet dogs. I've already mentioned that my SchH TD does not like to do anything with puppies until they're about a year old. That was VERY hard for me when I got Jak.
 

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The only thing I do with a puppy is tracking & playing. One reason is I really adore the puppy stage, I find the whole thing a lot of fun. Another reason is I find it easier to teach an 8 mo old than a baby. Of course in my play there are balls & tugs & sacks involved!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
I like clicker imprinting to begin at 4 wks - in the whelping box.

Wow. How do you do that?
Like I said - perfect world. I worked for a breeder and the last 2 litters they had while I worked there, we did this. It was really really cool.

I was really surprised by how impressionable they are - if you screw up clicker timing - O Boy! :lol: I was clicking a stand at 6 wks and clicked for approximation - a bunny hop that ended in a stand. I never clicked the hop again after that. But when the pup was 8 mo old, he still "hopped" into the stand position.

So it could cause problems with future training.

The pup was sold. I am very surious to find out if he is working and what his OB is like.

After watching Flinks and Ellis in action and comparing the two, I saw that Flinks uses considerably more compulsion - especially in the out. But Flinks is a master of grip training and Ellis puts much less importance on grip.

At 3 yrs old would you notice a difference in two dogs - one trained early and one trained at 12 mo? (With equally skilled trainers)
 

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I train motivational marker imprinting as soon as I get the pup. In a sense, what I do is clicker training without the clicker. This is for performance training, not basic manners. I'll correct for bad manners but, even then, if imprinted when a pup, manners are just a matter of directing the pup.
If everything is made a game, it shouldn't have a negative effect on the pup.
 

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No real training until they are older, but puppies get worked with on coming when called, and jump up on the doghouse when asked,sit and down, and getting used to the handler being the source of all fun and good times. Also stuff like kennel up for feeding, learning to tie-out, boxing up in the truck. If we get a puppy in the winter when we are running he gets to travel alot and learn the truck routine and watch teams leave. Puppies get lots of freedom and space to run, dig, be wild, dig and play with everything in sight. My current puppy is a 9 month old hooligan who you would swear was raised by wolves - he is not the most mannerly thing yet!, but very confident and easy to train. Real training will start in the fall when he is old enough to start in harness.
 

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I agree with Bob and several others. If it's fun and rewarding and little or no compulsion, learning manners obedience from the get go shouldn't be a problem. He was acclimated to both a clicker and a marker word. We're taking a short break on training because he was sick (and I'll be out of town from Saturday through Wednesday), but my pup is 13 weeks and will sit and give me eye contact for his meals and to put the leash on for walks. Was starting to lie down without the lure and just a hand signal. I'll probably start tracking him in a week or so when I get back and he's at 100%. I've also had him on the dog walk to get him comfortable with it and I may get a ladder on the ground to start getting him used to figuring out where his back feet are. The house we are buying has a decent backyard, so perhaps I'll be on the lookout for agility equipment (although our agility instructors/Dog Scout leaders lives less than a mile away and they have a ton of stuff). Started a little bit of targeting on the hand stuff too.
 

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I think there have been a number of good points made. I start shaping basic behaviors (sit, down, stand, front, eye contact, load up, crate, etc) at an early age. But it's all positive, food, lure and markers. Even so, like Jeff pointed out, there is an element of dominance in training so ... On the one hand I like to teach my pup as many behaviors as possible early on, but at the same time still let them be a wild child and not put to much control on, to early.
 

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I got my GSD bitch when she was 10 weeks old. She's now 16 weeks old.

I have trained the recall, which at the moment finishes with her coming to a SIT directly in front of me.

The SIT is there, as is the DOWN.

She will retrieve, ANYTHING, wood, plastic, metal and glass once (complete bottle that had been left on the field).. I panicked, but thankfully got it off her before any damage/injury.

She will walk to heel, quite well to be honest, alongside me on the left, looking up...at different speeds... so i'm working on perfecting that at the moment.

I know she will BITE and loves the tug...so I've stopped really doing much of that for a couple of reasons. Firstly, she's in the middle of teething. Secondly, I don't want her bite mad/crazy, with the obedience suffering. I can go back to the bite work more when she's got all her teeth and the obedience is more imprinted on her.

Her situation/conditioning is doing great. She has no problem with crowds, loud noises, sudden arrivals etc. She's not too good at night, and slows down a little bit - shadows etc. Also, she's not overly keen on boisterous other dogs, especially large ones.. and shows signs of mild nervousness. I'm working on these elements.

Any advice or tips on what i've done and what can be done...would be welcome...

Best regards,

Gary (in the UK)
 

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With my new pup I have been doing a lot of imprinting. He comes out to the training field while big dogs are doing OB and plays with me for 5 minutes or so. We use a variety of toys and food. The food is used as a lure for the sits, down and stand. He will be 4 month on 8/20.

Also from the time he came home he gets to watch about 2 dogs do protection and has now developed into a prey monster. I use an old sleeve cover and when the helper has a couple extra minutes he does some prey work with the pup winning the cover & carry off.

We track a few days a week and he is tracking 50- 60 ft legs with food and a deep nose.

Right now my goal is to get a very high toy response under all distractions and then I will start more OB. When he's a little bigger (6-7 months) he should begin heeling and motion/speed sits, downs, and stands.

I should add that we play with the dumbbell 3-4 days a week. I am using a SchH1 dumbbell he gets to tug it out of my hands on the center bar 5-6x's then I put it away. I will keep doing this for many months before we start retrieve training.
 
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