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Posted: 2/2/2006 12:32:28 AM EDT
Should I got to PetSmart and sign up for an obedience class, or try and do it myself? We just got this puppy last weekend. German shephard and Lab mix. He is 8 weeks old. Is it too early to start training him?

I worked with him a bit last night and tonight. I can get him to sit using little bits of hot dogs as positive reinforcement(doesn't get a treat every time, just enough to keep him interested). I was able to get him to play fetch a little tonight, before he got bored and started chasing the cat.

I've had dogs off and on for the last 8 years, but they were mostly strays I have taken in. Never really had a dog that was trained very well before, so I'm hoping to change that with this mutt.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 12:36:22 AM EDT
In before the unoriginal and oft ignorant cop jokes.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 1:29:02 AM EDT
I wouldn't say 8 weeks is too early but, your money would be better spent if you wait a few weeks/month and then take him.

I found that my GSD was pretty damn smart for only 8 weeks, so it's completely up to you.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 1:36:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 1:37:07 AM EDT by Lockedon]
Call....




Originally Posted By Badseed:
In before the unoriginal and oft ignorant cop jokes.



....shit, nevermind....



Link Posted: 2/2/2006 1:52:01 AM EDT
Lots of books and videos that can teach you what obedience classes will....if you don't wanna fork over alot for what is essentially YOUR education, not the dog's. I've trained my dogs fairly well without the need for a class.

Remember, you're training yourself to speak to the dog's instincts.

The #1 thing to keep in mind is that a dog is a pack animal, and WANTS to know his place in the pack, and obey you as alpha, so do not give mixed signals, do not let the dog win, ever, and don't beat the dog. Reward will beat punishment everytime, just make sure at the end of the day you give praise for doing what you want.

It only takes a few weeks to really do wonders with a dog, a few minutes a day and lots of attention at first.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 2:32:12 AM EDT
This may seem obvious, but the most important command you can teach a dog is "No".

Dogs love training, bond with the dog and it'll spend the rest of its life trying to figure out how to please.

Choose commands carefully, and don't change them. Commands should be given the same way every time.

Silent commands are best actually, but that comes later. using consistent hand and eye signals along with your verbal commands makes it a lot easier down the road.

If you can get the dog to take silent commands, and obey a command to be silent, you've done well, and you'll have a dog that's actually helpful in a lot of situations.

"stay" is usually the toughest one to get right, they'll stay for a while, or as long as you're within sight, that's easy, tough is getting them to stay until released. My dobie didn't figure that one out until she failed to comply with "stay in the truck" and got left at a friends for a few hours...

She'll sit in the back of my truck all day if I tell her to, no matter the temptation, some of that is just her nature though, mostly it's training.

Time is the thing really, it's a lot harder if you're gone all the time. If the dog is with you most of the time for the first six months that's 90% of it if you're consistent.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 2:35:29 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 2:45:23 AM EDT
I have to agree with swingset. You need to be pack leader,and as leader never ask you dog a question. You're supposed to have all the answers. I would say go with the petsmart program at least until the pup is socialized with the other pups .Allways positive reinforcement never yelling or hitting the animal. It's not really all that hard to do, just be consistant in your training methods. You shoul be able to house break the pup in less than one week using the crate method ,ask some of the other trainers about it. Good luck,it can be fun if you train correctly. Don't start if you're not ready to give it 100%.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 2:53:21 AM EDT
Also everyone in the family needs to be consistant with the training. Otherwise the pup will be confused.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 4:17:05 AM EDT
8 weeks isn't quite old enough for real training in my opinion, but is old enough for things like sit, and maybe down and basics. I'd practice with those and then go to classes whenever they say he's old enough. It's best if you go to the classes where you go to, and you learn how to train your dog and then you work with them at your house 5 or 6 days a week. Also crate training is recommended. God bless!
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 4:59:13 AM EDT
I highly recommend the "puppy kindergarten" class at Pet Smart. I took my pup there when he was about 10 weeks old. The majority of the training is for you. I have a Pit Bull and was mostly concerned with the socializing that he would get. There were 8 or 9 other dogs in the class and they all had a GREAT time. It took a week or two for all of them to warm up to each other but after that they all became friends. Socializing is priority #1 for puppies that are considered by most to be "vicious". A German Shepard is no exception. Take the class. It'll be the best $100 that you could spend right now.

As far as "potty" training goes: I tried the create method and the paper training for about a week or 10 days. Neither worked very well. I went to the pet store and bought a small cowbell that I hung from the doorknob. I brought the pup over and pushed his little nose into it to show him how to ring it. I did this a few times when I would take him outside. On the second day he was ringing it on his own and we haven’t had an accident since! THE BELL WORKS!
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:00:16 AM EDT

What is the best way to train a dog?


Electricity
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:08:17 AM EDT
Ohms Law
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:12:37 AM EDT
"Two simple words: Choke Chain."

"Is my dog dead, ma'am?"
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:19:09 AM EDT
"How to be your dog's best friend" and "The art of raising a puppy" by the Monks of New Skete are highly recommended from what I hear.

Kharn
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:22:11 AM EDT
Dogs learn by association and repetition so practice, practice, practice. I believe stay is probably the hardest to learn. My GSP will stay until I'm outta sight, then he will sneak and crawl until he can see me.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:26:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Kooter:
Should I got to PetSmart and sign up for an obedience class, or try and do it myself? We just got this puppy last weekend. German shephard and Lab mix. He is 8 weeks old. Is it too early to start training him?

I worked with him a bit last night and tonight. I can get him to sit using little bits of hot dogs as positive reinforcement(doesn't get a treat every time, just enough to keep him interested). I was able to get him to play fetch a little tonight, before he got bored and started chasing the cat.

I've had dogs off and on for the last 8 years, but they were mostly strays I have taken in. Never really had a dog that was trained very well before, so I'm hoping to change that with this mutt.



I did this PetSmart Beginner class with my dog at 2.5-3 months and it worked out well. 2 months should be fine. The most important thing about the training is that YOU be consistent in its application and remember that the dog does not know until YOU tell him.

Apply what they teach and your dog will be fine .
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:27:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rock7:
I highly recommend the "puppy kindergarten" class at Pet Smart. I took my pup there when he was about 10 weeks old. The majority of the training is for you. I have a Pit Bull and was mostly concerned with the socializing that he would get. There were 8 or 9 other dogs in the class and they all had a GREAT time. It took a week or two for all of them to warm up to each other but after that they all became friends. Socializing is priority #1 for puppies that are considered by most to be "vicious". A German Shepard is no exception. Take the class. It'll be the best $100 that you could spend right now.

As far as "potty" training goes: I tried the create method and the paper training for about a week or 10 days. Neither worked very well. I went to the pet store and bought a small cowbell that I hung from the doorknob. I brought the pup over and pushed his little nose into it to show him how to ring it. I did this a few times when I would take him outside. On the second day he was ringing it on his own and we haven’t had an accident since! THE BELL WORKS!




+1 to all
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:31:29 AM EDT
Obedience class is more for you than the dog. They teach you how your dog thinks. I took my lab to obedience school and really enjoyed it. Cost me something around $70 total. It is a good way to introduce other people and dogs to your dog. It is a good idea to make sure your dog is well socialized.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:33:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Kooter:
Should I got to PetSmart and sign up for an obedience class...?



Yes, and get the dog some training while you're at it.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 11:06:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Da_Bunny:

Originally Posted By Kooter:
Should I got to PetSmart and sign up for an obedience class...?



Yes, and get the dog some training while you're at it.



Link Posted: 2/2/2006 11:09:14 AM EDT
Great Book

Read this book.
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