View Full Version : What age did you start training your cav?

21st April 2009, 11:09 PM
I went to the vet today and he said early is good but he will do better in a few months...he is just so hyper when I try....he sit's when I say but only for a sec and when I try to move to try anything he stands up and wants to be on me or under me....I am at a lost...I was going to go to a puppy kinder. but they only have a 8pm time and its great price but that is my twins bed time and there is no way I cant get there that late ...... what do you think.....how do you get them to respond w/out being to hyper ??


21st April 2009, 11:29 PM
Teach him to stay as well. Once he is sitting hold up another treat and say stay several times holding the treat low so that he doesn't stand to get it. Then make him stay in sit a bit longer each time. When he can do that well teach him to stand back up on command.

Jen and Ilsa

21st April 2009, 11:30 PM
We started obedience training (clicker training, which I HIGHLY recommend) with our cavalier at 5 mo. She did great. She is now doing agility. Judy and Dixie:o

21st April 2009, 11:48 PM
Again I'd recommend downloading and reading Ian Dunbar's books especially After you get your Puppy at www.dogstardaily.com and perhaps getting his Sirius Puppy Training video. Puppies can be trained from the day you get them, keeping this light and fun and brief sessions for pups which don't have great concentration. Dunbar is famous for his approach to working with puppies from the day you get them.

Please remember a puppy is a puppy and he is just going to be this happy and excited for weeks and weeks yet -- you are really not going to have a nicely trained dog til he is months older and you've put hours of weekly time into getting the dog you want. :thmbsup:

Expected a small puppy to sit and remain calm is like expecting a 2 year old to do the same. Ain't gonna happen at least not for more than a few seconds. Training at this age is NOT about a responsive perfectly behaved dog, it's about having fun, teaching some basics and getting a framework there for more focused learning as he gets much older. For most dogs they will be 6 months before they can really begin to pay attention for any length of time. You need to keep your expectations in line with a tiny puppy's abilities.

It is easy to forget how challenging, demanding and exhausting puppies are. What you are seeing is normal. Puppies need considerable time and dedication at this age, love and gentle training and modest expectations. Kindness and consistency. Daily time given to little 5 minute shots at some fun training.

22nd April 2009, 02:56 AM
I started training Max as soon as we brought him home for instance when he would sit naturally I would name it and reward him. Come was also easy for him - as was stay (although you have to start with just a second or two). I agree with Karlin, Dr. Dunbar's books are a big help and I've found his method works well with Cav's. It's essentially the same method that my current trainer uses. We started our puppy class at 16 weeks - it was pretty much of a disaster training wise (because I didn't think to check and see what methods were being used) but was good for socialization. Max LOVES our current class - it's still a basic class but allows him to practice what he has already learned.

22nd April 2009, 07:10 AM
Have been working with Vivie on an off for the past 6 weeks . I have somewhere Karen Pryor book on clicker training and like what parts i have read. The only things I have been working on are sit, stay (drop the treat and hold for only a few seconds), also name loading and marker word loading. I use part of her evening meal and just say her name followed by a treat over and over, the same with the marker word. Some if this is from my agility instructor also. I definatly need to work on come asap as she bolts for the door. Good luck.

22nd April 2009, 12:40 PM
I could not get Max to do a "down" so on the advice of Mindy's agility instructor I got a clicker and I must say it worked like a charm - almost too well because for awhile after he "got" it he would drop into a down anytime he heard anything click - apparently the phone on my camera makes a similar noise. It was pretty funny.

22nd April 2009, 02:35 PM
those who use clickers do you have to use them for life...cuz what I have read this morning you dont talk really....I know I havent read a book but I reserved on at the library and I should get it w/in the next 2 days..

22nd April 2009, 03:44 PM
I've never used a clicker as all my dogs have been geniuses Ilsa included! ;)

But I think dogs are trainable at a young age, at less then 4 months old Ilsa would follow me around the house sitting and opening her mouth for a treat. She looked like a fish. It got so irritating (but cute) I started working on the stay and up commands. At the same time when we were in the park I taught her to stay with me. That way she never knew what I wanted to sit there and demand food.

Everyone thinks their dog is a genius (and I know mine is) - but I think it is entirely possible to train a dog young. Remember they love attention as much as food so a combination of both is most effective. Make a big fuss whenever he behaves along with the treat - or if you are weaning off the treat. I never took Ilsa to a class or did advanced training, I felt she was well trained for me by 6-8 months.

She is now less perfect and quite willful but she knows when I am serious and always listens - and I still give her a big fuss when she does if only because I love to make her tail wag. She looks so proud!

Jen and Ilsa

23rd April 2009, 07:50 PM
No, you do not have to use them for life. I don't use mine at all now, but if I were teaching a new behavior or trick I would use it.

heather r
23rd April 2009, 08:26 PM
We enrlled our now 10 month old Abigail in a puppy training class as soon as she had her shots. In addition, from the first time we brought her home, I made her sit before giving her her food. That our 3 yearoldgoldendoes that automatically made it that much easier.

Heather R

23rd April 2009, 09:36 PM
I started the instant I picked her up. It starts by her learning her name and comming on command and then moves on to not being allowed treats or food till she sits. This is all during the first week. Its a work in progress, but even though I know she won't be giving me her paw and shaking hands anytime soon, she knows her name and is learning the rules of the house.

Cathy Moon
25th April 2009, 02:41 PM
Puppy kindergarten classes are very worthwhile - with Geordie and India, we attended many types of puppy classes, including pre-agility puppy classes that encouraged operant behavior. :) We started India in puppy kindergarten as soon as the vet said she could (shots up to date). She was still only 14-16 weeks old when she started.

I have since found that Geordie and India learn new things much quicker than Chocolate, who didn't have this type of training as a puppy; although Chocolate has better manners in public!

Brenda in SC
25th April 2009, 04:07 PM
Rudy came to us at around 4 months. Not housebroken, and knew no commands. Now, altho we still have an occasional slip up on the housebreaking (usually my fault - too long til a visit outside), he's doing really well. 'Come' really just became his name. If you call his name, there he is - and when he arrives, he now sits immediately. He walks nicely on a leash - it's often slack - and knows sit, down and over. Stay is a work in progress. All are verbal w/hand commands. "Can you dance?" is a funny one that happened one night when he was really excited dinnertime. It's now a nightly 'routine'! He's picked up other cues very quickly too. Thinking about all this and looking back at where we started, he's a much improved member of our family.

We have always kept it fun and light hearted - he lives to please!

25th April 2009, 05:52 PM
I started teaching sit on visits before Dylan came home. Sit in a show home is a forbidden word, I'd do this when we were on our own! icon_whistling

25th April 2009, 08:41 PM
I started teaching sit on visits before Dylan came home. Sit in a show home is a forbidden word, I'd do this when we were on our own! icon_whistling

Why is it a forbidden word. Technically because these are spaniels the correct word is 'hup'.

26th April 2009, 08:59 AM
I started about a week after he was bought home.But it was slow and fun.Nothing lasted more than about 5 secs.Lots of praise and confidents building.

26th April 2009, 10:19 AM
Why is it a forbidden word. Technically because these are spaniels the correct word is 'hup'.

"Sit" is a forbidden word as the last thing you want a show dog to do is sit! :p I spent a good 5 minutes trying to get Dylan to stand last night as he was double his usual size all fluffed up after a bath and I wanted a photo. Two things I never managed to teach are "stand" and walking to heel.

26th April 2009, 05:25 PM
Max is having a hard time with stand as well - probably partly because it's really only something we do while "training" and not a usual part of our day. I should probably try harder as it would be great for pictures and for grooming him.

26th April 2009, 06:08 PM
Yep, the first thing my breeder told me about training in preparation for show was to not teach sit until MUCH later, like after all other training and after they had plenty of experience in the show ring and know to stand. We still aren't doing sit because we are showing. I have always found teaching sit to be easy and stand nearly impossible, and I think it was because we teach sit so young and so ingrain it into them. I have found I really don't miss the sit command so far because they know stand (I actually say "look pretty" instead) and they stand like little statues perfectly mannered waiting for a treat. It helps with grooming, too. Lizzie is a bit shy and wants to sit when on the table being examined by the judge, so I definitely won't be teaching sit to her for a while. THey also know down, stay, wait, drop it, leave it alone, and recognize a bunch of other words like walk and leash and ride and cookie, etc. They even know time for bed and snuggle...but I am sure all of your cavvies have their own list of vocabulary that they respond to!

On sit, however, it is so easy to teach just by holding a treat or jingly set of keys back far enough over the pups head that he has to sit to look up at it. Say sit, treat and they usually pick up that command within the first session. If you also teach them to hold the position until you release them with the command "okay" it helps a LOT with keeping their bottom on the ground longer than 2 seconds. You just have to be careful early on to release them with okay before they start to move on their own.

26th April 2009, 07:26 PM
Daisy doesn't sit because she is shown - I don't want her to learn to sit. We have however been doing Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze, using stand and down instead of sit - she was doing really well but unfortunately came into season so missed her test. We will try again later in the year.

It's a challenge - I've done competitive obedience in the past with my Cavaliers, so am used to training, but teaching without using sit has been interesting!!

Sometimes with teaching stand they will sit down, as you then have to touch them to get them to stand, and they crave the attention - I found using a 2nd lead looped under the belly works as you can lift them with that rather than touching them.

27th April 2009, 11:12 AM
I've always found 'stand' difficult to teach, but that's more my fault because we use the 'sit' command so much at home.

Our bunch of miscreants come from puppy farms originally, so won't ever enter a show ring ;););) .... unless it's a fancy dress comp lol.

27th April 2009, 03:26 PM
I think sit stand and stay sound too similar for some puppies to learn. We use sit, up and wait and I've found it more effective.

Jen and Ilsa