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Thread: What age to start obedience classes?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueroses View Post
    Thank you so much for this info. I have followed up on it and enrolled for puppy obedience. I will see how that goes and then maybe the rally I could not enrol for sooner than the end of August when Alfie will be 19 weeks old so I hope it is not too late for real benefit
    Great, let me know how you get on. All the APDT Trainers I have come across are great. You can work towards you KC Good Citizens there and also Rally.

    I don't think it's too late, just keep doing what you are doing and keep socializing. Working with your dog gets you a very special bond.
    Sabby
    Rosie-06/06 - Ebony-01/07 Harley-08/08
    " My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dogs eyes "

  2. #12
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    I think it is also important to let puppies be puppies and not be training them all the time - yes, check potential bad habits, but there is so much else they need to be learning besides formal commands. They need to be getting to know their world and the world outside, getting used to traffic, lorries thundering by, cars backfiring, getting used to mixing with other dogs (don't be surprised if all your training goes straight out of Alfie's head in the excitement of being with a lot of dogs in a class!), playing with toys, learning spatial awareness. Some people in fact recommend leaving puppies with their mother until 12 weeks, when they will have little formal training at all (except the breeder housetraining them and teaching them to come when called, perhaps), but will learn all sorts of canine social skills that will give them the best possible start in life. At Alfie's age I would concentrate on walking nicely on the lead, so that he can go out and about - with the help of lots of treats!

    Yes, have fun teaching them things, but in very short FUN sessions. I would think Leamington say no to classes before 19 weeks because puppies have very short attention spans, and even the shortest formal class can be very tiring for them - so much to take in, so many new experiences. 8-12 weeks is the optimum time for socialisation, not for becoming obedience champions! The best dog I ever trained and worked in obedience was a 6-year-old Golden Retriever who had only ever been taught the basics of come and sit, but also hadn't developed any positively bad habits.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  3. #13
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    My Helio is a terrible walker too. We got him in the winter when it was so cold I wouldn't possibly subject his poor paws to that, so he's really only had one week of walks in February when we went to Florida, and then this summer. He zig zag walks too -- and poops in the middle of the road! Of course I always pick it up, but I don't get why he does it there! He's never been to puppy classes though, we didn't have extra money to spend when we first got him, but he's a pretty good boy anyway! He gets rambunctious sometimes, but we work through that with him. Good luck with your little boy!
    Mommy to Helio (blenheim male, born 9/23/10)

  4. #14
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    Walking on the lead: I'm sure Ian Dunbar has wise words to say on lead training, so look at his book; but if your dog pulls or wanders from side to side: stop and either gently tug him back to you or lure him with a treat, or - more effective - take a few steps backwards. As soon as he is in the position beside you where you want him to walk (not necessarily in a formal heel position, but on a loose lead) praise and give a really nice treat. Go forward and repeat as necessary! It is worth concentrating on lead training for a few days (or longer!) - make it a lesson on its own for about 10 minutes (which can be repeated several times a day), during which time you may progress about 50 yards! Don't combine it with doing other things, like going to the park, when your dog is likely to be excited if the route is familiar - and if you really correct him every time, you'll probably never get there anyway! Even when he's beginning to get the idea, keep treats in your pocket and reward him randomly when he's walking nicely. I have found with my two that a harness where the lead clips onto the front rather than the back is more effective at stopping pulling, as it turns the dog back towards you - mine's a Gentle Leader.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled (who walk nicely on their own, but having 2 dogpower on their coupler still goes to their heads!)

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