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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-21-2004, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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What age to teach a dog tricks?

What age is a good age to start teaching dogs tricks?? Since our Zoe is only 6 weeks old, we can't seem to figure out how to teach her new things...for example, when would be a good time to start teaching her how to fetch? Right now we throw the ball, and she looks at the ball, then looks at us like: "huh? why'd you throw it over THERE for??" lol
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 08:19 AM
 
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You can basically start teaching basic commands (sit, lay, come, stay, etc) as soon as your pup comes home. And for teaching tricks (treat on the nose, rollover, etc) I would say to start teaching 'em within the first year. Some dogs will pick the tricks up quickly and some will take lots of work. Keep in mind that puppies have a short attention span so keep the *teaching sessions* to just a few mins at a time. Hope that helps some.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 08:36 AM
 
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I agree with what Jodi said
The earlier the better as for the basic commands, and when the attention span isn't so short about 4-6 months of age you can begin other things like tricks, ect...
Jessie was dumped here about a week and half ago and so that puts her about 6-7 weeks right now and she is learning to get the ball already. We have 2 that are 8 months old and can sit, and the rest is history But one of those is our problem child and he will begin his training this weekend with daddy Our other's know some tricks and commands but nothing to brag about, Dakota our male rottie knows hand commands pretty well (we did this incase of a break in), but again it all takes time
Best of Luck to ya!!!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 03:36 PM
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Yep, I agree. Teach a puppy right away. Most importantly the basics. (I'm pretty much repeating what Jodi and Kim said...) Dakota has usually just brought the ball back to us on her own, so I haven't had to teach her to do that,... But either way, when I throw it I get really excited and say "Go GET it!!" and when she runs and grabs it I say "Good girl!" followed with "Bring it here!"... This helps, even though she's doing it herself, to teach her what my commands mean... For instance, when I want her to go get her ball when she's not playing with it, I just use the same command as when I throw it, "Go GET it!!" and that normally gets her running for it...

This worked easily for me with the basic commands as well. She picked up on sit fairly quickly because every time she sat down on her own, I'd say, "Good girl, Kota, Sit." Just as if I had told her to do it in the first place. Then when I actually command her to sit, she already had an idea of what I expected. Then with a little extra help, she figured it out and now she sits like a pro. Currently, we're working on lay down.

Shake took a little work. I'd kneel on the floor with her, say "Shake!" and then immediately grab her paw and shake with her. (She would want to chew on my hand most of the time, so to teach her not to, I'd consistantly move her head away any time she tried.) It took her awhile before she understood, and by awhile I mean like a week... Now she knows shake means give me her paw to hold, and she'll do it nicely without chewing.

Anyways, this is getting long. But just give her time, and start early! It's a WHOLE lot easier to teach a small 20 pound puppy to behave correctly compared to a full grown, muscle toned, strong and out of control dog! Good luck on your training and tricks and keep us up dated!


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 03:42 PM
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One more suggestion...

When we'd first brough Dakota home, she acted the same way you're saying Zoe does... Looking at ya with this, "Where'd it go, and you bring it back," face...



If she doesn't realize you're throwing it, toss it against the wall so the ball makes a noise. (This helped Kota see that we weren't holding it anymore...) Also, don't throw it too far, just a couple feet away to start off with. Ben used to throw Kota's tennis ball so far away when they'd play out in the yard that Dakota wouldn't even care to run and get it.

Besides that, it means you don't have to always walk and go get it each time your puppy looks at you like, "Nope, get it yourself."


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thank you for all those wonderful suggestions!! That really helps me a lot! Like I have said, this is the first puppy I've owned. Prior, I've only owned cats & reptiles (and my 2 gliders)....not the type of pet you have to teach tricks to So I am a completely newbie at the whole "raising a puppy" thing lol But those suggestions really helped, and I will be working with Zoe on those things
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