PT's Troll Hunter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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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