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Discussion Starter #1
I've heard conflicting theories on this. Many 'experts' say to wait until the pup is at least 6 months because they feel any earlier the pup is not ready to learn.

However, we have all began housetraining at the very beginning. I'm confused.

Every morning we have a 10 minute training session with Izzy. All it consists of is teaching her to come when I call her name. When she gets out of my view I call her name ONCE and she comes flying and skidding across the floor to get that treat that is in my hand. We've seemed to have mastered that in a weeks time. Is she ready for more structured training? Specifically, is it realistic to attempt to teach her to sit still for grooming at her young age? (10 weeks)

Will you please share your thoughts and experiences?
 

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I'm not an expert, but I don't see why you shouldn't train a young pup. I got Peanut when he was 12 weeks old. He was already about 80% paper trained. It's a great idea to start with the grooming now too. After Izzy gets used to being handled for hair brushing, teeth brushing, and baths it will make your life sooo much easier!! We just started small. He hated having his nails clipped, so I began with playing with his feet for a few minutes throughout the day. Your quick training sessions are a great idea because it gives Izzy something to do, but it's not so long that she gets bored or frustrated. Just don't go to the groomers or to any kind of class/dog group until Izzy has had all of her shots. :D
 

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I know a number of breeders with other breeds who start clicker training in the whelping box!

There is no such thing as too young to start training. For a toy breed, to use treats, you usually have to wait until they have teeth.

Just remember that puppies have short attention spans. Three 2-3 minute sessions per day are actually better than one 10 minute session.
 

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I would say teach them ASAP! Both my babies learned to sit in NO TIME! Why not teach them as soon as they are capable, right? They are smarter than we think!
 

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Since they start training us from day one, it's only right that we should do the same! I an convinced that half the battle of training is learning to read your dog's signals and your dog learning to read yours. Sounds like you're off to a wonderful start.
 

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Originally posted by 20202@Feb 14 2005, 01:07 PM
I've heard conflicting theories on this.  Many 'experts' say to wait until the pup is at least 6 months because they feel any earlier the pup is not ready to learn.

However, we have all began housetraining at the very beginning.  I'm confused.

Every morning we have a 10 minute training session with Izzy.  All it consists of is teaching her to come when I call her name.  When she gets out of my view I call her name ONCE and she comes flying and skidding across the floor to get that treat that is in my hand.  We've seemed to have mastered that in a weeks time.  Is she ready for more structured training?  Specifically, is it realistic to attempt to teach her to sit still for grooming at her young age? (10 weeks)

Will you please share your thoughts and experiences?
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Everybody has varying ideas on this, but I personally began training Abby from day one - and I have had her from 6 1/2 weeks old (long story). She could come, sit, down, wait for dinner and lay still for grooming by about 10 weeks. From about 10 weeks I also started to really concentrate on her paying attentiong - looking at me when I called her name and listening etc. She took a bit longer to master that, but does quite well now. She's a little over 6 months now and is able to recognise toys by name, sit and wait at the door while I open it, go potty almost straight away on command (a slight delay there!). She puts her head down (for top knots or whatever) on command and she also knows general things like "go inside". I don't have screen doors on my house, but because of the training I have provided since early days, I can leave the door open and she won't go down the stairs unless I tell her that she is allowed to! And even if I say she can go, she waits until I am standing on the verandah before she will go down the steps.


Of course, you can't expect the world from your baby at such a young age, but I personally don't think there is a problem with starting to show her basic commands (if for no other reason, than for her safety) and let her understand the basic rules of your household. I think they are better off that way.

I started Abby off with 10 minutes twice a day - she responded very well to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Abby sounds like a great little learner. Did you have a specific learning method?

Izzy has mastered the SIT command already.
She comes when called. The first week I had her we worked on coming when called. This past week we spent it on SIT. I don't think I should do too many commands at a time, and hopefully we have plenty of time to master the others. I would love to teach her to lay her head down while grooming. That's going to take a long time, I fear because #1, she doesn't like her face fussed with and #2, she's a total mass of wiggling worms. Because of all your advice, I went against my gut instinct and started her training this young and it paid off. Thanks.
 

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They do learn fast don't they!
When we started training Peanut to do tricks, he would always forget something that he already knew. After we taught him to play dead, he forgot how to just lie down.
Looks like we have to take a few steps backwards now.
 

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Originally posted by littlepeanut@Feb 18 2005, 04:38 PM
They do learn fast don't they!
When we started training Peanut to do tricks, he would always forget something that he already knew.  After we taught him to play dead, he forgot how to just lie down. 
Looks like we have to take a few steps backwards now.
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I know what you mean. Sometimes when we tell them to sit, they automatically lay down. Or when we say "lay down," Cloud automatically rolls over.
They are ahead of themselves.
 

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Lacey was 14 weeks old when she came home to me. She was about 90% paper trained. We have been working on training with all kinds of commands ever since and she will be one on the 22nd. We have already been to one training/obience class and we are about to start another one in a month. This summer she will start aligility (sp) class. She has so much energy I am hoping she will enjoy. One of the best things I taught Lacey "was leave it" when she hears this she leaves whatever thing she has in her mouth or trying to get into her mouth. It is amazing what she finds in my husbands office. He isn't going to be to happy with his little girl when he gets home. Yesterday Lacey found his business checkbook on the office floor and lets just say he won't be writing any checks for about a week...unitl the news ones I ordered this morning come overnight mail, I am hoping by Thursday. She also found a box of those packing peanuts yesterday while I was at work in his office and boy what a mess that has been! I do keep his office door closed when no one is home but I think one of my cats hit the door hard enough to open it...my husbands cat weighs 28 pounds! He is a big boy. So have fun with the training but take it from me...don't have a box of packing peanuts around were they can get to them.
 

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Originally posted by 20202@Feb 18 2005, 04:47 PM
Abby sounds like a great little learner.  Did you have a specific learning method?

Izzy has mastered the SIT command already. 
  She comes when called. The first week I had her we worked on coming when called.  This past week we spent it on SIT.  I don't think I should do too many commands at a time, and hopefully we have plenty of time to master the others.  I would love to teach her to lay her head down while grooming.  That's going to take a long time, I fear because #1, she doesn't like her face fussed with and #2, she's a total mass of wiggling worms.  Because of all your advice, I went against my gut instinct and started her training this young and it paid off.  Thanks.
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I'm glad to be of some assistance. And congratulations on SIT!!!!


Abby seems to catch on fairly quickly to what I want her to do, so I've been lucky in that respect, but I also put that down to starting early - she knows what I expect I guess you could say! I guess as far as training goes, I go with my instincts and what feels right to teach her. With sit, I used a combination of strategies. I helped her into sit positions, but also used the strategy with the treat where you put it above their nose and take it back until their bottom drops to the floor (I mainly used this, but helped her into sit when she needed it) - I guess being a hungry little puppy made her very eager for those 10 minute sessions!


For teaching her to put her head down, I started during grooming sessions saying "head down" and softly pushing her head down onto the rolled washer (never forcing it - she didn't really resist it). Then I'd tell her what a good girl she was and pat her while she kept her head down. I'd also put her in my lap and use either my fingers or her comb to play with her hair on her head while her head was down - this worked great when she was just about sleeping... If you wait until later at night or when Izzy is tired and sitting on your lap, almost asleep and you start to just stroke/pat her, she will realise that as such a nice feeling - you know, to be nearly asleep and someone playing with your hair type thing - and if you then eventually start to groom her in that time when she is very tired and use that same gentleness, she'll slowly start to calm down.... well, that's what worked for Abby anyway!! I can elaborate more if that didn't make sense!


I guess I was a little worried about it too at first, but then I figured that informal basic training wouldn't hurt her - if anything, it would keep her safe and happy. She has never chewed cords, tried to go down the stairs without my approval... none of that... and I have been so thankful for that! I also think that training early on reenforces the idea that you are the pack leader, not them. They respect having someone in charge.

It's not like you aren't letting Izzy be a puppy ... two 10 minutes sessions a day is NOTHING in her day of play and fun! :D And using only positive reinforcement works wonders - and also give you and her a chance to get closer to each other!


I didn't really have a set method, I spoke to people here on sm and read a few books etc and made up my own mind. Play it by ear to what she responds best to! Oh, and one command at a time is definitely the way to go!
 

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I did it right away! Tyler is 10 months, and he already knows sit, stay, down, paw, fetch, stand up, dance, and roll over! I really recommend training your puppy right away.
 
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