How much to expect?

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How much to expect?

This is a discussion on How much to expect? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hey guys. I'm just curious about something. My puppy, Winston, is going to be 12 weeks old on Friday. At this point, what should I ...

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Old 09-23-2014, 05:24 PM
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How much to expect?

Hey guys.
I'm just curious about something. My puppy, Winston, is going to be 12 weeks old on Friday. At this point, what should I expect of him as far as training? Or should I expect anything?? He's a baby at this point, and I don't want to tax his little puppy cuteness!
So far we've dabbled with recall, sit, and down...all with the aid of yummy treats (the kid loves snacks!) When I've got a handful of turkey hot dog treats, he's like obedience dog extraordinaire even off leash on the wide open seven acres of my little horse farm.
Without treats? Meh, sometimes he listens, more often than not there are more interesting things than the boring non-treat-bearing human. I just ignore him if he ignores me, for the most part. The only time he gets any stern vocal correction is if he's in immediate danger of getting under a horse. He has caught on well, and respects the horses' space.

Im assuming it's unreasonable to expect such a young puppy to be reliably responsive outside. But what I'm eventually aiming for is an attentive and responsive dog that will listen in any environment. My adult dogs are less-than-stellar, though they aren't terrible. They listen for the most part, but tune me out if there's a big enough distraction. I want Winston to be my superstar who comes hauling butt to me the second he hears his name, and I don't want to do too much or too little right now, since I think both could be detrimental.

I guess the simple question I'm asking (after all that rambling) is, will he ever be as attentive and reliable withOUT treats as he is with them? Because he's freaking awesome with them!

Thanks in advance for any tips, etc!
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:33 PM
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And it just dawned on me that one smart thing to do might be to work with my 5 year old Aussie who has a couple of holes in his training (thanks to my mistakes), as well as a lack of much formal training, but who is a very smart dog who loves me to pieces and will probably respond well to training. Winston worships him, so he follows his example (which is good sometimes and not others).
Good plan?
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:06 PM
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Look at this 2 1/2 month old and you will see what clicker training can do for your little one and the older on too.
Look for kikopup videos. She is a great clicker trainer.
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Old 09-27-2014, 04:43 PM
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That's awesome! Thanks for sharing. Gee, now Winston seems like a slacker! LOL!
I'm definitely going to do clicker training. I've got a book on it, just no clicker yet. Should be getting one very soon. I also watched a few kikopup videos the other day and really liked what I saw.

I'm new to training dogs. Horses? I've trained plenty of those! But dogs are (obviously) a whole different animal.

My biggest obstacles are that I live in a place with lots of open space and distractions (horse poop, butterflies, weeds, bushes, cats, etc.) Plus he lives with two other dogs, one of which is his fun-loving pal who is always game to romp and wrestle. It's hard to make myself as interesting and fun as the other things around him. Food usually does the trick. I do take him out alone when I want to work with him, so at least the other dogs aren't a distraction. That means I just have to be more interesting than a piece of poop. Not easy. LOL!
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Old 09-27-2014, 05:05 PM
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@Gretchenpc it actually isn't that hard at all, just be more animated and MOVE :-)
Movement = Motivation in dogs.
Contrasting movement = even more motivation.

Google Engagement training, Michael Ellis and Forest Micke have a lot of stuff on it :-)

And honestly it's the only thing I focus on when I get a pup.
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Old 09-27-2014, 05:44 PM
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Haha, I wouldn't get too far ahead of yourself! It is natural for puppies to remain quite engaged with the handler at a younger age, and this is a good time to build foundational recall skills. You will think that you have a heaven-sent wonder dog when it comes to recall attentiveness until they reach about 6 months... then you will wonder if doggy body-snatchers have invaded!

Working with a puppy, I noticed that as soon as the dog gained the confidence and independence associated with the teenage period, she had no problem blowing me off for the strange person or dog across the park. With consistent work and by limiting her opportunities to blow me off (i.e. leashing her when I needed control and only calling her when she was most likely to respond) this phase only lasted about two months.

So in short... Could you expect a good recall now? Probably. In 3 months... maybe not! And in a year? Probably, with consistent effort. It changes.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:55 PM
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You can use a writing pen that clicks to start. Just make sure you load the clicker so the pup understands the concept. Click and treat about 10 times in a row to let them know the click means a treat will follow. Make sure the click comes at the exact moment the action is achieved. Like in sit , wait till the butt hits the ground click then treat. Don't worry if the treat isn't immediate. When you first start out it seams like you need more hands. You will be amazed how quickly they catch on. Keep the sessions short and alway walk away on a positive note.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawsea View Post
@Gretchenpc it actually isn't that hard at all, just be more animated and MOVE :-)
Movement = Motivation in dogs.
Contrasting movement = even more motivation.

Google Engagement training, Michael Ellis and Forest Micke have a lot of stuff on it :-)

And honestly it's the only thing I focus on when I get a pup.
Oh, I do! I run and dodge back and forth and squat down and skip and flail around this place. I throw things for fetching, play tug-o-war, and whatever else I can think of. Sometimes it works, sometimes he glances at me and continues snuffling around looking for horse/cat poop to chow down on, sticks to gnaw, a mud puddle to dig in, and weeds to tug on.
Interestingly, it's when I'm ignoring him and doing something else outside/in the barn that he seems most interested in hanging close. Well, except today. I went to look for him one time and he was clear out in the middle of my front pasture, I assume eating horse manure (always a good bet, lol). Happily, when I squatted down and called him he came running all the way to me like a bullet. That doesn't always happen. I've failed at recall many times be calling him and being ignored. I've worked at it on his long line both with and without treats, and he seems to be improving. He's learning "stay" and then coming from the "stay". Today was the longest distance he's ever recalled from that didn't involve running scared from crazy barking neighbor dogs. I was thrilled, but I want to keep building on that.
I truly mean it when I say I don't care if he ever learns another thing just as long as I can put a good recall on him. My older dogs are severely lacking in that area, and there is no one to blame but me. I was clueless about how to teach them, and unfortunately would lose my patience and scold them when they ignored me, which obviously made things worse.

I refuse to make the same mistakes with Winston. He's already more confident and willing to roam away and stay out of sight for extended periods (not off property, just not near me).

Anyway! That was a ramble! Sorry!
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly528 View Post
Haha, I wouldn't get too far ahead of yourself! It is natural for puppies to remain quite engaged with the handler at a younger age, and this is a good time to build foundational recall skills. You will think that you have a heaven-sent wonder dog when it comes to recall attentiveness until they reach about 6 months... then you will wonder if doggy body-snatchers have invaded!

Working with a puppy, I noticed that as soon as the dog gained the confidence and independence associated with the teenage period, she had no problem blowing me off for the strange person or dog across the park. With consistent work and by limiting her opportunities to blow me off (i.e. leashing her when I needed control and only calling her when she was most likely to respond) this phase only lasted about two months.

So in short... Could you expect a good recall now? Probably. In 3 months... maybe not! And in a year? Probably, with consistent effort. It changes.
Well, the recall is sketchy at best right now, but I'm going to work hard at it in preparation for the "teenage" years! I teach high school freshmen, I know something about critters whose bodies are outgrowing their minds! LOL!
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dawnben View Post
You can use a writing pen that clicks to start. Just make sure you load the clicker so the pup understands the concept. Click and treat about 10 times in a row to let them know the click means a treat will follow. Make sure the click comes at the exact moment the action is achieved. Like in sit , wait till the butt hits the ground click then treat. Don't worry if the treat isn't immediate. When you first start out it seams like you need more hands. You will be amazed how quickly they catch on. Keep the sessions short and alway walk away on a positive note.
Ah! Excellent idea! Thanks! I'm going to Tractor Supply on Tuesday, and I think I saw clickers the last time I was there.

I just fixed up a batch of treats made from chicken breast. Oh how he loves them!
*goes to find clicky pen*
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