Puppy training - what should our primary focus be?

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Puppy training - what should our primary focus be?

This is a discussion on Puppy training - what should our primary focus be? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; We're hoping to get the news tomorrow that our application has been approved (after rescue talks to our vet) to adopt a 7-8-week-old yorkie/pitbull mix. ...

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Old 07-05-2015, 05:47 PM
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Puppy training - what should our primary focus be?

We're hoping to get the news tomorrow that our application has been approved (after rescue talks to our vet) to adopt a 7-8-week-old yorkie/pitbull mix. It has been YEARS since we've had a puppy and I feel like a nervous soon-to-be 1st time mom all over again. We want to socialize Carl (soon to be Roscoe) and want to raise a well-behaved, well-mannered boy.

What should we focus on? The things that top our list at this time are biting, leash walking, trimming nails, riding in the car, drop it, leave it, etc. Am I forgetting anything important that needs to be added to the list?

Also, how long should we make the training sessions? I know he'll have a short attention span at this age and I don't want to overdo it.

TIA
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:57 PM
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Congrats on the new pup! Yorkie / pit is an interesting mix - hope you'll share pictures.

I would work on engagement and attention on you. I didn't do too much of that with mine when they were young, but recently took a recall class and much of the focus was on making the owner the most interesting thing ever. I was amazed at how much more generally responsive Katie was after playing just a few games.

Even with my older dogs I like to keep most training sessions short - 5-10 minutes worked into regular activities.
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:49 PM
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Congrats on the new pup! Yorkie / pit is an interesting mix - hope you'll share pictures.

I would work on engagement and attention on you. I didn't do too much of that with mine when they were young, but recently took a recall class and much of the focus was on making the owner the most interesting thing ever. I was amazed at how much more generally responsive Katie was after playing just a few games.

Even with my older dogs I like to keep most training sessions short - 5-10 minutes worked into regular activities.
Thanks cookieface. I'll definitely post pics once we bring the big guy home. The rescue organization we're adopting him from has a policy of no touching puppies (except for vet techs) until his "gotcha day" because of his age and the fact that he hasn't had all of his shots yet (I think he's on shot 2 of 4 in the puppy series), so we haven't had a chance to bombard the poor guy with photos yet since we didn't want to keep the vet tech there too long - lol. I'm inserting the one picture I have of him (I hope it works) from our meet-and-greet on Friday.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:06 PM
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Congrats!
Not going for puppy-class is the #1 mistake people make when getting a puppy. Partly because people misunderstand what a puppy class is about, which is socialization (both people and other puppies) and not about obedience. A good class will give you and your puppy:
- play and socialization with other dogs of various breed, sizes etc but similar age
- evaluation and guidance from a trained behavioral professional. A good trainer will inform you if your dog shows any early signs of problems (very unlikely but you want to handle gameness or fear as early as possible)
- exposure and handling by strangers in a safe environment. A good class will have people switching puppies with each other during handling
- networking with other people in similar situation which makes it easy to arrange play-dates outside school. A good class will encourage this.

Very few people can provide those things to their puppy on their own (especially play with other puppies - socialization with adult dogs is not enough). The actual training of behaviors is less important (even though class will teach basic behaviors) since most people can teach their dog a bit of basic obedience on their own.
I didn't take my dog to puppy class, I was ignorant and thought that I could do it on my own. While Charlie is doing fine and is well-trained (for a pet dog at least - he is nothing compared to a service dog), I could have saved myself a lot of work and b-mod if I had understood the importance of going to class.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:31 PM
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I like to teach a dog to play nicely when needed. You never know when they may be playing with a smaller dog that can't play as rough.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:14 PM
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1) toilet/potty train- you will realize very very soon how important it is
2) NO - yea train them the word NO. You will soon know why...
3) Sit, Down, Stay, Eat - everytime before feeding them, make sure they sits and stay until you allow them to eat. This is a way to teach them who the BOSS is.
4) Socialize with other dogs. As soon as they get all the vaccination zaps. and do protect them from tick and fleas.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:23 PM
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Thank you all for the wonderful advice.

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!! We got the word today that our application was approved, our boy was on the table being neutered, and we're bringing him home Wednesday! They're now saying he's not a yorkie/pittie mix - the only known factor is yorkie. Either way, we're thrilled, he's adorable, smart, and I know he'll be an amazing addition to our family! The lady at the rescue told me to "be ready, he's a handful!" lol That's just what we need to infuse some life into our home again since losing our sweet girl, Lacey.

Timber, I'm curious about methods to teach him to play nice. I think that's a great idea. Just based on his age and paw size, we're thinking he'll be anywhere between 25-40 lbs. I've seen all kinds of recommendations for kikopup videos on this site, and I've been watching a lot of her videos. I'll have to see if she has one on playing nice (or something along those lines), but would love to hear your training method on this.
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Old 07-10-2015, 03:13 AM
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Congrats!
i think the most important thing, you should concentrate on is forming a stable, loving bond between you and the animal and build up their trust for you.
If the dog trusts you and it thinks everything you do is positive for them (handler=untimative awesomeness ) it is much easier to train everything else.
a dog that feels safe beside you and trusts you to protect them is more likely to be open and friendly towords new things than a dog that feels insecure.
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