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Puppy help? Advice request!


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Hi guys, I’m looking for general puppy advice if possible please to hopefully make the basics a little easier. I’ve owned dogs all my days but always bitches and even then, they arrive every 5-7 years apart so training always comes back as a refresher course.

 
I picked up a male lab a week ago. He’s 9 weeks old now. First impressions are he’s fairly headstrong and independent. I’m having one or two slight issues at the moment and if anyone could suggest anything that would be fab!
 
  • Sometimes when you call him he’ll sit in the garden and look at you, then occasionally head the other way. He knows my whistle,(mouth). Not sure how much he’s latched onto his name but he’s not daft so I think it’s selective. I’ve ordered a 211.5 so that will hopefully make recall easier. He sometimes wants to go investigate everything else rather than recall. Walking away works about 50% of the time and then praising when he comes back. He does come back a reasonable amount of time but also pushes his own agenda. Any recommendations?
 
  • He’s already clocked onto picking up something he shouldn’t eat and running off if I try to go and get it from him. Determined not to turn this into a game but also don’t want a foreign body operation.. I think this will settle with time but ‘zoomies’ are a little frustrating.
 
  • The last thing I’ve had minor issues with is he’ll sit, run out to a thrown toy but very rarely bring it back. Generally he picks it up to shake it then drops it on the same spot. 50% of the time he runs out to it, then doesn’t pick up and moves onto better things. Keen to keep this as a game and hopefully it will stick but a big fuss doesn’t seem to be a huge reward for him at this stage.
 
On the plus side is he almost arrived house trained. He’s picked up sit, although “wait” prior to getting to go to the food bowl isn’t there yet,(labs and food, he’s bouncing when the bowl is down).
 
I do wonder if I’m expecting too much of him at this stage and at what age this should all start to become more solid? I keep telling myself he’s a pup and not to go too gung-ho.
 
The main thing I wanted to ask was whether treats are worthwhile for 1) when he runs back on a recall and for 2) rewarding a ‘wait’ after sitting? He’s crazy food orientated and I’m always keen to avoid treats but at the same time, feel this may fast track a lot of basic training?
 
 
Any help/suggestions is very much appreciated!
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2 minutes ago, WalkedUp said:

Do not leave anything that you need to get off the puppy within reach of the puppy. Then you never need to chase it.

Thanks for the reply bud! He’s not too bad in the house. It’s more in the garden for picking up stones and chewing sticks

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9 minutes ago, snow white said:

God for bid he is only 10 weeks old give him a bit of puppy life before you start work

I’ll take that as an expecting too much too soon then? I’m just keen to prevent problems before they start. Appreciate he’s just a pup and all my previous labs have turned out really well with work. Just hoping to see how folk tweak/train things differently. He’s still getting plenty play time. Think I’m marginally on edge because he’s a little bit more cocky than my previous labs.

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I have always had dog puppies and never had a bitch and was always told that bitches are slightly easier to train , I daresay that both dogs and bitches can be a little bit headstrong and as you are finding out no two pups are the same .

You know the basics by having pups to train in the past so at the moment I would just get him to sit and stay for short periods and move on when you think he is ready , early days at the moment and for the time being just enjoy each others company . GOOD LUCK 

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24 minutes ago, snow white said:

God for bid he is only 10 weeks old give him a bit of puppy life before you start work

Just remember your one week in there is no rush ,puppies will pick up everything they can reach and chew as well it's perfectly natural ,you will never be able to prevent it all.I make sure there are lots of chewable (safe)bits and pieces around and try to remove anything hazardous.

If you are worried about recall I would strongly recommend pippa Matinsons book "Total recall" as recommended by someone on this forum .I have followed her methods for the first time and it works really well I am very impressed.And I wouldn't even consider that I have started any training yet just conditioning and putting the building blocks in place for later .

 

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At nine weeks old I wouldn’t be too concerned. We just made a game of everything at that age, with ‘here’ and other retrieving aspects being a game also. It didn’t really matter if they worked all the time. Being labs, little treats and lots of praise work wonders.

Mine is one at the end of this month and she’s still a little ****** at times but she’s still very much a pup. Just enjoy it and don’t expect too much too soon. 

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Several points here so one at a time.

he is a baby so don’t expect anything for several months. Just make yourself centre of attraction for all that is good, food security, fun.

on recall get the book Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson…it is a game changer

treats I never used but now I do for all my training and wonder why I didn’t for the last forty years ( see above book)

running off with things… they all do just ignore it or it becomes a game. The chance of them swallowing something that will harm them if you control the environment is minimal and that’s what puppy insurance is for.

I have only ever trained dogs and yes they are generally headstrong but that is the trade off for not losing time when a bitch is in season. I also find the labs seem to be taking longer to mature and I reckon 2-3 years. My current pup is a lunatic at nearly 15 months and very fast due to the field trial breeding. I just accept he will not be out this season but I have plenty of others to work anyway.

lastly go very slowly. Don’t expect retrieving indeed don’t even bother trying unless in a hallway or such like indoors where the pup has no alternative, as you are setting yourself and the pup up to fail.

Just enjoy and relax….you will get there.

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Expecting far too much too soon. 
 

Also I wouldn’t leave the dog unattended in an area where it can chew / eat things you don’t want it getting. 
 

This is why kennels are good, if your not engaging with the dog put it away so it can’t do anything to harm itself, like swallow a stone or something. 
 

Dog will also be keener to be around you when you bring it out. 
 

I seriously seriously doubt that the 9 week old pup is being headstrong and knows what the whistle means already. 
 

You need to make your self a lot more exciting and a joy for him to be with. 

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Cheers gents, some very helpful replies. Would be nice if there was a like button for all the feedback. I appreciate what folk are saying regarding give him some puppy life at the start but also appreciate a lot of these people would probably say training starts from day 1.

He’s crated at the moment and absolutely loves it so that’s a good balance between kennel and indoor so to speak.

I’ll get the book ordered up. Reassuring to know it’s too much too soon. It’s as I expected,(and have told the partner) but at the same time, nice to get some reassurance!

 

 

Thanks again!

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Training does start from day one 

it starts with him learning to trust you and your family and working out what pleases you that’s his job 

he’s learning about the food bowl his time to sleep and play 

your training is to learn what he’s good at and work on it 

remember he’s a puppy 

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1 hour ago, wildfowler.250 said:

He’s crated at the moment and absolutely loves it so that’s a good balance between kennel and indoor so to speak.

Some great replies on this thread and I’m watching with interest. I’m in a similar situation to you in that I’ve got an 11 week old lab. She is full of energy and I need to watch her all the time but I’m pleased with first few weeks so far. I just concentrated on the basics - sit command, recall when I call her name and retrieving a sock dummy or ball. I practice this for less than 10 mins every day with treat rewards and it’s working. Just keeping it fun.

The bit I’m struggling with is the crate! She is fine sleeping in it overnight but definitely not fine when I put her in it for short periods during the day. I’m persevering...  any tips gratefully received!

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2 hours ago, MrPhantom said:

he bit I’m struggling with is the crate! She is fine sleeping in it overnight but definitely not fine when I put her in it for short periods during the day. I’m persevering...  any tips gratefully received!

She is perhaps seeing it an infringement of her liberties. She needs to see it as her chill zone during the day. You are probably doing this already but it’s the place to eventually put her food, water, blanket and chews. She should then see it as the place to be after she has been out for a little play or exercise. It is early days. Mine are kennelled but first couple of months indoors in the porch with the crate door open so they naturally go in there freely after a short time.B4B1F6A9-3E96-4C75-86D8-362943191B1E.jpeg.5d45c355b617f577cfb0c4186bbfd46d.jpeg

Edited by Dave at kelton
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15 hours ago, wildfowler.250 said:

He’s picked up sit, although “wait” prior to getting to go to the food

Why use the 'wait' command. It's adding on a command. If I ask my Springer to sit, I've asked him to sit. He should then sit until I say the next command, no need to add in wait.

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13 hours ago, Dave at kelton said:

She is perhaps seeing it an infringement of her liberties. She needs to see it as her chill zone during the day. You are probably doing this already but it’s the place to eventually put her food, water, blanket and chews. She should then see it as the place to be after she has been out for a little play or exercise. It is early days. Mine are kennelled but first couple of months indoors in the porch with the crate door open so they naturally go in there freely after a short time.

Thanks, this makes sense. I started with a large crate but I read that the crate should be just big enough for the pup to be able to stand up and turn round. I ended up borrowing a much smaller one and she does seem to settle much better at night in this one. After seeing your set up I’ll try using the large crate again so she has more space to relax during the day.

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10 hours ago, ShootingEgg said:

Why use the 'wait' command. It's adding on a command. If I ask my Springer to sit, I've asked him to sit. He should then sit until I say the next command, no need to add in wait.

Apologies I don’t tell him to wait. It’s just “sit”. It was the easiest way to convey/type bum getting up off the floor a little early. Totally agree with you.

 

 

Cheers again for all the fab feedback guys. To be honest he’s actually pretty good it’s just nice to know you’re on the right track.

 

Can’t wait to get past the mouthing stage though! I don’t think I can close the thread but I’ll try and keep an eye on it as best as possible. Thanks again!

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9 hours ago, wildfowler.250 said:

Apologies I don’t tell him to wait. It’s just “sit”. It was the easiest way to convey/type bum getting up off the floor a little early. Totally agree with you

My bad, read it wrong. But like others have said let the little one be a puppy. Don't get too worried about these things, I am sure as they grow they will pick things up 

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