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Old 03-19-2008, 07:33 PM   #19
Working the Gusset
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Trust me, I've had my fair share of failures, although some were funny, like the Dachshund I gave too much praise for learning to roll over (it was the first time I ever got a dog to roll over on command, I was extremely happy), after that every command was met with a rollover.
He could be lined up with other dogs who would all sit on the command and he would drop and roll them over.

You can expect some basics to be picked up at 8 weeks, not perfectly mind you.
A Springer book I have has the commands to Hup (sit), Come, No and Stay coming at 8-12 weeks with voice and hand.
Whistle, hand and voice commands are at 3-6 months.
6-9 months is double retrieves (which is pretty hard for many dogs and requires them to either remember or to go where you're pointing).

I think teaching the name should start instantly.
I start the bell trick instantly and have been amazed at how fast some puppies will stop playing and go ring the bell to go out (coupled with the leash training and crate training when the leash isn't practical I've totally stopped paper training puppies).
When I fold their tail under to stop a mistake from happening (shouting NO at the same time) I brush them into the bell on their way out the door then give them praise outside when they do their business.

You have to keep the training VERY short with very young dogs. You want them to succeed and they don't have the attention span to succeed a lot so if you push the time too long you're teaching them not to succeed. Always leave them wanting more. If you see boredom or distraction setting in stop.

You won't ruin her unless you're expecting too much and being too hard. I think you do more harm waiting too long than starting too early. As long as you're easy on the demands, not too hard and do a good job of getting across what you want even the round balls of fur want to please the pack leader.
Just don't be too hard and they won't lose faith in you as the leader. If they don't get something you probably haven't done a good job of explaining what you want.
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