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  • Too young?

    Hi there. I'm training my puppy (2 months old) and he already know some commands: come, sit, stay and release.
    I'm using a clicker and praises, no force of any kind has been used. Not even a leash.
    However my girlfriend told me that she heard somewhere that training youn puppies isn't a good idea because they get stressed. So far he seems to enjoy it, I'm training him in very short sessions, no more than a couple of minutes and he loves the food treats.

    Should I stop the training?

    Thanks a lot!! Merry christmas.

  • #2
    In my personal opinion 8 weeks is WAY too young to be training a dog. He just doesn't have the attention span or desire to work like that. HOWEVER, you shouldn't totally ignore all behavior just because he's so young. I think it's important to correct him and/or teach him properly from the beginning. Having typical 20 minute training sessions is just way to much for the little guy. But correcting bad behavior when it happens at this age is just as important as teaching our infant children not to chew with their mouths open or to put away their toys and so on and so forth.

    I agree with your girlfriend that he's too young to be actually training but correcting bad or potentially dangerous behavior is important at this age.


    • #3
      For once I actually disagree with Dogmom, sorry hun, I think its great that you have started training already, but it dose sound like your moving a little fast. In my home when a dog first arrives we start training, one command is introduced every week, and trained for two weeks. For example, we train the puppies name first, and for a week every time the pup turns to look at us when we call her name we praise her or give her a treat, the next week, while still training the name we teach sit, sit before being fed, sit before being fed, we teach that for a week, then introduce lay down, so in the first 8-12 weeks puppy only learns three commands, or 10 to 14 weeks, depending on puppy age. Its not stressful unless you push puppy to do the commands to the deperment of the puppy, or make your training sessions too long. they should be very short and to the point with one or two tries of the command and then thats it, anymore then that and puppy could become distracted or restless and want to play. All sessions should end on a good note, never on a bad one.

      That being said, I don't believe in clicker training, but it sounds like you have done a good job so far, perhaps slow down a little though, it will probably help and you'll probably find puppy learns just as fast as if you had not. Too many commands will probably only confuse puppy in the end. Like Dogmom said, its like teaching a baby, my doughter knows tat-ta and ball and Tina (our babysitter) mom, and daddy and sister (Emily) but none of these we tought quickly, each word must be allowed its own time to be learned and become instinct.
      The reason dogs are great is they wag their tails, not their tongues.


      • #4
        Hi and thanks for the input, I'll slow down the speed then.
        I can asure you that I'm not pressing him, we only practice a command for 2 minutes at the most.
        But he just grasp everything extremely fast. I have this puppy since he was 4 weeks old (I know it's not a good idea, but it was to adopt him or to leave him with an unknown owner) and he comes and sits since the 6th week :s
        I will then just reinfoce the commands he already knows for the next weeks, following your advice.

        Thanks again!


        • #5

          Agree with celtechfarm, except about c/t. It's never too early... well, maybe you should wait for their eyes to open!<G> People often seem to discount that regardless of whether we're teaching them 'formally', eg. specific behaviours such as 'sit' 'stay', etc, we're always training our animals whenever we're with them, whether it's conscious & intentional or unconscious & accidental. It sure pays to think about these things & be conscious of it, so we don't inadvertently teach the wrong lessons.

          Just be aware of the short attention span, etc & don't ask for too much - teach easy things so you set it up for success & get to give lots of reinforcement for 'right' behaviour.

          I think people who say it's too stressful for young dogs are thinking about traditional aversive based methods, such as leash 'corrections', etc. This is generally at least a bit stressful and confusing for any dog to learn, as they are often left to work out by trial & error how to avoid that punishment (or learn to endure it if they're so motivated). A young pup with it's short attention span & lack of solid good experiences with training & handler to fall back on is more likely to suffer from this than an older dog who has first (hopefully) established a good relationship with the trainer.


          • #6
            I'm of the opinion that training can never start too early.

            Brutus came to me at 6 weeks old..and from day one training started. Obviously crate trainign started his very first night but as he settled thinsg progressed

            Not brutal drawn out sessions by any means...but throughout the day I took 1-3 minutes out and did something with him. Even if it was just praising him for responding to his name. Or gently pushing his butt down while holding a treat up to guide into a sit...I always made things very short and I always made them fun. Sometimes he would get a treat reward, others he would get lavish praise...sometimes a tug of war or something with his favorite toy. But this was ongoing, every day and as he got older..around 5 months or so then we extended these short sessions a bit, and we also madfe sure to do the excercises in different in the yard, by the mail box ect. ect.

            He is now a 200 lb, almost 2 year old boy and he is obedient and gentle enough for my 2 year old daughter to walk on a leash anywhere with a flat buckle collar. He has never been hit or punished or anythign of the sort...but from day one he was guided in the right direction so it left him lil' room to make errors.

            IMO, waiting till 6 months or so to start training is only confusing..why let them do one thing as a baby, then try to change what they have been doing 6 months later??

            "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras