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jester

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  1. I would practice having him sit at random times during the day when he is not in "training mode". Also, raise the requirements for what counts as a sit. So, for example, if you ask him to sit and it takes longer than 3-5 seconds for his butt to hit the ground, it does not count as a sit. Just say a simple "good boy", call him forward, and have him repeat it until he gets it right. Once he has done a good sit you can treat, praise, play, or whatever you think he would like.
  2. Okay first of all. This board is a gold mine! Excellent advice from everyone. Roscoe, your pup is at an age were he is just starting to really develop his confidence and independence. He will be testing his limits, a lot. Patience and consistency are the key here. Set him up to succeed, don't ask him to do something if you can't ensure that it happens, and do your best to have fun with it. As far as the treat thing goes...Treats are nice but for most dogs there are loads of things more valuable than a little piece of food. If you want control in all situations then your pup needs to view everything he finds motivating as a reward for good behavior. You can't exactly use a squirrel as reward, so in a situation like that your main objective should be to redirect him away from it as quickly as possible. If he is treeing squirrels on a daily basis then that behavior is being strongly reinforced. You have to manage the situation so that he cannot continue "practicing" this. I'm sure he's going to be great, just be prepared for him to test boundaries that you may have thought you no longer had to worry about. He is still a puppy after all. Just wait until he hits adolescence lol! Best of luck!
  3. Good advice from everyone! I am a trainer at a pet store and agree that the quality of the classes there is totally dependent on the trainer that you get. Go get to know them a little bit but watch out, they are trained as sales people and will almost certainly make it sound good. Honestly though the worst that is going to happen is you will graduate training class with a dog who thinks that when you say "sit" it should go sniff another dogs butt. They will still get some socialization either way.
  4. In my experience that style of harness will encourage a dog to pull. Maybe try switching to a regular collar, or an Easy Walk Harness. The easy walk is a body harness with a D ring in the front of his chest. This usually has a dramatic effect as soon as it is put on. Requiring him to be calm before you clip the leash on and step out the door is an excellent suggestion - Over excitement = no walk. Also, don't focus on how far you are walking. A 30 minute walk is a 30 minutes walk, regardless of the distance you go. I would probably forget about treats while you are outside, at least until he has calmed down to some extent. Right now it sounds like the best reward you can give him while you are outside is access to the environment. So you could start with making sitting or eye contact his "gas pedal" to get you to move forward. This will be very important to do before he gets to sniff or mark any trees, bushes, mailboxes, etc. Best of luck!
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