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Age to start training?


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2 days ago i got my BC. Shes 7 weeks old and very very small. Not sure how much she weighs as not been to the vets to get her weighed just yet (appointment this week though)


Anyway, I was just wondering what the best age to start training is? With my Labrador, i started training at around 9 weeks old and he took to it like a duck to water.

With Meg, (the BC puppy) she seems to be having a bit of a hard time even learning to sit.

Shes so small that its terribly hard to stop her jumping up for the treat when teaching her to sit. She is leaping about all over the place totally getting herself worked up as she can smell the treat and just spends the entire training session trying to sniff out the treat than actually listening to me.


Is she maybe to young still?

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You may want to delete your post here and repost in the General section or the Obedience, Agility section. This training section is focused on stockwork and not basic obedience, so you are likely to get a lot more answers if you repost the question in one of the other sections.



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Well, I know that most will disagree with me, but I like to start 'em young, both with general manners, etc. and with stock. As for manners, I start the recall as soon as they are 7-8 weeks old. This is usually easy, at least with other dogs in the household, as pups will generally follow the big kids, and when I blow the recall whistle, the big dogs come running, and the pups follow. Really quickly, they get it. But, when I have a litter, even before they are outside with the older dogs, I use the recall whistle when I start giving them their first solid food or just going in to play with them. They get used to coming to it and associate it with good things.


I don't bother with a sit, but start a lie down somewhere between 9-12 weeeks, depending on the maturity of the pup.


As for stock, I like to see how they react to stock young (like before I send them off to their new homes at 8 weeks). However, I use my "school sheep"--seriously dog broke sheep that stay with me no matter what (often referred to as knee-knockers or velcro). I like to get them used to seeing the stock, and just having a positive experience with them. I let them chase a bit, praising them a lot when they interact with the stock. That way, when they are later ready for "real" training (the age for starting that is highly debatable, and certainly varies with the maturity of the dog and the training methods of the trainer), they have a positive memory of sheep, and so it isn't a big scary, or foreign thing.


But, having said all that, each person is different with each dog, and it really depends on the maturity of the dog and the amount of pressure put on the pup. I've have great luck with a pretty laid-back training style, keeping it fun and not much pressure, with the last 4 pups I've started.


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Jess - I realize that this thread would be more appropriately placed in the General or Obedience section but, since I didn't find it there, I'll give a reply here.


First off, welcome to you and your dog! We have lots of members from outside the US and it's always a pleasure to meet new people who want to do a good job raising and training their pup.


If you do treat-based training (I think I'm safe in saying that generally those who have their dogs for stockwork don't use treats even for very basic obedience, although those training for obedience for competition and for the family dog do), there is a lot of importance in the placing and movement of your treat hand to shape the behavior.


If your pup is jumping when you are training the "sit", then your hand is too high. Get that treat hand down to the level of your pup's nose when she is not looking up, then move it in a shallow arc back over her head. As her nose follows the treat (which you don't hold high or it will prompt her to stand up or jump), she will naturally put her little butt down as her head lifts. At that time, praise and treat. Pups sometimes need a little time to get the idea and to develop the muscle memory to do a behavior that you desire. Don't worry, she'll get it. She is young but that's the time start, right away!


Training important skills like the recall, sit, down, and walking on lead (and maybe most importantly, her name) from an early age will ingrain these good behaviors in her so they are habit - then she doesn't even have to think about them when you ask for them as it becomes automatic.


Best wishes, and remember to post your non-stockdog training questions in the right section so you get the answers you need.

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Joy is about 4 months old, not spayed. We got her about a month ago, and I waited to bond with her and acheive her trust-big mistake. I'm not spaying her until she's a year, maybe a year and half for her to stop growing. I was a bonehead and didn't think that by the time I would be ready to train, she would be raging with hormones. She is in her teenager moments right now. She's getting real snarky, and generally out of line. I also realize that she is done 'honey mooning' since we had her or amonth, but I must say it has to be easier to to start ingraining sit, recall, walking on lead and stay while they're 8-24 weeks.

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