too young to train?

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dobermanbuddy's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-07

I have got a very young puppy turning 7weeks soon. I am trying to train him to not barge around when im putting his food down. I am trying to keep him still for a few seconds while ive got the food down and then when rewarded he can go and eat. I try to hold him still for a while so he gets the point because hes so super stoked and hungry he bounces around awaiting to pounce on the food like prey. When I try and hold him for a few seconds he goes ape tossing and turning trying to break free and blitz for the food. i quickly take the food away and try and start again. Sometimes I hold him down to try assert my dominance and alpha figure in his life but he wrestles with me for up to 3 - 5 minutes. I have tried this twice.

Shall I carry on?

Is this a bad or good way to try and deal with the situation?

Is he too young to even try this?

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

He is too young at this point for this training. He must first learn that the food is always going to be there. Remember he has just recently been removed from a litter, and the rule of survival in the litter is that the one there first gets the most. Let him be for a few weeks that then start, not with a full bowl but just a bit. A little hand feeding will also help. This will reinforce the fact that the food comes from you and is meant just for him.

I got Princess at the age of 9 weeks and she was the next to last to leave so this drive was already reduced a bit. I would put her food bowl on the kitchen floor and sit on the floor with her and talk to her while she ate. As I moved her to more solid foods I would take a few kibbles in my hand and let her eat out of my hand. This builds trust and makes a connection between the two of you.

Young puppies have two speeds - All out and asleep. In a week or so start giving him just a little and when he has finished that, when he sits down and looks at you, put a bit more in his bowl. The container with the additional kibble can be on the counter top right above you out of his sight. When you are ready to give him another bit, just reach up and get it. Always have the normal meal amount in the container so you don't overfeed him. I know that may seem like an impossibility, but you can. Remember to moisten his food, there are two reasons for this - 1) it easier for him to eat it at this stage and 2) if they eat their fill and then drink water the kibble in the stomach will expand and possible harm him. If it is already moistened and expanded this won't happen. I moistened Princess' food until she was about 4 months old. 

^,^
^,^'s picture
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Joined: 2010-04-13

Wow Rick you never cease to teach me something!!!

Have a great day.

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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Indeed, seven weeks is way too young for training that type of behavior. You should focus on other more basic behaviors - namely the 'come' command. You can incorporate that into feeding. Choose your word and issue the command several times a day rewarding him well. This will help instill it, which will make for a much safer and easier time later on.

dobermanbuddy's picture
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Joined: 2009-02-07

Awesome thanks for the tips guys. I have another question too if you veterans dont mind  :D

So im in a house at the moment with some friends and my brother might be moving in soon. He has a very well tempered (so far) staffy x pittbull. She is about 2 years now. Fully vaccinated of course. She is friendly with all dogs at the park. Has had some issues with older dogs that are a bit territorial in their homes that she wont back down too. She also can be a little bit rough when she plays with dogs. So he might be moving in this weekend with his doggy and im just a little hesitant at introducing puppy to his doggy. Puppy has never met any other dogs yet.

What shall I do?

haha thanks to anyone who can help.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

She's female and he's puppy, so she may go into the mothering mode. However, just to be on the safe side, I would introduce them outside in the yard with at least her on a lead, preferably both on leads. Watch her closely for signs of interest and acceptances vs alerts and aggression.

When I brought Hans home as an 8 week old puppy, I introduced him to my 2 year old female Windy. I hadn't even come up with a name for him yet. She bent he head down and sniffed at him (she had not seen a puppy since she left her littermates) and he jumped up and bit her on the neck. She did not do anything except back up a few feet and then came forward and sniffed again. This time he did not bite her. He earned his middle name that day (Tigre, German for Tiger). Within days she was protecting him as if he were her puppy.

When they would be outside and I was mowing she would have him up against the fence with her body between him and the mower. He just laid there with his head on her body watching me.

Remember, Pitt Bulls like all dogs have to be trained to fight. Those that succeed live, those that fail are either killed or used for bait dogs. Given the right circumstances, any dog can be aggressive, so it's best to introduce under controlled circumstances. While my introduction succeeded, I did it wrong because I did not know better. Only the good nature of my older female saved the day. If it were an older male and a male puppy, I would be more leery. I would introduce them the same way, but would watch them closely. Even a male pup from a male on site, once the male pup get toward puberty, the older dog will try to run the younger one off, especially if there is an active female around.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

Pet Profiles

Cesar says: "Butt First" I watched him use this tecnique on his whispering show.. very effective.