Apropriate age for Obedience training

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Tiny is going is 9 wks old now, and we have been working on basic commands and he has been doing really well. He will be starting Obedience Classes at 11 wks. and I was wondering if that is too young or if it will be okay for him to start now. We are hoping this will help with his socialization skills as well, as he will be interacting with other puppies as well.

DobieWanKenobi's picture
Joined: 2011-08-28

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I've been taking Kayenne to obedience classes since she was 11 weeks old. Purely for socialisation purposes. It didn't work.  However, I've been training her in obedience since I got her, and she's already got tremendous self control, can take commands at distance and understands more complex commands (such as solo right-turns)...


I never thought that there was 'an age' to start teaching your dog things. I start with basic things like Come, Sit, Down, Wait, Leave it and Closely, then move onto the self-control commands (Spit it out, leaving the toy or ball that's been thrown for her, waiting to be given the 'break' command rather than just running off to play.) If my dog learns the basics quickly, then she's going to start learning the more complicated things at a young age.


The only rule I can think of when it comes to training puppies is don't expect too much too soon.

@Premier Brutus

Dobie Wan said it pretty good and there's very little I could add. Notice D.W. uses "teaching" and not "training". At this age you "teach" behaviours. Once the puppy knows what your talking about then you "train". Training=there is no choice, sit means sit. Teaching lends itself to mistakes which a puppy will make simply because he doesn't know yet. When you teach and he does make a mistake, you just move on. When you train and he makes a mistake, there is a correction.

This magical age where you switch from teaching to training is somewhere around six months provided you've done your job as teacher. You should know what your puppy knows better than any one else on earth so this determination is made by you, not by some impartail trainer. (not saying, don't go to a training class, GREAT socialization opportunity, not to mention get some good ideas with training).

Mostly build a relationship with your puppy. A good relationship between your dog and you speaks volumes when it comes to training. If they like/respect you,,,, they WANT to work for you.

They're never too young to start teaching and never too old to stop teaching. This is what makes it fun!


P.S. Good thing I couldn't add much, huh?

Dobi Wan thanks very much for your input. We have been teaching Tiny simple commands such as come, sit, lay, shake( he does both paws :)), kennel, outside, down(unless he is invited up) etc. he is doing very well with those. We have been using kibble as reward as well as playtime with us, I read this is the best rewards for him. I have also noticed that he will now sit by his dish and wait until I tell him to get his food, he also sits by the front door and whines ot go potty. He sits to have me put his leash on first and then when we come in he sits by the door to have it taken off. The leave it command seems to be hardest for him when it comes to toys, which I understand will be as he is still a baby, but I am looking for suggestions on how to help with getting him moving in the right direction with the leave it command.

Gunny thank you so much for your valuable input!!

I knew that as a puppy training will be hard, my goal with this obedience class is to work on socialization, gather the skills and the knowledge to do the actual training later on without going through another class, I am very hopeful that this will be the case.

My realtionship with King Titus is very important to me, I do not want him to see me as a push over nore do I want him to see me as being so mean that he is affraid of me. We are working on a middle ground every day. We are making great strides towards an common ground between all of my family members and Titus training. We've even involved our daughter Karli in how to handle him correctly as we feel it is the key to a well rounded puppy.

We will keep you posted on how things go :0


Thanks so very much!

Happydance's picture
Joined: 2010-11-14

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I don't believe that any toys should be involved when teaching the "leave it" command.  This will confuse him.  The way I was taught that to tell them to leave it means "ack it's poison, you may not have it!"  Sit down on the floor with him with a treat in each hand.  Put one down in front of him and say "leave it".  It'll take a few tries for sure.  But, the second he resists going for it IMMEDIATELY give him a treat from your OTHER hand.  Don't ever give him the treat that he was told to leave. Eventually if you tell him to leave it until you've had a chance to check whatever it is that he's going after, and you deem it's ok for him to have it, then fine but not ever in the beginning until he's got the concept loud and clear.  I think that "leave it" and "drop it" are important and possibly life saving commands they should know.  Fancy got to the point that if she got something, I'd tell her to "drop it" and she'd just pitch it sideways to me because she knew she had to give it up. ---just a little bit of attidude there LOL, "Aw, MOMMMM"

Happydance- I mean leaving my daughters toys, lol! He thinks all of her stuffed animals are ment ot be his chew toys so that is where we are having the trouble. As for your suggestion on how to do the leave it command we will have to try that tomorrow. Thanks for your suggestions I will be using them in my training :)

Happydance's picture
Joined: 2010-11-14

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OH! LOL.  All the old stuffed animal toys around here that have been from kids when they were young and young grandkids'castoffs have long since been slayed. There's nary a dragon in this house.  Seriously tho, the kids are going to have to put away their toys in a secure dungeon and shut the door to the castle, or decide if the dog can have a blast ridding them of the dragon beasts within. (I doled the toys out every once in a while, keeping an eye so the dogs don't eat them-just shread them, and resigned myself to cleaning up the fluff).  

Note the dead dragon in the middle of the floor:


Love the pics Happy Dance thanks for sharing! I told Karli what she doesn't want shredderd needs to be put in her bedroom and the door closed so he can't get at them :)