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Hi! So it is day 2 with Jaanu and he is amazing! One thing that I am seeing is that it is definitely a lot trickier to train a dog in real life that trainers make it look in the youtube videos, haha. Any advice on the length and spacing of training sessions I should try?

The problem is that every time I sit down to train him he jumps up onto my lap and starts trying to lay there or to chew on me. Another issue is that when I play fetch with him 1. it is tricky to teach him to leave it (I can get him to by giving a different toy or a treat though) and when he brings back the toy he jumps onto my lap.

Any advice on how to get him to stop jumping up on my lap and to be sort of still for training? Any recommended methods for teaching sit and stay?

Most of the videos on youtube show someone training a pretty chill puppy (one that it just standing or is laying around), so I'm not able to really do some of the things they do right off the bat.
 

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I would definitely recommend some play before going into training mode. That’s usually how trainers get their puppies to appear calm. Also, maybe instead of sitting you could get on your knees so he doesn’t have that option.

My pups prefer shorter training sessions throughout the day. I don’t really time them, but I’d say they’re about 5 minutes in the beginning. If I’m training something that’s a bit more involved, I’ll spend more time but I find they usually don’t have that great of an attention span when they’re very young.

I find lure training incredibly effective for teaching sit. Holding a treat up above their nose will usually get them to offer up the behavior. After a few repetitions, I add the vocal cue and hand gesture.
For stay, I start with a tired puppy and slowly distance myself, wait, and then come back to treat them. I gradually increase distance and duration and then work on adding in distractions as well.
As for fetch, it’s very common to have to trade them (treat or another toy) for them to leave it for a while. I’d say as long as they’re not playing keep away and you’re chasing them, then it should be fine. If they don’t want to drop it, then the game ends. I usually don’t let it get to that point, I’ll end the game while they're still wanting more and gradually increase repetitions. I usually have 2 balls/frisbees/sticks and will ask them to drop it and then throw the other one.
 

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3-5 minutes at a time and 3-5 times per day and especially for earlier in the day have some energy burner fun first. Among other things it will get your pup interested. For older dogs if they are going flat in a longer training, stop for a play break to reengage the dog. Build your expectations for the dog's attention span too. When I started doing longer trainiing sessions with Javelin I would work for ten minutes and have a play break. Now we can work (on a series of behaviors) for over an hour and the play is a reward at the end. I can always pull out the tug earlier if I need to to get him perked back up if needed, but now he just loves the exercises we are doing so much that getting the preise from me for doing them right is enough for him to want to keep going most days.
 

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It might be helpful to separate your training into two categories:
  1. Tricks or work the dog learns to do on command. That would be sit, roll over, get in the basket, jump through a hoop etc.
  2. Stuff the dog learns not to do. That would be don't jump on me, don't chew me, don't bark, etc.
For the first category I would do many short sessions each day at this stage. Get two or three good sits and then go do something else. An hour later ask for some more good sits. It is really easy to get buoyed by success and keep asking for things until the dog quits. You want to end on a good note, so stop when the dog still wants more.

For the second category, you are training every day 24x7. The first thing you need to do is decide what the rules actually ARE. Is the dog allowed into bed? Onto the couch? Onto the couch, but only after being invited? Is the dog allowed to lick and kiss you?

Having decided your "Thou Shalt Not" list, make enforcing it your top priority. Ideally at this stage prevent rule violations by making it physically impossible for the puppy to break the rule. For instance, if you don't want the puppy licking your face, don't put your face where the puppy can reach it. If you do have to kneel down, then make sure you tell the puppy no immediately and firmly if the tongue comes at you. Turn away. Puppy gets no attention for a few seconds to reinforce the message that you don't like being licked.

This thread made me realize I very rarely sit when I'm doing a formal training session. I'd never really thought about it before. I'm always standing when I first introduce sit, down, or most other commands.
 

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Peggy was a "30 seconds of training, multiple times a day" type puppy. But mostly I just like every game we play to reinforce the behaviours I want.

Will you be doing a puppy class? This is a fun, easy way to get a solid foundation. Each class will be different, but you can expect to learn some obedience basics, in addition to the countless benefits of early positive socialization.

And then I also recommend choosing a method and sticking with it for a while, rather than trying to apply all the overwhelming (and sometimes contradictory) advice you'll undoubtedly receive throughout Jaanu's puppy months. Zak George has a good online program, as does Ian Dunbar and Spirit Dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much everyone for your replies. I have started doing these shorter and more dispersed training sessions and it definitely works a lot better. I'm getting better at judging when he is losing focus so as to ensure that we end with a success! He has pretty much got sit, planning to train on come and leave it next and then wait.

@cowpony Thanks for breaking it down like that. That makes a lot of sense. It seems that vigilance is key to enforcing the "Thou Shalt Not" list.

@PeggyTheParti With COVID-19, unfortunately a puppy class won't be an option, but I will do my best to get him to 1-2 puppy socials. And awesome, I really like Dr. Dunbar's books and they are my primary source for general puppy raising techniques so I will check out his online program. Zak George is pretty cool too.
 

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@PeggyTheParti With COVID-19, unfortunately a puppy class won't be an option, but I will do my best to get him to 1-2 puppy socials. And awesome, I really like Dr. Dunbar's books and they are my primary source for general puppy raising techniques so I will check out his online program. Zak George is pretty cool too.
Aw. I'm really sorry to hear that. Our trainer started three new sessions of her puppy class because the demand is just sooo high. And she's worried about the consequences of missing this important window of socialization.

She's doing hers outside or in a warehouse-type space with one whole end open. Everyone wears masks and keeps far apart.

Depending on where you're located, perhaps someone might be offering something similar? At the very least, I suggest getting on some waiting lists if you can.

Here are the links to Dr. Dunbar's online materials:



And Spirit Dog:


(Spirit Dog encourages you to email them if you're not sure where to begin.)
 

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If this is still a challenge- I dont normally train sitting down. I normally stand and bend and lure the dog into a sit with a treat. Also... remember you have LOTS of time for your puppy to learn these things. I got into this drill sergeant like place where it was "my dog is 13 weeks old, I have had her for a week, and all she knows is sit, her name, and come!" And then I realized... for a puppy that's pretty damn awesome, and I relaxed and just focused on socialization and was more patient about the rest of it. Tricks will come later, potty training can come later, socialization and plenty of great experiences are the only things critical in those first few weeks. Basically- relax and enjoy your puppy, they are only silly cute babies for a little while.
 

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I plan to follow Sue Ailsby's Training Levels with our dog. They're organized so you start with the real basics (even more simple than you probably think is needed!) and build from there. Her website is great-- she has her original version of the levels on there with free access, and then if you want you can purchase a copy of the revised and updated. Definitely you could get started with the free original levels. Her blog about raising and training her dog Stitch is also really helpful for seeing how she used those levels with a puppy's short attention spans. The link to it is in the sidebar on her website.

Home | Mind to Mind
 

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Basically- relax and enjoy your puppy, they are only silly cute babies for a little while.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. That's why the puppy class we chose wasn't obedience-focused. The obedience stuff, in many ways, is the easiest part. Establishing a good bond and social foundation is what those sweet puppy days are about.
 
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