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Discussion Starter #1
There are a million tricks and commands to teach a dog, so I want to know what everyone prioritised (or wish they had prioritised) when they first got their puppy/dog!

Since I haven't gotten my puppy yet, these are what I figure would be most important...

-Sit to say please
-Drop it/leave it/wait
-Stay
-Recall/name acknowledgement
-No jumping
-Loose-leash walking

Other than the obvious house training, I want to hear what everyone thought was most important with their puppy for their personal situation.

I don't see a problem with teaching cute tricks and I'm sure I will teach them too, but I think it's unfortunate that people put emphasis on them as opposed to more important commands that could be extremely beneficial in the long and short term. And there is plenty of time to teach extravagant tricks later on.

I am looking to see if there are any other valuable commands you all can suggest, so that I can start getting familiar with them!

Thanks!
 

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The first things I worked on with my pups were:
Come - very easy with a puppy if you make yourself really exciting, run away flapping and giggling, and reward with games and treats every time.
Wait - important at doors, getting out of the car etc.
With me - like Come, a fun game that converts to loose leash walking.
Settle down - a sanity saver!

Sit, stay, leave, down, four feet on the ground etc came next.

I think of these as life skills rather than commands taught through play,, reinforced until they become a natural part of the pup's behaviour, then put on cue. I love the approach to raising a puppy described here:https://eileenanddogs.com/life-lessons-puppy/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The first things I worked on with my pups were:
Come - very easy with a puppy if you make yourself really exciting, run away flapping and giggling, and reward with games and treats every time.
Wait - important at doors, getting out of the car etc.
With me - like Come, a fun game that converts to loose leash walking.
Settle down - a sanity saver!

Sit, stay, leave, down, four feet on the ground etc came next.

I think of these as life skills rather than commands taught through play,, reinforced until they become a natural part of the pup's behaviour, then put on cue. I love the approach to raising a puppy described here:https://eileenanddogs.com/life-lessons-puppy/
Those are excellent! I will definitely be adding "with me" and "settle". I've watched kikopups videos about capturing calmness, can't forget that!

That's exactly what I would love to do, create life skills by reinforcing wanted behaviours through play and rewards until they become habit, then adding a cue. Definitely a great way to think about it, as it would be so beneficial for these things to be the default reaction the dog is choosing to do, instead of a command.

Thanks!
 

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The first thing I did with Javelin was to teach him to have strong centripetal attraction to me. Everything else came from that. I would sit with him both in the house and in the yard and at my obedience club and play with him until he was really engaged then get up and trot away. He would follow me of course and once I was a bit away I would stop and praise him for coming to see what I was up to. He has the most reliable recall of any of our dogs. He also knows that keeping with me makes good things happen.


Teaching sit, down and such were super easy with Javelin because he always was attentive to me.
 

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Apart from the basics already mentioned, I taught him that I am the most fun person in the world, taught this to my kids too and this has been great when teaching recall. Yesterday while my daughter was walking Milo, the leash slipped from her hand. He took off to greet a loose dog, thankfully on our not so busy road. He was about 25 ft away from us. I yelled his name and yelled stop. Took him 2 stop command but he stopped and it probably saved his life. So a solid and emergency recall is up there in terms of necessary commands. We are always working on “mr social and friendly” here..lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The first thing I did with Javelin was to teach him to have strong centripetal attraction to me. Everything else came from that. I would sit with him both in the house and in the yard and at my obedience club and play with him until he was really engaged then get up and trot away. He would follow me of course and once I was a bit away I would stop and praise him for coming to see what I was up to. He has the most reliable recall of any of our dogs. He also knows that keeping with me makes good things happen.


Teaching sit, down and such were super easy with Javelin because he always was attentive to me.
That is awesome advice. Such an easy and fun way to teach such an important quality. It makes sense to make yourself their favourite thing in the world, so that everything else will come easier and they will be more eager to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Apart from the basics already mentioned, I taught him that I am the most fun person in the world, taught this to my kids too and this has been great when teaching recall. Yesterday while my daughter was walking Milo, the leash slipped from her hand. He took off to greet a loose dog, thankfully on our not so busy road. He was about 25 ft away from us. I yelled his name and yelled stop. Took him 2 stop command but he stopped and it probably saved his life. So a solid and emergency recall is up there in terms of necessary commands. We are always working on “mr social and friendly” here..lol
Thanks! That's just what lily had mentioned!

This is exactly what I want, as it is so easy to get into an unforeseen predicament or emergency. Solid recall is essential in so many scenarios.
 

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In addition to emergency recall I think it is very important to tell your dog to stop and sit or down in place from a distance. It can be more dangerous to recall a dog to you if they have crossed a road than to have them stay in place for you to go to them.
 

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“Chicken” is my magic word that sends Mimi running 100 mph to me regardless of what’s else is going on.
I rarely use it except to reinforce it once or twice a month. When I say chicken she literally gets chicken and lots of it. The few times I’ve used it in public she gets the best of whatever I have on hand, even if it’s just effusive praise.
I trained her for a secret word after realizing that “come” had been too abused by me (come, come, come, come... ad infinitum) to ever become rock solid.
One time I did use “chicken” at a dog park when I wanted her get away from some rough dogs and leave with me. She came immediately like a bat out of hell but a man nearby almost fell off his bench saying it was the funniest name he ever heard for a dog.
I also used it once on the second day of a puppy socialization class, just (blushing) to show off.

I think she might also like “duck”. Maybe I should make that the magic word for RELAX!!!?
 

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This ties in with Catherine's post. I do a lot of what I like to call "Hansel and Gretel" walks with young puppies - like in the fairy tale your job is to "lose" your puppy. It sounds a little cruel but it makes for an incredibly reliable off leash dog once they are faster and more independently minded. I just go on a very short off leash hike and it is the puppies job to keep his eyes on me and stay with me. I don't run away and I am not in any way mean about it - but the lesson is "keep an eye on her - she can move away from you". This is how young feral animals get moved along in packs - they have to keep up. A dog trainer once instilled in me: make it the dog's job to keep up with you - not the other way around. Later on when you have an awesome off leash dog - during the teenage years when they get a bit cocky and start moving too far away from you, you can re-intro a couple of Hansel and Gretel's and it does straighten them out again.
 

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That is so funny - in my house the code word is "Butter" and there is delicious Kerrygold Irish Butter for the prize! Works every time!
 

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That is funny as Chicken is gold in our house to all 3 girls. My first command is:
NO
DROP IT (TAKE A AND GIVE THEM CHICKEN TO REPLACE IT)
POTTY PATCH
GOOD GIRL (THEIR NAME)
SIT
STAY
COME
BACK (WALKING TO FAST OR AHEAD OF ME)
MOMA SPACE (MEANS I NEED MY SPACE, NOT PICKING UP)
BY BY
COMPANY
NITE NITE (BED TIME)
WORK (OFFICE)
DID YOU DO THIS (USE NAME FIRST)
DIN DIN (EAT)
GET YOUR COAT
DON'T EMBARRASS ME (THEY KNOW I MEAN WHATEVER COMMAND I JUST USED
NAME "BAD GIRL"
MOMMY NEEDS LOVEN (THEY ALL COME RUNNING FOR MY LAP)
 

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RECALL
NO
DOWN
DROP IT
NEED HELP
CUDDLE
SETTLE

These are probably the most important to me,

and I continue to teach him new commands frequently - We have mastered FEET for toweling off feet when coming in from outside and for grooming. We are working on FIND IT.
 

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To quote Julia Child in the movie Julie/Julia, "MMM butter!" That Kerrygold butter is de rigueur in our house. My neighbor's dog is hypothyroid and gets her medication in a little blob of butter.


And to expand on Moni's post I never let Javelin get scared or worried by going too far or too fast. In fact I always made sure he got lots of praise, pets and treats for catching me. Once he was older I started disappearing around corners and such. The idea of not trying to chase down a dog reminds me of the expression that four legs will always beat two legs.
 
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This ties in with Catherine's post. I do a lot of what I like to call "Hansel and Gretel" walks with young puppies - like in the fairy tale your job is to "lose" your puppy...

Moni, how do you do the Hansel & Gretel walk? Is dropping crumbs involved? I would love to learn an off leash preparation exercise for my dog!



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Oh yes doditwo that is a good question about the Hansel and Gretel strategy. For my work on centripetal attraction I just made sue I got up and walked away when Javelin was really engaged and very quickly reengaged as soon as he caught up to me. I made that easy at the beginning and harder as we went along.
 
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I used to say “bye bye” as a gentle threat to Mimi when I needed her to follow me into the house or out of a room. “Bye-bye”, according the Mimi Reverse Psychology Training Method, now means “hello, come on in”.

Similarly “oh, are you helping me?” means “get away” when I’m sweeping or making the bed and “thank you for letting me know about that” means “STOP BARKING!!!”.


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Oh yes doditwo that is a good question about the Hansel and Gretel strategy. For my work on centripetal attraction I just made sue I got up and walked away when Javelin was really engaged and very quickly reengaged as soon as he caught up to me. I made that easy at the beginning and harder as we went along.

That’s a great idea, I can start using Frisbee & Fetch to get the engagement started because whenever I stop Mimi follows me to get me to come back and keep playing.
I forgot where I just read a suggestion to praise not criticize when a puppy follows one around the house Velcro style. I’m going to make a resolution to do that too.

This is a fun thread!
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A final command (since I’m on a roll) that I’ve found enormously useful is “MINE”. Actually it’s more a statement than a command.
I noticed that the dominance theory people often suggest that owners must always win the dog game, in particular they must win final possession of “the toy”.
I don’t subscribe to that theory at all, it’s kind of obnoxious actually in a bully sort of way to never give my “best friend” a break.
But there’s truth to the idea that dogs believe in personal property rights. You’ll never find a Socialist dog, which honestly disappointed me a bit.
OTOH, Mimi picked up the concept of “MINE” perfectly at 8 weeks old. She’s never chewed a shoe or sock, nor stuck her snout in the garbage, or anything else once I’ve firmly told her they’re MINE.
I also let her know what’s her’s, although in those cases what’s hers is also mine but lowercase.

This week we had to discover that walls are MINE.

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