More questions from a soon-to-be Aussie owner.
My husband and I are getting an 8-week puppy on Feb 5th. The obedience classes we want to take her to start around the beginning of March. So, for the month before classes start I want to be working with our puppy and teaching her the basics (come, sit, etc)...but I really don't have a good idea of where to begin (basically, I need the obedience classes as much as the dog, because I don't know how to train her).
What kinds of things can I do with my puppy that will be a good foundation for the classes we will attend (positive reinforcement)? What are some common mistakes that people make when trying to train a new puppy?

Thanks,
Jodi
What kinds of things can I do with my puppy that will be a good foundation for the classes we will attend (positive reinforcement)?

Trade: Exchange the toy she's holding for the one you have in your hand. The P+ will come from the toy you're offering and the way you're offering it; that is, make the exchange worthwhile.
There's plenty of good beginning stuff, but "trade" is the best thing Aussie Rocky learned as a pup.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
What kinds of things can I do with my puppy that will be a good foundation for the classes we will attend (positive reinforcement)? What are some common mistakes that people make when trying to train a new puppy?

Nothing's cuter than a puppy who plunks herself down when you say "sit" and it's pretty easy to teach, but when Zoe was a puppy I spent a huuge amount of time teaching her what were her toys and what were not. Just an incredible amount of "not that, this" and substituting the toys. Oh, and she had to learn not to chase the cat, that was a big task for us.

She was housebroken when I got her (at 12 weeks old!) but of course you will spend a fair amount of time on that, too. Even housebroken puppies have to go outside a lot.
But mostly you are in for some riotous puppy fun!!!

Catherine
& Zoe & Queenie
More questions from a soon-to-be Aussie owner. My husband and I are getting an 8-week puppy on Feb 5th. The ... can I do with my puppy that will be a good foundation for the classes we will attend (positive reinforcement)?

The most important thing you can do during this brief lull is to work on his RECALL, the most important command your dog will ever learn.

It can save his life one day.
You can best do that now by never, ever chasing him anywhere. And by using just his NAME to get him to come to you. No, no commands yet, because you don't want him to fail right now.
It'll help him to learn his name, and to learn that very good things happen to him when he comes to you (by always rewarding him with praise, physical and verbal, and treats, toys, etc., whenever he responds to his name by coming to you).
But right now, you really want to busy yourself with SOCIALIZING your new pup (as pleasantly as possible) to all the sights, sounds, smells, and goings-on of life that you can. Trust me, it will keep you very busy for the next month, if you do it right. Yes, sometimes running AWAY from him will get him to come to you. And when he does get there, reward him LAVISHLY.
So, until you know how to train your dog correctly and effectively, I'd recommend that you don't really put a lot of time in on formal training yet. Wait until you get to class.
Just let him be a puppy right now.
And don't forget to take lots of pictures, maybe even a video or two.
He'll only be a puppy for a short time.
And good luck!

Handsome Jack Morrison
*gently remove the detonator to reply by e-mail
The night the soldiers came:
http://timblair.net/weblog.php?id=P234
More questions from a soon-to-be Aussie owner. What kinds of things can I do with my puppy that will be ... we will attend (positive reinforcement)? What are some common mistakes that people make when trying to train a new puppy?

The video tape "Sirius Puppy Training" by Ian Dunbar will be an excellent sart.

Diane Blackman
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