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  1. petprinc

    I start doing motivational obedience with my work and competition dogs when they are 6-8 weeks of age. By the time they are 6 months old they understand the basics very well, but, they have not matured enough to start any real training yet. In my case, because both of my dogs are involved in protection work also, I wait till the dogs are about 12-15 months of age before I apply any real pressure when training. And by pressure I mean compulsion. Different people have different ways of training, some use food and some use a toy as a motivation/reward for the dog. Personally I hate food and use a toy and then only in small amounts. I want the dog to pay attention to me and my face when doing obedience. By the time the dog is 12-15 months it has matured enough to be able to handle a correction and not shut down for a week when being corrected. Then again, I am talking about my dogs and everyone will have a different experience, depending on their dog, their temperament, their drives etc. Good luck to you.

  2. greekman

    It depends on what you mean by serious. There are many games you can play to encourage a great working relationship and teach skills as well. There is a good book about raising puppies for competitive performance, I can’t remember the name but try at dogwise.com.
    Don’t push him too hard until he is at least a year. Keep it fun, you want him to love to work!
    My last pup knew all the basics, (heel, sit, down,recall) fairly well (for a puppy) at 12 weeks or so. All taught off lead with a handful of treats.

  3. whpptwmn

    I’ve always worked with my dogs at home as puppies, but for serious competitive work, I’d wait until your dog’s at least 1 year old, or older depending on your individual dog. Obedience classes are really stressful for most dogs what with all the yelling and noise going on.
    When my beardie was going through he totally loved obedience but he was a different dog in class. He only tolerated class, the yelling bothered him, the tension was noticeable both from handlers and dogs, and he turned from a very enthusiastic worker to a dog who only did it because I asked him to. Working anywhere else, including shows, he was in his element.

  4. walking lady

    Training in the early months (in my opinion) should be little more than housebreaking, acceptable play behaviors, leash training and your personal house routines. I wouldn’t start serious training until the dog is five or six months old. Puppy time is mostly play time. Let the dog adjust to it new environment and you then start advanced training.

  5. st.lady (1 of GitEm's gang)

    Begin training the moment you bring him home. You can’t compete until your dog is 6 months old (as per the rules), but as you and your dog train, you will develop a certain confidence as to when your dog might be ready. I don’t know if there are any obedience matches or show-n-go’s in your area, but you might want to start there first (as they are cheaper to enter and they offer good practice for the real thing).
    Good luck.

  6. Ginbail ©

    You should first start obedience training when the puppy is 6 to 8 weeks of age and you should enter the dog into obedience classes when they are 6 to 8 months of age.

  7. Ginger

    as soon as you can. that way they know exactly what you want them to do. and its a good workout anyways. we just started teaching our almost 6month old pup how to jump things. we arent planing on putting her into any contests, but she will learn things a little easier since she is younger and willing to do anything for a treat.

  8. mickey g

    As soon as they’re old enough to leave their Mom, which is 10-12 weeks old. Puppies start learning from the moment they’re born. They learn to socialize and how to play, etc. from their Mom and siblings. For example, they know how to ‘play bite’ because if they bite too hard, the Mom or siblings with reprimand them and walk away, not wanting to play anymore. They know the next time, not to bite as hard if they want to continue to play. It’s really amazing how much they learn the first few weeks of their lives, and how much of a difference training classes make in them.
    Good luck!

  9. deelberg

    after their fully vaccinated they are ready to enter Basic Obedience (puppy classes) this is the earliest place to start.. then work from there… seeing how your dog progresses.. depending on the breed – some learn faster than others and are more eager to please…
    you can teach them at home… BUT even experienced trainers often get their young dogs in a group session of some sort so the dogs learn bascial socialization

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