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Picking up our little doodle girl next week!! 

Do any of you recommend formal obedience training? If so, when do you start?  There are not many options in my area for training so I am wondering if clicker training or something similar is easily done on my own.

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Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on October 19, 2017 at 7:44am

Thanks Karen. We are a bit fond of her too ;-) Clicker training is definitely worth a try. The timing is the tricky part, but I'm sure there are plenty of videos online that you could learn from. One of the most important things (in my opinion) is to keep it positive. Any training you do on your own or with an instructor needs to have lots and lots of praise and rewards. If Pollyanna turns out to be treat driven, it will make the training easier. If you enroll in a class and find that an instructor uses anything but positive rewards, I would head right back out the door. That doesn't mean a quick pop on the lead is out of the question though LOL.

This is such an exciting time for you, and I can tell that you are going to be an awesome dood mom! You have found a great group to come to if you have any questions. There are lots of books and online resources. One book I really enjoyed and found helpful was, "The Art of Raising a Puppy"  by the Monks of New Skete. I also bought a Cesar Milan book that I ended up not liking at all.

I think you will be amazed by how quickly Pollyanna will learn from you. These doodles are smart as a whip and filled with love. Looking forward to your photos once you bring Polly home!

Comment by Karen Kane on October 18, 2017 at 9:03pm

Gracie is sooooooo precious!! Thank you for sharing!!

Comment by Karen Kane on October 18, 2017 at 9:02pm

thank you so much for your help! It is so hard to know what to do!! 

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on October 18, 2017 at 9:01am

I am a HUGE fan of formal obedience training! We started Gracie at 6 mos. in a puppy class and we never stopped. We went on to Beginner Basic, and then Basic, and then Novice and then we tried Rally, and then we discovered Agility. Gracie is 7 now and we still go to Agility class. We don't compete, we just do it for fun and Gracie loves it! I have learned so much from my instructors and the support and advice they have given me is priceless. Without them, I would have made many mistakes. Aside from the learning experiences, the classes give us bonding, socialization, and mental and physical exercise (especially the agility!). 

Also, in the beginning, I spent a lot of time doing "homework." We practiced healing and the other basics on walks every day and I took Gracie everywhere. We practiced healing and sit-stays and down-stays at Pet Smart and Home Depot and outside grocery stores and other busy areas.

Gracie has remained a very high-energy girl. She LOVES every living thing and often can barely contain her excitement. We do very little without our dogs and I can't imagine life without the obedience training background. 

Here's our Gracie Girl doing one of her most favorite things...

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on October 11, 2017 at 6:36pm

You have a little time to keep her to yourself and do some bonding.  You might want to wait to be around other pups till after she gets her vaccinations.  I went to PetSmart for puppy training but mainly for socialization for Picco to be around other pups & people.  It was the same basic training that I would have done at home.  There are an overwhelming amount of books/internet on training.  You might want to read a few methods then see what works for you and your pup.  I've always trained using treats but Picco isn't food driven so I had to try squeaky toys which didn't always work.  Somehow I got the basics through to him!  You just have to be consistent and patient! 

Comment by Laurie, Jackson and Delilah on October 11, 2017 at 5:07pm
Do you have a local Kennel Club? AKC allows mixed breeds in their obedience trials. Our Club is fantastic. They offer puppy pre-school for very very young pups. Ours have both completed puppy star, CGC (Canine Good Citizen), and then Delilah has completed her Therapy Dog International Training and enjoys nose works.....A well socialized trained dog is a happy dog.
Comment by Dianne and Dulcie on October 11, 2017 at 9:19am

Karen, after I went back and looked at my blogs, I realized Dulcie was actually 2 years old before I took her for training!  In retrospect, I should have done it much earlier!

Comment by Dianne and Dulcie on October 11, 2017 at 8:46am

Love, love, love the name Pollyanna!  :)   I took Dulcie for formal training, just basic obedience,  (probably later than I should have) when she was a year old, but you can start way before then.   It helped us a lot.  I started with crate training on day one (lots of info on Internet about how to do this), when she was 8 weeks old, and it was one of best things I did for all sorts of reasons (traveling, storm evac., grooming, boarding). The other thing was "groomer training".   She has been going  since she was about 3 months old and having the groomer be able to handle and trust your dog during the process is invaluable. There are lots of folks on here who have experience and can give you great advice on this - my experience was strictly that of a non-expert who learned as she went (and lots of what I learned, I learned here!), but the formal training was great for us!

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