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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I am training Sophie from the book Labradors for Dummies. Just basic commands with the lure and reward method such as sit, down, and come. I think she is doing well.

I want to take her to a training class but I don't know if the training I am doing at home will conflict with the training that we will be learning in class. Does it matter at this point? Have you got any suggetions?

Also what age do you suggest I emroll in a class. She is just 12 weeks now. I have heard about socialisation classes. Does anyone know of any classes in or near south manchester?

Thanks Tom
 

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Hi Tom,

I would of thought that socialisation classes will help to socialise your pup and help with training at home and also there will be someone to help to give you advice. Ben went to his first puppy class through our vets, as they run there own at the practice. You could ask your vets and see if they can recommend a class for you. I think Ben was about 14 weeks when he started because there was a waiting list and each class could only have a max 6 pups. I think they took them earlier but this was ONLY because it was their own classes and they had the pups records of vaccinations. Be carefully which one you pick and go alone and check it out without your pup first, even if you go along a few times without pup you will get a feel for the class and trainer, and also talk to some of the people there. HTH :D

Cristina
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Cristina,

That 's a good idea. I will ask at my vets. It is such a lovely day here and I wish I could take her out to the park but we have to wait two more weeks!!

Tom
 

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Training starts as soon as possible, and I start going as soon as the vaccinations done. The main purpose of training classes is to train you to teach your dog, so you will be carrying on the training exercises at home anyway.
Have a look here to see if there is anything in your area.
http://www.apdt.co.uk/list_trainers.asp

In addition, socialisation with other dogs is important and good classes are great (beware of those that are a free for all though), but socialisation should include taking out and getting used to all sorts of different situations, venues, people, animals, traffic etc.
HTH :)
 

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It's hard i know as I've been there but don't be tempted, that doesn't mean to say you can't carry her around when out sometimes its good to socialise her with humans (not the dogs unless vaccinated). I took ben in the car alot too, which he now loves and no travel sickness :lol: ! Have a great day :D

Cristina
 

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The importance of taking them out for socialisation (ok not with other non vaccinated dogs) is often underestimated. There is a window of opportunity for getting them used to the different things already mentioned (socialistaion) which last up till about 12 weeks. Don't wait until after the vaccinations are complete before taking them out. You will need to carry her, obviously don't let her walk. I sit on the bench outside Sainsburys and watch people come and go - it's amazing what a magnet a puppy is - everyone wants to say hello. :) Take her to the local stables, take her to the town, find a bench by a busy road and watch the traffic go by.
HTH
 

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As Lablover says, socialising is so important. I take my young puppies out literally as soon as I get them. There is a seat by the corner shops just ten houses from where I live so I carry the puppy there and sit with it on my lap just watching the world go by for a little while before carrying it back home. I also take my puppies to the dog club immediately they arrive. Again the puppy is sitting on my lap and the other dogs are warned to keep clear. I’m in the lucky position in that it is my club so I get to do pretty much as I like! :wink: Also, because of what I do, I get to hear of any infectious diseases doing the rounds so am better placed than most.

Training is something to start in instant you get the puppy. Initially this is pretty much not allowing it to start doing anything you are going to have to stop it doing later. If it never gets into the habit of doing the wrong thing then you never have to stop it.

Sits can be combined with feeding. Move the food dish over the puppy’s head and at the same time say “Sit” and as the head comes up to see the food the behind drops into the sit! Immediately say “Good Boy” and give the food as a reward. I have photographs of all my dogs doing sit stays at 8 weeks old.

If you follow simple rules then recalls are not a problem. At a young age puppies come when we call them because obedience, linked to safety, is programmed in when born. In the wild the baby who did not come when called would be eaten by a predator at a very early age. It is later that the puppy starts to question. This is the point when you must already have built up the idea in the puppy’s mind that coming when called is fun!

In all training, try to never give a command if you are not in a position to enforce it if it is not immediately obeyed. Any command disobeyed soon becomes “a sound we make” rather than a command.

As Christina said, Trips out in cars are great. Start with small journeys, just around the block, gradually scaling up to longer trips as the puppy grows. When the inoculations are complete take the puppy to the park in the car occasionally so the car is associated with happy events. A word of warning here, don’t ALWAYS go to the park, sometimes just go around the block in the car then back home. If the puppy starts to believe it is always going somewhere nice when it gets into the car then over excitement is likely to lead to barking in the car!

Plan trips out so the puppy starts by seeing “Nice” non frightening things. As it gets bolder start going to see the more stressful things so in time there is nothing that is going to take the dog by surprise! A “Bomb Proof” dog who is a pleasure to take out.

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dear Cristina, John, lablover and others,

Thanks for the tips. Are you saying I can take her out of the house before the vaccinations as long as I carry her and not let her near other dogs?

I was under the impression that "humans can subject puppies to diseases - unless they have washed thier hands and taken off thier shoes." This is a quote from Labrador Retrievers for Dummies printed in USA in 2000.

But if you are saying it's ok to take her out for socialisation before her innoculations then this is great because then we could sit and watch the world go by instead of being stuck in the house for another two weeks.

Anyway I'll check with my vet tomorrow.
 

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You are as OK as you can be, provided you do not let the puppy walk on ground where other dogs have been and provided other dog people don’t go touching the pup without first washing their hands. Remember, immunity is passed from bitch to pup in the milk, and gradually fades as the puppy gets older.

Hygiene is important, don’t get me wrong, but poor socialising is also important. This is why Guide Dogs for the Blind like to get their dogs out at SEVEN weeks old. Their feelings are that the risks of poor socialising are greater than the risk of illness. Don't forget, in days gone by we did not have vaccinations. My first dog lived a long happy life years before inoculations were invented!

The biggest problem is from Parvo, which of course was not in existents back in those days. Even with this, it is not the automatic death sentence that it was.

Regards, John
 

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Hi,

Well I took Ben out before his vaccinations and between them, but I carried him everywhere (or took him out in the car). I think it is more the contact with other dogs that have not been vaccinated you have to watch out for. Maybe wrong but thats how I understand it. :D

Cristina
 
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Just an idea, but a friend of mine had 4 labs and with each of them when they were puppies we still used to take the puppies walking with us but we used to pop the puppy in a rucksack. Puppies towel or blanket in the bottom of the rucksack, wear the rucksack on your front, obviously keeping it open. Puppy can pop its head out to see where you are going and take in all the new sights and smells or curl up and go to sleep!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks John, Cristina and others,

What a great idea about using a rucksack. I just tried it and we loved it. I also have a Hugababy from years ago that I used for my son when he was a baby. It is a kind of sling that goes around your front and hangs off your shoulders. That works pretty well too.

Well look out world here we come!!!

Tom
 

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Hi all

I can now fully appreciate that I should have done a lot more socialising with Smudge. We did not start our training classes until he was nearly 20 weeks and as many of the others there were upwards from 12 weeks, I noticed the difference! He did not pick up things quite as quickly as the younger ones.

Another thing that worries me is that we do not get to see many other dogs. When I take Smudge out for his walks, either there is no one else around or the people around here don't seem to want to stop and introduce their dogs. As a result, Smudge nearly pulls my arm out of it's socket everytime we see another person, with or without a dog! Now that we have had a car journey without car sickness, I will definitely be taking him in to Cambridge City Centre for a walk round - though I wish I had started all of this a lot sooner! Not to worry too much though because we have just returned from a long weekend with family and he got to see lots of people including a couple of very excitable children and he behaved impeccably! Still feeling very proud from that!

Re the carrying bag, check out these links:-

http://www.petplanet.co.uk/product.asp?dept_id=39&pf_id=4296

http://www.petplanet.co.uk/product.asp?dept_id=151&pf_id=3099

http://www.petplanet.co.uk/product.asp?dept_id=39&pf_id=4295 They made me smile those products...y!) just to carry him! All the best, Nicola.
 

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There is so much socialising to be done with a young puppy but at the same time it is important not to over exercise. For exercise I reckon by the 5 minute rule. No more that 5 minutes per month of age. That sounds restrictive but it's not really. I took Anna, at about 12 weeks old, to a little exemption show. She only needed to walk from my car to the ring then had a long sleep on my lap! people made a fuss of her and she saw dogs of all size. There was also a little gymkhana and some roundabouts so she got to rub noses with a horse, saw terrier racing and a Hawk display, all on the same day. It was spread over a whole afternoon but she never walked for more than 15 minutes total. Because I work my dogs I planned a trip to see some cattle one day and some sheep on another. By the time she was ready for her first working test I was confident of her around just about all livestock. I turned up on the day, brimming with confidence and what did I find? A flock of GEESE!!!!! Arr well, there's always another day!

Regards, John
 
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