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What Do You Want Your Dog to Do? Training Basics for My Puppy

This one “graduated” from puppy class last week. I think his instructor was being generous! 🙂

All the puppies in the class passed the AKC S.T.A.R. puppy program, which is designed to encourage puppy owners to begin training early on. It’s a good foundation.

The puppies have to do things like sit on command (using food is OK), accept a friendly stranger touching them and allow their owners to take a toy away. It’s designed to begin preparation for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC Test).

What do you want your puppy to do

That being said, Remy was a complete maniac at his “graduation” class. I was having a hard time controlling him on his buckle collar. He’s not aggressive or anything, just so excited with so much energy and little ability to focus.

He was up on his hind legs much of the top doing his “kangaroo hop” and he was jumping and grabbing at everything with wild eyes. He could hardly sit on command even when lured with high-valued treats.

Oh, Remy.

And this was after walking him 3 miles.

I’m realizing how much energy my dog is going to have. He is go! go! go!

The instructor reminded me that large-breed dogs are often slow to mature physically and mentally (oh lucky me!) and that’s just the way it is. Remy will probably mature around 2 or 3 years old, she said. Oh, goodie.

So I told Josh I need to set some goals for Remy so I’m not so frustrated with our puppy. If we focus on 2-3 small things at a time I will see more progress.

He laughed and said, “first world problems.” Goals for your dog!

Yes, he’s right. My life pretty much revolves around dogs and setting goals for them might sound ridiculous to pretty much anyone.

Oh well.

Here are my 3 short-term goals for my puppy Remy and I:

3 small goals for my puppy this week:

1. Spend five minutes per day working on OFF with treats.

I’m not even using the word “off” at this point. I’m just sitting on the ground or on a chair and giving him treats when he’s sitting or lying down and not touching me. My puppy needs to learn some self-control and to give people some space.

2. Spend five minutes per day working on basic obedience.

By that I mean “sit,” “down” and “stay.” And I don’t mean having him sit for 5 minutes. I mean 2 seconds followed by release and praise, then 5 seconds, then another 5 or 10 seconds … all within the 5-minute training session. Remy needs to master these basics before we can move on.

3. Visit two brand new places with Remy.

Could be anything – a new street, a different store, walking a different direction, whatever. I’ll probably choose walking the opposite direction on the trail we normally go to and taking him to the pet supplies store called Muttropolis, in our town.

If I can do all those things this week, it will be a success!

Our 1 longer-term goal for July:

Remy will lie down and stay on command for 5 minutes while we sit on the couch watching TV.

I know, just 5 minutes. But that would be a big step. Remy is … shall we say … busy.

What goals do the rest of you have with your dogs?

What would you like your dog or puppy to do?

If you decide to set a goal for your dog this month, write it in the comments so I can hold you accountable. 🙂

Can you relate to any of my struggles with Remy?

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My weimaraner puppy Remy


Thursday 7th of July 2016

Remy reminds me of our crazy little foster dog. She needs the same goals. Instead of the ambitious Stay command, I expect a Place on her bed. If she has a harder time to settle, I tether her to my chair. The shelter asked me to hand feed her, so we do that in the evenings. It's actually relaxing, ha ha. I also ask Blanca to wait for her breakfast - she made a progress from "starved" jumping to sitting & waiting for an Ok to eat. I wish I taught her to ring a bell to go outside. The shelter asked me to potty train her, and she doesn't have accidents in the house, but it's me taking her out regularly without her having to communicate. Her next house would probably have to work on potty training again. Bummer.

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 7th of July 2016

How long will she stay on her bed? I end up tethering Remy most evenings just to give us some peace without having to crate him.


Tuesday 5th of July 2016

Mom was doing the 'Relaxation Protocol' with me when I first came home. Maybe it would be a good way of incorporating lots of the examples of self-control you were talking about teaching Remy?

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 6th of July 2016

I'm not familiar with that. I'll look it up.


Tuesday 5th of July 2016

I'll also add that I think high expectations are totally fine, as long as you can take it in stride when you don't reach a goal (and that will happen). I firmly believe I have a great 2 year old because I had high expectations of the 2 month old and the 6 month old and the 8 month old. We didn't reach every one of my goals, but I used them as a means to keep improving and make the progress we could make.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 5th of July 2016

Yep! Congrats on everything you've done with her.


Tuesday 5th of July 2016

We use the easy walk harness and love it! She still pulls when on occasion but so much better!


Tuesday 5th of July 2016

Lindsay, that 5-minute down is really ambitious! My girl is 2, titled, and in an ongoing advanced trial prep obedience class. We do 5-minute downs in that class. We did not do anything close in puppy class or when she was that age! If Remy can do it, awesome! But it might be a little much to expect just yet.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 5th of July 2016

Oh, you might be right. That is a good reminder. I'm probably expecting too much from him, but I thought in our own living room he might be capable in a month! Right now he can do about 5 to 10 seconds. We'll see where we get. I'd be happy with one minute!