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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

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