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‘Is He Trained Yet?’ Why I Don’t Compare My Puppy to Others

I’ve had my puppy for about three months now, and a common question I hear from mostly friends and family goes like, “Is he trained yet?” Or, “Is he trained?”

Trained at 5 months? A weimaraner?!

I’m not entirely sure what they mean by the question, so I suppose I should ask next time.

Is he potty trained? Yes. Can he walk without pulling? No. Does he jump on people? You bet!

Why I don't compae my puppy to others

While out and about on walks, random strangers will stop to admire Remy and then say things like, “Have you taken him to training classes?

They obviously think he needs more training! (Which he obviously does! He’s only 5 months old!)

So I wanted to write this post because I feel like a lot of people have unrealistic expectations for puppies and dogs.

If you’re a new puppy owner you might be feeling a little frustrated because of other people’s unrealistic expectations.

Training takes a long, long, long time. Like, years. And it’s never over.

Let me repeat. Training a dog takes years!

Some puppies learn faster than others. Some puppies are more challenging. Some mature very slowly. Some have the attention span of a flea. Some are distracted by everything and have a drive to chase or follow their nose.

[quote_right]Some puppies learn faster than others. Some puppies are more challenging. Some mature very slowly.[/quote_right]Some puppy owners don’t have as much time as others, and that’s OK as long as you’re doing what you can or getting the help you need.

Sure, you can quickly teach some puppies to shake or sit in one or two training sessions, but getting him to walk on a loose-leash? Not gonna happen so quickly! Stopping him from bolting when you call him? Not so easy.

Take my puppy, for example.

Remy seems like a very smart dog, and weimaraners are known to be intelligent.

But “smart” doesn’t translate to “easy to train.”

My puppy has a short attention span, he blows me off, gets bored and distracted and he has a strong drive to chase. Oh, someone threw a ball? Guess who’s going to ignore me and chase the ball? Oh, there’s a lizard? That’s more important than anything else at the moment.

Not only that, but Remy has more energy than most puppies. He has to run and his body is always wiggling.

So needless to say, training a puppy or dog is a work in progress. It takes a long, long time and you might not think you’re getting anywhere.

Don’t give up.

If you need some assistance from a trainer or a group class, get it.

Don’t compare your pup to others.

Make a list of things your puppy does really well (loves all people and dogs, waits patiently for his food, takes treats gently).

Love your puppy, and keep on training.

What training challenges are you facing at the moment?

Related posts:

How long does it take to potty train a puppy?

I feel like I’m doing everything wrong with my puppy!

What do you want your puppy to do?

Why isn't he trained

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Thursday 11th of August 2016

Thank you for that post! We have 3 months old corgi, and while I can see he's learning a lot, walks are still a huge challenge! Especially he is so bloody cute, everybody wants to pet him. Which means he knows now he will get pats from everyone, which means he has to stop and wait for every single person he sees. Sometimes it is quite exhausting. This is my first dog, so I don't really know what to expect, but after reading all the books, it seemed to me, puppies should know basically EVERYTHING in about 5 weeks since you start training them. Took me a while to understand this is not the case here. Archer is smart, but that means he has his own strong opinion, and often that stick in the garden is so much more interesting than me trying to make him come over. In the other hand, he is doing fantastic with waiting for his food in his crate :) I am really happy to hear (read) this will take longer than 5 weeks! :) and I'm looking forward to many years of learning experience for all of us :)


Wednesday 27th of July 2016

I have six dogs and each one has taught me a little bit more about patience; sometimes more than I care to learn. I hate to say it, but I compare my dogs, mostly to each other and past dogs rather than to other people's dogs. It's not fair to the dogs or to me. So lately instead of comparing the dogs to other dogs, I've done exactly what you've suggested. I note their successes/achievements or moments when the dog and I were perfectly in-sync. These moments help refuel my patience meter.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 27th of July 2016

I do that too, comparing my dogs to each other or past dogs I've had. Obviously not fair.

Max Clayton

Friday 22nd of July 2016

Lindsay, you are right. Every dog is different and most people just expect too much too fast from their dogs. In fact, the same goes for humans. We want things fast and quick. I guess this is why most people have no patience to train their dogs. End up developing behavioral problems.

Petworld Ireland

Tuesday 19th of July 2016

This is fantastic advice and so true. Every dog is different and they learn in different ways. It's always better to focus on the positive and just keep working at it, even if the dog doesn't learn the trick immediately, you spent time with your dog and that's always the most important thing.


Monday 18th of July 2016

I'm having lots of frustration with housebreaking my teddy bear puppy. Every time I think we're good, she has an accident. Wondering if it's ever going to happen. She is 9 mos. old, waay too old for this!