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I've been spending the last couple years getting back into dogs. Finally Labs, my favorite all around breed of all time!

Seems one of the biggest concerns for people buying a larger breed of dog (especially the household pet owners, but it also applies to the field) is the "crazy puppy phase." So I've been looking pretty hard into addressing that, right from the whelping box. Still very much a work in progress, but the stuff I'm seeing, and the stuff I'm hearing from new owners, is very very encouraging.

It's exhausting, especially since we happened to have two litters at once this time around, but it's been an awesome opportunity to try some very early puppy conditioning. These are litters #3 and #4 that I've been applying the system to, and refining it all the way along.

It's a simple idea, and I don't overcomplicate it... Gate/door, food delivery, jumping up, wild "attack" activity is NOT allowed. Look to Master FIRST.

That's basically it.

Got this video the other day at the gate. First time I've had the two litters together, first time in their new run, first time I challenged their manners at this gate....



I get similar 'sit-and-look at me' response when I bring in the food. I'm transitioning that to waiting for the food delivered to the trough, and then they're given a release command. I'll (hopefully) have that happening before 8 weeks!

Here's the concept: I don't give them any period of time where they're allowed to be feral. Plowing into me, jumping up, plowing the gate or door open, jumping up to the food bowl, etc. From 'open eyes' onward, 3 weeks, they are required to submit to the human. (Gently, it takes almost nothing. Just turning them over does it, they feel dominated.)

Here's the question:

Do you guys think there's any risk to the future performance of the dog?
Do you think they'll train easier? Or will it not make a difference?
Do you think it could hinder confidence?

I tell my new owners that they could lose it. They could put the dog in control of their home without any effort at all. They have to maintain it. Several have, and the 'teenager' feedback is amazing. But does anything strike you as being a concern about this very very early submission mindset?

Thanks for your input!
Posted By: battue Re: My puppy training theory... - 06/04/22
Relatively easy to do at the crate door. Once they hit freedom they will become puppies again. And that is how it should be, like people it is part of growing up. Getting them to wait for food, has almost nothing to do with puppies gettin the zoomies or wanting to act insane.

If one doesn’t want to go thru the bring up a pup, then they should start with an adult.
Originally Posted by battue
If one doesn’t want to go thru the bring up a pup, then they should start with an adult.


Start with a TRAINED adult, yes. But somebody's gotta get the pup to listen... my theory says, 'start the listening from the moment they can hear.' That's what I'm asking about... Making bringing up a pup more appealing to those guys... will it effect the dog later?
Now that's a passel of pooches! Cute as they can be.

L.W.
Really happy about this... although switching to doing this solo was actually quicker than I expected.

They still 'false start' occasionally, and I have to start over, but I'm getting this most of the time now...

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I'm thinking of calling is "Started Puppies." Something to try to communicate that... They've NEVER been allowed to live wild. You can see it in their eyes, they're looking for direction and approval. It's really working!
They were doing SO good this morning I had to stop, and pull my phone out, unlock it, go to the camera…. Then this is what I got!

[Linked Image from uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com]

They were whining and shaking in anticipation, food was distributed, but I kept my hand up and they HELD! 8 weeks! 20 of them!
Tested their hearing comprehension today! They just about caught it! (They actually did stop! But they all surged.)

Next challenge accepted! Gonna mess with them and make them listen to the WORD, not the tone it’s spoken.

(Pasted a clickable link below…)

https://youtube.com/shorts/AzF-CXdsDgY?feature=share
Posted By: Ella Re: My puppy training theory... - 06/11/22
If a mess of puppies don't make you smile, something's wrong with you. Thanks for putting those videos up. Good stuff. (My dogs came running looking for some puppies.)

Can't comment on your theory, as I've only ever trained one at a time, and mostly I let an older dog do the actual teaching. I do think the earlier you start them on basics, the better they turn out.

Looks like a fun project!
Puppy whisperer!
Release command for food is pretty much a LOCK now, so I'm about to switch them to sit, hold, and come, then sit again... continuing to train as a group... of 20!!! This week!
You are doing a marvelous job - I always was training at most 1 or 2 pups at a time. One of the best trainers I ever new, who may have had as many as 10-12 Labs or Chessies at a time, always believed in socializing pups (as early as 7-weeks) by taking them places in vehicles and doing regular non-hunting activities with them. I always emulated that and would even take mine to the barbershop, where they would snooze at my feet while I got my hair cut. When I looked at your 'team', I thought how in the hell, could he take them out and about? I bet any little excursion you took with that crowd would be entertaining to say the least, so I hope you keep your video camera handy. I am really impressed.

BTW, just add a few 4-5-6 year old kids to the mix and it would be something to see:)
Originally Posted by Offshoreman
You are doing a marvelous job - I always was training at most 1 or 2 pups at a time. One of the best trainers I ever new, who may have had as many as 10-12 Labs or Chessies at a time, always believed in socializing pups (as early as 7-weeks) by taking them places in vehicles and doing regular non-hunting activities with them. I always emulated that and would even take mine to the barbershop, where they would snooze at my feet while I got my hair cut. When I looked at your 'team', I thought how in the hell, could he take them out and about? I bet any little excursion you took with that crowd would be entertaining to say the least, so I hope you keep your video camera handy. I am really impressed.

BTW, just add a few 4-5-6 year old kids to the mix and it would be something to see:)


I have my 3 almost 4yo with them a lot. Her cousins are over now, 8 and 10yo, they're spending a lot of time with them. I've told them repeatedly to not give affection while they're jumping or barking. They're remembering and the pups are doing awesome! They get excited, but they try very hard to keep it under control so they still get affection. The kids are doing a great job helping establish the right patterns.

Someplace to keep 20 pups while I'm out and about is more of an issue than them actually going! I'd need 5 kids with 4 leashes apiece!

If I have any left over after the big wave of them leaves weekend after next, I'll start conditioning and training ones and pairs and etc. Going to kick it up a notch with them. I'm hoping to specialize in the STARTED PUPPIES idea, and get even better at it, so I want to sell/trade these off. But if I have to go to training maturing pups, I'll do that too.
Originally Posted by Ella
If a mess of puppies don't make you smile, something's wrong with you.
So true.
Feeding time is an excellent time to condition pups to be eagerly obedient.
Nice!

If I have any left after this weekend, I'm going to switch them over to one-on-one. Won't probably go whistle yet, most buyers are just looking for pets, but I'll stop and start a lot. (I probably should go ahead and do it with the group, but it's such a frenzy!)

Here's a video of 7 of the boys by themselves, Sit/hold/come to affection (no food.)



https://youtube.com/shorts/W4LgdS5N-6I?feature=share
These two girls are going home today, so I separated them out for a few drills in the grass. (Hot today, 80+.)

Had a a little jump of the gun on this one, but I was really proud of them for recovering the “sit” from a distance!


https://youtube.com/shorts/WgF7AW7pz18?feature=share
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