Since day 1 Robert has been teaching me the basics (sit, drop, heel and stay) but the home schooling only takes you so far. Clicker training has been the fastest way for me to learn. For such a simple training tool, it it definetly keeps me focused
I joined four other puppies for some classroom work. Whilst I was the only Great Dane in my class, I wasn't the only large dog, there were two Boxers, a German Shepherd and a Pit Bull Terrier.
Whilst I gained a lot from the class particularly social etiquette with other dogs, I feel as though Robert learnt the most.
Six key takeaways include:
- Training with positive reinforcement (encouragement, treats etc) not discipline
- Dog treats carry different currency (just like money) - typically boiled chicken, pigs ears etc are a higher order treats. Higher order treats can be used when you are super impressed with a particular behaviour
- Socialising with other dogs from a young age is important. We learn manners (dos and dont's). Whilst we are with other puppies, when we get it wrong, the result isn't as bad as getting it wrong with a fully grown dog
- Puppy school and other dog training schools are there to teach the owner not the dog. Most of the dog training happens with your owner not in the classroom
- Vaccinations and de-worming/fleaing is really important for your dogs health
- Pet insurance from a young age is worthwhile. There are plenty of plans out there so shop around (if in Australia, I used PetPlan)