What should my 4 month old know? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 11-10-2010, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So my puppy is now 4 months old and I would really like to step up the training. He is reliably house trained and pees on command, crate trained ("in your bed"), knows his name and will come when called to come in when he is outside, he does appear to have selective hearing inside though, he has pretty much learned bite inhibition. So far he knows "sit", "paw" "lie down" and we are working "stay", I am trying to get him to stay down for up to 30 minutes. He also knows "NO!", "down", when he gets his paws up onto the table, he knows "no shoes", "leave it" (still perfecting this one), "walk", meaning that's enough sniffing lets get moving again, I am working with him on loose leash training. The car is also a challenge, he is still nervous of it but has been for rides, but only when I have someone in the back with him, haven't taken him out on my own yet. So what else can a four month old start mastering? He isn't much of a barker, so I really haven't needed the "quiet" command yet.  He is also teething, poor guy which doesn't help the chewing! So any suggestions for that would be welcome.


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#2 of 8 Old 11-10-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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"leave it" is a good one. Rather than typing up instructions I found some online. (I do not know anything about this website but the instructions are the same as when I teach it.) http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com/leave-it.html

 

"leave it" is good to know if you are out somewhere and your dog decides to try and eat that nasty flattened squirrel you encounter on a walk.

 

Or if you both are walking past a toddler in a crowd who is eating an ice cream cone at dog snout height.

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#3 of 8 Old 11-10-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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It sounds like you're on the right track with everything except the stay.  A 30 minute stay is waaaaay too long for a 4mo - you'll be doing well if you gradually work up to a short stay of a minute or so while you're right next to your boy.  Puppies in the 2-6 mo range are notorious for attention spans the size of a gnat and that makes stay a very hard concept to understand.  I don't really work on anything related to stay until about 5-6 months and then I start small and gradually work up to durations of  2 or 3 minutes by the time the dog is around 8 months and longer duration stays (while eating dinner, while I'm working in the yard, etc.) around 12 months of age.

 

Short training sessions are key, so try to keep any of your training sessions to no longer than 5-10 minutes at one time.

 

My favorite online training plan: http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20dogs/StepsToSuccess/Steps.html


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#4 of 8 Old 11-11-2010, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is good to know we are on track. As for the 30 minute stay, we aren't there yet, not by a long way, but it is a goal I am working on and I am sure it will take some time to achieve, its like asking a four year old to sit still for 30 minutes, not easy unless they are occupied. 

 

Oscar experienced his first snow this morning, it tasted good and was a lot of fun to play in!


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#5 of 8 Old 11-12-2010, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirzam View Post

So my puppy is now 4 months old and I would really like to step up the training. He is reliably house trained and pees on command, crate trained ("in your bed"), knows his name and will come when called to come in when he is outside, he does appear to have selective hearing inside though, he has pretty much learned bite inhibition. So far he knows "sit", "paw" "lie down" and we are working "stay", I am trying to get him to stay down for up to 30 minutes. He also knows "NO!", "down", when he gets his paws up onto the table, he knows "no shoes", "leave it" (still perfecting this one), "walk", meaning that's enough sniffing lets get moving again, I am working with him on loose leash training. The car is also a challenge, he is still nervous of it but has been for rides, but only when I have someone in the back with him, haven't taken him out on my own yet. So what else can a four month old start mastering? He isn't much of a barker, so I really haven't needed the "quiet" command yet.  He is also teething, poor guy which doesn't help the chewing! So any suggestions for that would be welcome.


Ours are four months old now too (as of yesterday) and are clearly underachievers!  Thank goodness our puppy class starts in a couple weeks.  They will "sit" on command (or whenever they hope to get a treat), are crate trained, good bite inhibition, come when called if they feel like it (scamp will usually, rosie doesn't seem to care), "down" is getting better, and we are having very few accidents.  But, I am not sure if it is because the "know" to potty outside or because we finally have a decent fence and they want to be outside often anyways.  They will usually pee on command though.

 

Lately though, they have discovered barking for no apparant reason.  This is usually outside, but I would still like it to stop.  Also, would like them to not jump up on people when they are excited.  Right now "down" only works regarding paws off the end table.  Also, they must be teething and we have PLENTY of things for them to teeth on/with.  They like them--but I have also caught them teething on the edges of the base cabinets.  They also have no sense of ours/theirs--and love to chew books/paper/cardboard/wood.  Our children however, have gotten much better at picking up after themselves. smile.gif


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#6 of 8 Old 11-12-2010, 07:05 AM
 
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Wow!  Sounds like you're doing great - and your puppy has learned TONS.

 

"Leave it" is a really handy command, but so is "Drop it" - a release command.  It can be taught in a really fun way playing fetch.

 

A 30 minute stay is ridiculous - and frankly, I would never aspire to work my way up to it.  Competitive obedience at the highest level does a 2 minute down-stay.  At this age, a 30 second down-stay is quite an accomplishment.

 

Instead of having an enormous length of time as a goal for your down-stays, you can try making it more challenging with distraction.  Drop a treat on the ground, walk around your dog, step over the dog, roll a ball past - things like that - but keep in mind this is pretty advanced stuff I'm talking about here - I would never expect a 4-month old to be able to handle these distractions in a down-stay.


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#7 of 8 Old 11-12-2010, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input, I will ease up on the long "stay" and try working on the distraction stay, I am sure it will be nearly impossible for him! I will work on "drop it" too. I am doing this myself, and I don't plan on taking him to classes because we don't meet the vaccination requirements. But I am thinking of doing a two hour session with this trainer who seems to philosophically mesh with us. I am having some issues with the puppy, he is over playful with the children, this is really down to my 10 yo DS, rough housing with him and we are facing the consequences, and as he is going to be a very big dog, I need to nip it in the bud.  He is also super friendly, so walks can be trying when he spots someone getting in their car way down the street and wants to say hello to them. He is also very friendly with other dogs, and last week came across a less than friendly dog, today though he met a super sweet dog that was happy to put up with him. Then of course there is the car which we are working on.


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"If you find from your own experience that something is a fact and it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority and base your reasoning on your own findings"~ Leonardo da Vinci

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#8 of 8 Old 11-12-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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I missed the 30 minute stay! I agree that is too long for one his age.

 

We do a lot of "stay for a moment and then release to the food bowl" exercises.

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