Early Puppy Training Pays Off!

by Melissa R. on August 3, 2010

Maggie as a puppy!

Maggie as a puppy!

Last August, my parents entered into the realm of puppyhood – after 16 years of having an adult dog! It was quite the shock, but I am happy to say they did things right, and now their Duck Toller, Maggie, is growing up to be a wonderful companion!

They knew it was important to set a routine up right away for Maggie. In addition, they crate trained her (which they had never done before). My dad was a bit of an un-willing participant in this, but I think he knows it was for the best! They would crate Maggie at night in the office, and my dad, who is an early riser, would wait to get her out to potty/eat until he had eaten breakfast and gotten ready for the day. So NOW, Maggie sleeps in about an hour past when he gets up in the morning! Although she is no longer crated at night (she’s graduated to a dog bed in the bedroom), she is used to this routine! 

In addition, their crating lead to great behavior when being left alone. They slowly started weaning her off the crate as she grew older. First they just opened the door and left for few minutes. She was rewarded for good behavior. Then they’d leave for a longer time….Then they’d leave the office door open so she could get into the adjacent laundry room. Maggie never once got into any trouble. Perhaps this is just a freak occurence, but she sure knows her manners! Now she has free reign of the house when they are gone, although still has access to her crate if she wants to get in it. Sometimes she does.

Maggie is also well versed in traveling. Just a few months after getting her, they took off on one of their quarterly vacations. This one involved being on the road for 2 weeks! Maggie took it all in stride – comfortably lounging in her crate in the car. She is a fantastic traveler now and never makes a peep of complaint, just snoozes happily waiting for the next destination.

Last, they took Maggie to some obedience training, to help socialize her with other pets and surroundings, as well as to learn again how to train a puppy. Maggie sits, stays, and lays down on command like a pro now and will obey anybody.

It surely has been a frenzy of a year with the puppy around, but now that she is a year old, she seems to be rounding out and turning into a great companion. So remember: start them off right and hopefully you’ll wind up with a dog as well mannered as Maggie.

Maggie all grown up!

Maggie all grown up!

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About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the DrsFosterSmith.com and LiveAquaria.com websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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Early Puppy Training Pays Off! | Pet Obedience
August 5, 2010 at 1:02 am
Early Puppy Training Pays Off! | Dog Training Blog | Tips and Dog Training Resources
August 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary August 3, 2010 at 10:21 am

I can well imagine their shock. It’s been 10 years since I’ve had a puppy. Ilka is VERY bouncy and mouthy. She is also much larger than my last puppy, who was (and still is, a Standard Rat Terrier). Part of the problem is that I have absolutely no information about her early experiences, seeing as how she was abandoned when she was 4 months old (probably because she has demodectic mange). We’ve had her about 3 months now, and are making progress. She is crate trained and we are attending a basic obedience class. I think that just maturing will help immensely. At the moment, she is 40+ pounds of energy and excitement, and is too much for my husband or kids to handle (she also exhausts me). After school starts, I will be able to start walking with the dogs again, and drain some of that energy, as well as spend more time on training.

Actually, I have this totally insane plan for her. Now that the AKC has its Canine Partners mixed breed registry, I want to get her trained well enough to enter Obedience Trials/Rally Obedience. As I am always pointing out, we are just a CD, CDX, UD, RN, RA, RE, and basic civilization away from an OTCh/UDX /RAE title. We will of course be lucky to even get a CD or RN, or even CGC, but hey, I can dream. The real goal is of course to have a dog that we can live with for the next 15 or so years.

Melissa August 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Rosemary – Sounds like you can relate! 🙂 Great story….I love the goals you have for her. I wouldn’t doubt you attain some of them! Thanks again for the comments.

Sarah January 28, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Great info! I have been through many puppy trainings! It certainly is beneficial to start them training right away! Life is so much better for them and for you!

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