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Discussion in 'Obedience' started by RayneDance, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. RayneDance

    RayneDance Forums Novice

    Feb 12, 2019
    We are bringing home a sheltie puppy today and I am interested in getting involved in obedience with her in the future. She will be our 5th sheltie since 1995 and we have never done anything like this with our others, but I'm intrigued by the idea and would like to do some research about it. When would you suggest we start working with her? My initial focus is going to be on bonding with her and teaching good manners (housebreaking, come, sit and stay) but would be interested in doing more with her. Any advice or information would be appreciated.
    Sandy in CT and Piper's mom like this.
  2. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

    Mar 29, 2008
    near Mobile, AL
    find a dog club near you that teaches classes if competing in obedience is the direction that you are talking about....
    Piper's mom likes this.
  3. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg Mb
    If your thinking of doing competitive obedience then I'd do some research and find a good book on the things you need to teach your dog. As a newbie myself to the obedience world (my boy Piper is my first to compete with) it would've helped me immensely. At the time I wasn't sure how far I wanted to go...it wasn't until Piper was a year old that I'd decided to do competitive. It helps to have an idea of what you need to do.
    Once you get your puppy socialize as much as possible and if there are dog shows in your area enter him/her in exhibition only once they've had all shots (only dogs entered can attend), this will help them get accustomed to the atmosphere (loud, barking dogs, lots of people, noises, banging crates etc). I'd also look into puppy classes and, as Calliesmom mentioned you should also check out your local trainers for classes where they teach competitive obedience as opposed to just having a well behaved dog.
    ghggp, Calliesmom and Caro like this.
  4. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    Good manners is the basis for obedience, so you're half way there.

    A few things I find I have to retrain in my obedience classes.
    As much as possible, food rewards come from the side (esp the left) rather than the front so they don't always sit in front of you. Create a 'sweet spot' that is by your side.
    Always have a clear hand signal for commands, teach this from the start
    Mix up your rewards, so play and your praise is as important as food.
    Treat from low down - dogs have to unlearn that a hand above their head doesn't always have a treat in it, sometimes it wants a pat or to give a command.
    Be really, really consistent with words you use.

    You could teach your puppy to target, this is helpful for learning other commands.

    Alot of learning obedience is about you learning to do things, and how to communicate this with your dog. For example, learn how to time your rewards and release really well. Decide if you want to use a clicker and learn to use it without your dog (always fun to try it out on family or friends first). Watch where you put your feet and hands when you do training - small dogs in particular watch which way your feet point. Learn to step out on the left - dogs tend to follow your left leg.

    Also have a look at Rally Obedience, it's a bit more fun than normal obedience and you can communicate and interact more with your dog.

    Otherwise, have fun first and find a good trainer.
    ghggp, Calliesmom and Piper's mom like this.
  5. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    Yes that's a great idea. I have a friend with a timid Sheltie that she didn't socialise enough, she got him to compete with but as soon as she's in the ring and the Sheltie sees the judge her dog shuts down.
  6. 2GoodDogs

    2GoodDogs Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 17, 2010
    What a fabulous time to get a puppy! There are so many resources available now! The AKC has lots of puppy training and raising advice and video's! The YouTube has so many talented and experienced trainers offering free video tutorials too! (And some not so good...)

    First thing, enjoy your puppy, teach your puppy that communication is a two way street between you and that paying attention to you is the bomb, that you will shower praise, affection, treats, toys and access to fun when your puppy chooses to look to you.

    Oh my, aim for Puppy Star, Canine Good Citizen, Trick Dog, Rally Dog and off to the stratosphere you go!!!! Also, for a retrieving super star, don't tell your pup he's wrong for having your shoe, sock, roast beef, or anything in his mouth! Tell him how clever he is and trade with him for a snack, or acceptable toy. :)
  7. 2GoodDogs

    2GoodDogs Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 17, 2010
    And another thing... CONGRATULATIONS!!! I want details too please! Boy or girl, sable or merle?
  8. Sandy in CT

    Sandy in CT Premium Member

    Aug 5, 2018

    We just brought home a bi-black puppy in January. A week after his 2nd set of shots, I brought him to a puppy playgroup at an AKC training center not too far from home. There were only a total of 4 sessions and we came in 1/2 way, but the 2 weeks of playtime with people and dogs was really good for him. These past 2 Saturdays, we have taken him to a local Petco where there are free puppy playgroups on Saturdays and Sundays - it's not quite as well organized, I think there a tad too many large pups in the small setting, it is truly puppy play, but he seems to enjoy it and crashes almost immediately when we get back into the car.

    I plan on starting Puppy Obedience in March, might do both places with him - not sure yet. The first place we went does the whole caboodle of training with Good Citizen, etc.

    Can't wait to see pictures!

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