Start Basic Training

Short Retrieves

I don't recommend long walks for you new pup. I suggest that you wait until after 14 mths of age when the growth plates are set. You woundn't take an adolesant on a 1/2 marathon. The stress on the young joints will have an early debilitating impact on hips and elbows. Adolescent arthritis may occur. Lots of vigorous retrieving and fetching in a confined area is much more beneficial. Obedience and obstacle activity is much more mentally stimulating for the pup. Basic training exercises include short retrieves. These exercises need only take a few minutes a day. When you start retrieves, begin with short throws of 1-2 metres. Ensure your pup is excited and really wants the object before you toss it. When the pup runs over to the object and picks it up, enthusiastically coax them back to you. Before you take the object, praise and pat them and reward them with a treat. Don't over do the repetitions in each session; 3 to 4 is enough. Leave them wanting more rather than becoming bored, and always avoid training when there are distractions. It is important to ensure your pup is not feeling stressed or pressured during a training session or they may not want to do it again. If you weaken their spirit of your puppy then, in the long run, you may not have the dog you want.

You are the master and you are also their trainer. You will be working with your pup daily, exercising them and teaching them the rules. If your pup is consistently unresponsive then the problem is likely with your commands or consistency. A well-behaved dog is a well trained dog. And for this to occur, you need to communicate consistent messages. Everything stands or falls on consistency and a lack of consistency will undermine all of your training. If you share your house, everyone must cooperate and comply with the agreed rules. There will be no use making a rule if it is regularly broken. This will confuse your pup, particularly if you discipline them for a behaviour which others in the house allow the pup to do.

Everyone living in the household should learn and practice the basic obedience commands. And they should understand the need to reward obedience and good behaviour. The exception is with toddlers and very young children. They should be supervised at all times when a dog is near them. Remember that dogs are pack animals and they will instinctively find and assert their place in the pack order. Every person over 4 years of age can be above the dog in the pack hierarchy.