Training Expectations – 12 weeks

I’m finding it’s difficult to write these posts on a weekly basis, so I missed a couple weeks, but Kanyon is now 12 weeks old and weighed 25lbs at the vet yesterday. He’s growing, but not too fast, which is the goal with giant breeds.

Today I want to talk about my training expectations for my 10-11 week old puppy. First of all, there’s still a lot of environment exploration and new experiences that need to be had for a puppy of this age, so I don’t want to be totally focused on obedience type training. He’s still very much in his critical socialization period, so we need to be meeting new people and having new experiences on a regular basis in addition to starting some life skills training.

I have lots of goals with this puppy, but I’m also not someone who is dead-set on competition training and needing to start training for something like that early. I would love it if we could do some fun stuff together, but I didn’t get Kanyon for the purpose of competing in any particular sport, so we have the luxury of figuring out what he enjoys doing.

So, in addition to the socialization opportunities we are taking advantage of, we have also started working on the following training skills at this point. I have a YouTube video posted of the skills we’re working on – check it out!

Sit: This is a skill that most people start teaching early. Notice that at this point, I do not use the verbal cue “sit.” I am mostly waiting for him to do it automatically and he’s caught on nicely. I also occasionally lure him with a treat.

Down: This is a skill I like all of my dogs to learn because it helps them to settle when we’re out in public. Notice again, I do not cue it at this point, and I am luring him with a treat.

Learning his name/coming when called: we’re just starting this, and mostly I just want him to respond when I say his name. He’s getting better at this!

Stand: I haven’t ever focused on this before, but I do find it is a nice skill for them to have, so I have started teaching him this.

Nose Touch: This is just a fun focus game for him. Sorry, I was a little out of range of the camera for our nose touches – didn’t have a camera person for this video!

We aren’t working on these skills all the time. We work on them a couple minutes a day, here and there. I would so much rather than he have lots of experiences and socialization opportunities, so I don’t want him to be overly worried about obedience yet. He’s got his whole life to learn these skills – I want a well-rounded dog so that’s where we will focus for now!