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Hi All,

Firstly, it's great to have such a great resource here. I have been using it almost every day.My family have got a new puppy.He is 11 weeks old. He is a black lab and he is named Max. We have a 7 year old boy soon to be 8 and we hope he is a wonderful mate for him throughout his school life and beyond.

I have always missed having a dog from my childhood in Ireland and it is so good to have a dog back in my life again.

The difference this time around is over here in NJ I do not have a backyard but I do have
quite a bit of large grassy areas around my complex.

I have done a fairly solid amount of research into training the dog before we got him.Firstly I came across kikopup on you tube and I absolutely loved her philosophy and her way of training. This led me to Karen Pryor and I then purchased Understanding the animal mind which I am getting through and is a great overall view on operant conditioning.

I also purchased click and train your dog by Mary Ray and I am printing off articles from here and clickersolutions.com.

I must admit I was not a good trainer of my previous mix of GSD and Lab back in Ireland, bt he was pretty well trained.
After reading so much I can see where I have gone wrong in my lack of patience and also lack of understanding of the animal mind.

I am really enjoying the new learning and journey,

However after three weeks with the dog(He is now in his 12 week) I want to bring up some issues I am having. I hope I can get some helpful advice on these.

So let's start,

1) max has to go about 40 feet to get him to his toilet area.(we are crate training and he so far has had no accidents in the crate)but on occasion when we have him in the living room he goes into a fierce playfulness. There are times (3 or 4) when he has peed on the floor. I am thinking that in time he will understand that this is his den area too.
We gate the kitchen and give him this area to play with him with all his toys. He always has fun there but it is like he knows that the living room is off limits and gets a kick out of going crazy in there. I never chase him and always offer an alternative to him if he picks up a shoe or something that we don't want him too. When he lets go I click and treat.

So back to going outside. Getting him to the area can be difficult and i do not want to drag him. So I c/t every 2/3 yards to get him walking on a loose leash. But most of the time the distractions of the flower beds and other stoops I walk past can be too much for him and I have to just hold on tight until I get a loose leash. To get a loose leash he just sits and then I c/t and walk up to him and off we go. I throw a party for his toilet and he is responding well to it. But as soon as it is done I want to get him to a grassy area to play with him. However I am still struggling to hold him back from straining. It's not that I can't do it but I am wondering if I am breaking his spirt by stopping him from exploring at such a young age.

I know I have to raise the criteria slowly and step by step, but I don't have a quiet back yard and he has to go to the toilet.

There are also a lot of kids around my son's age and that is great for his socialization but he so desperately wants to say hello that to create a sit greeting is next to impossible. I do ask the kids not to approach until he is sitting quietly which he will do but then as soon as they get to within petting distance he gets too excited. I don't blame him and I don't want to have him a robot at this age but I would like to know if there asre better ways to shape his behaviour.


So to recap. I go from small distraction to monumental distraction in his environmnent and it is hjard to manage.
M click and treating can sometimes (regardless of value) just not be enough.Sometimes even when he responds to eg. a sit, I click and treat but the treat he doesen't even bother with.

One other quick question. Yes he has no problem enjoying a snack in his crate and i have clicke dhim when in there etc and he never complains but getting him to look at the crate and then deduce from that oh! if I look at the crate I get a click and a treat , well let's take that further, but the little threads on the couch are too much of a distraction for him or just sniffing the living area is too great, so I guess it is the idea of leaving the kitchen (a place of least distraction to anywhere else is very difficult and I am hoping you have ideas) OR Is he just very very young at the moment and I need lots of patience.
 

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1. Rule of thumb is that when you let a pup out to pee, he will pee in the first 30 sec. So, if you take you pup out to potty and let him sniff the roses along the way... then he will pee where he sniffs... keep 'dragging' him to his bathroom.

2. When he is inside, he should give you some brief warning - sniff, squat, twirl, etc. - before he pees. Say Oops, or Potty and take him outside, even in mid-pee. Be sure to clean up inside accidents with vinegar or enzyme cleaner to erase the scent.

3. Teach him to Sit, when it is quiet. Then, teach your son to get him to Sit and pet him quietly. Watch carefully to understand what's going on, working on perfecting the process...

4. Select one 'responsible' kid outside, and 'teach' him to give your pup a treat to get a Sit ... then same way as your son. As you learn how to teach the kids, slowly expand his social sphere.

5. He is young and you need patience. Also, click/treat can be very difficult to get the right timing without guidance from someone else. I like clicker training very much, but I don't use it personally, because my timing isn't right.
A. Charge the clicker
B. Wait until he looks at the crate. Anticipate and click just as he looks at the crate... not before or after. Then, treat, regardless of what he does next.If he doesn't link the click, the looking at crate, and the treat, then you haven't charged the clicker adequately, or your timing is off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Replying on phone so cant be too detailed but many thanks for the points. I got some valuable info there.
Yes I use natures miracle for pee accidents. I had a great day training today after watching one video on one of the stickys
I am getting better each day. The one thing i really understand now is if you say the cue/command and he doesn't respond,the likelihood is he doesn't know the cue so go back steps.
So like you said about the kids I must go slower.
 
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