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Hi All,
Just adopted a Black Lab/Mix 4mos old from the animal shelter. She was spayed 3 days ago & micro chipped. She was picked up by animal control as a stray & owners never claimed her. The shelter gives 3 days & we adopted her on the 4th day. They claim she is 3-4 mos old. She is not allowed to go for walks yet til all her boosters are done. She was given her rabies when she was spayed, 3 days ago. I have 3 teens who are at school all day. I stay at home and have been working with her. This is are first dog ever and we absolutely love her. I was just wondering is there a list of commands I can use to teach her? She loves to bite, puppy play, but my daughter does not like that. What would be a good book, video or resource we can buy to teach Roxy. Not knowing her prior family/situation we want to train her to be the best dog ever!! :) She had 2 potty accidents yesterday but I stayed under control and got her to the backyard. She has had none today. We do crate her when we are in bed or leave the house. Mostly for bedtime. She does not go into her crate willingly but only whines a few times when she is put in there. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We really want to give her the best life possible.
 

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I don't know a lot of books off-hand as I've gained a lot from just sitting in bookstores reading through a bunch of them and bopping around on the 'net. I'll just toss in my two cents for whatever it's worth.

1. All dogs should know sit, down, stay, come and how to walk on a leash properly. I think this is a must for all dogs regardless of breed or what job you have for the dog. I personally love the clicker for training stuff and it's easy to use. Start the dog by clicking and immediately treating. Now, click when the dog's back is turned. If the dog immediately turns to you for a treat, then you know she's associated the click with the treat. Think of the click as taking a picture of what the dog is doing right now.

2. All dogs should be crate trained. It not only gives the dog a safe place to "hide" when things are too overwhelming, but it gives you a safe place to put the dog when you need to clean up a mess, have a guest who's allergic or doesn't like dogs, etc... It also makes traveling with the dog a whole lot easier. Try feeding her her meals in the crate and give her the crate command before she goes in there to eat (i.e. "Fido, crate." and point to the crate. Dog willingly goes in as she's got food in there. You praise the dog or click and the dog gets the treat (their food). ) This is what I did with an older dog who was not crate trained.

3. All dogs should be housebroken. The most common method for doing this involves not giving a housebroken dog any freedom in the house. Only feed and water the dog at scheduled times. This way you know when the dog has to go. Take the dog to a preferred spot in the yard and ignore the dog for 2-3 minutes. If the dog goes, praise/click/reward and the dog gets a play session in the yard, freedom in the house, a walk, or whatever you decide. If the dog doesn't go, crate the dog for 20-30 minutes (most dogs will not soil their crates) then lather, rinse, repeat. If you like, give a command like "outside" before you head out the door (I now have my dogs trained that I can open the door, say outside and they head out) and even give a command like "Go potty, get busy, hurry, hurry or whatever when the dog goes so you can have the dog pee on command which can be very useful if it's freezing outside or you're taking the dog in a store or you're ticked off at your neighbors and want to ruin their yard or whatever.

4. All dogs need walks. I know you can't do this with your dog right now, but get into this habit when you have a chance. Dogs need at least 30-40 minutes a day of walking and some need a lot more. This burns off a ton of energy and a worn out dog is easier to deal with.

I think you'll be a fine dog owner.
 

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hulkamaniac,
Thanks for all the info. I am glad I found this website. I am going to the library this weekend, I have some books & dvd's on hold. This website has helped me so much since I brought Roxy home Monday afternoon. She has been learning so much. Also is it o.k to use her dog food for treats, LOL. I am running out of dog treats! I appreciate all the wonderful help. Margie
 

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hulkamaniac,
Thanks for all the info. I am glad I found this website. I am going to the library this weekend, I have some books & dvd's on hold. This website has helped me so much since I brought Roxy home Monday afternoon. She has been learning so much. Also is it o.k to use her dog food for treats, LOL. I am running out of dog treats! I appreciate all the wonderful help. Margie
You'll get a dozen different opinions on this question. IMO, there's different qualities of rewards for a dog. Kind of like a kid being told they've done a good job, or getting to stay up an extra hour later or getting a trip to Disney World. If I got a trip to Disney World every time I ate my broccolli, my skin would've been green when I was a kid. :)

The one thing to be careful about with treats is not to overfeed or you end up with a fat dog. A lot of treats are equivalent of giving the dog a candy bar. The dog loves it, but will get fat in a hurry too if you're not careful. For me I sometimes use kibble and other times I'll use pieces of hot dog. Since hot dogs are pretty fattening I cut them into slices and then cut the slices into fourths. If I'm particularly pleased with the dog's behavior I may give him 3-4 pieces. The other important thing is that the treat should be small enough that the dog can consume it quickly without putting a delay in a training session, but big enough that the dog considers it worthwhile.
 
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