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Hey guys, the last couple of weeks we have been running Bella (13 week old pup) through some simple commands. She has been doing very well, and has learned the sit, stay, come and leave it command without to much issue. I would like to introduce the heal command now, but im having a hard time getting her to grasp the concept.

How do you guys noramly introduce this command, and what has worked for you in the past?

Thanks
Ryan
 

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Ryan

At 13 weeks she's still really young, but she can be introduced to the heel. Just don't physically enforce it.

Put her on her lead and place her at your left foot. Have a wall to your left, like the house or garage. Take a step with your left foot, and "GENTLY" encourage her with a slight tug of the leash to come up to your left foot. Praise her and pet her, and then do it again, stepping off with only the left foot. Keep her at you left.
If you get more than one or two steps with her, stop give her lots of positive attention and then play. A series of sessions lasting only a few minutes at most, interspersed throughout the day, is much better than trying to have a long session with her.
Keep the lessons short and fun. This is "orientation time" for her. The real classes start later.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will definitly try this. We are keeping all of her training sessions very short. No more then 6 or 7 minutes just to keep her interested. Im not to strict on her doing all of the commands 100% just because she is so young. Id just like to introduce her to alot of the commands that she will need to learn later on.

How old do you think she should be before we start enforcing her commands?

Thanks for the help, ill let you know how this goes.

Ryan
 

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Ryan

My own "personal philosophy" is that I cut them quite a bit of slack for the first 6 months. I'm just looking for feedback that they are willing, and have desire.
From 6-9 months I gently enforce more, and focus on the Come,and Heel more than anything else, while at the same time starting them on birds.
They "work" the birds from day one, as 8 week old puppies, but the birds are in cages, and they just sort of sniff 'em and climb on the cages. I have seen some real pretty points from puppies. It's fun too! ;D

"Real Training" for me involving physical correction, not abuse, starts at about 1 year old. By this time though I've pretty much set the stage and the dogs are comfortable with the commands and routines. They've already seen and worked birds, been introduced to the gun, have an idea of steady to wing and shot and are retrieving fallen birds. Now it's time to put it all together for them.
The three males I started were all in the field hunting live birds between 14 and 18 months old as an timeline example.
The two girls I have right now were started much later in life, and will be seeing their first "live action" in about two weeks. I can't wait, It's been along time since I got to work a dog for their "first time". It's going to be a riot. It's been interesting starting adult dogs. The timeline is much different than a puppy, and I've had to learn a few new tricks. :eek:. I also don't want to winter over a barn full of quail again, so they're going to see lots of birds.
Somehow, I've got to figure out how to carry a camera with me like Sniper John. ;)
 
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