Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Puppy at Soccer Practice

At what age should you start training your puppy? As early as eight weeks. Why? Because what you teach (or don't teach) your puppy will stay with him or her for life. You get to choose. Do you want a well mannered dog or one who is anywhere from tolerable to out of control? What follows is from a client with a five-month-old German Shepherd. We have trained together an hour a week since Paladin was eight weeks old.
Woohoo! I took a chance and took Paladin to soccer practice this evening. He did VERY well! He did not bark at any people. He did bark (the high-pitched, playful kind) at a little female chocolate lab that is about his age. He wanted so badly to play with her! But he walked around the field for an hour or more, stopped to let a few folks pet him (still yanking him down from trying to jump, but he is improving), and ended with sitting still next to my "soccer chair" to finish out the last few minutes of practice. We had a nice conversation with a dad and his 1st grader and Pal let both of them pet him. I am so proud of him. My friend who walks with me at soccer is skittish of dogs and especially German Shepherds, but he did quite nicely and she even praised him at the end for being so good. Yay!!
Do you want your puppy to grow up to be a model citizen? Start him early.

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