What can you expect from a puppy?

Posted by MeganE
Nov 6, 2009
I recently adopted an adorable border collie cross puppy. He is now 3 months old. He is my first pup so I dont really know what to expect from him at this age. He has learned what "Lets go outside" means and he seems to know what "no" and "ahh ahh" mean (although he doesnt always mind me), but can't seem to grasp sit, stay, or really any other commands. Is this normal? Am I being a bad mom?
I also have some other questions:
When should I expect him to know that he can't use his teeth on people? When should I expect him to be able to walk on a leash without protesting and biting the leash?
When should he understand fetch?

I have a lot of questions

Posted by crazycrayonmom
Nov 6, 2009
For the biting on the leash thing, I can highly recommend the Halti collar. They really help you gain control in a humane manner.

For the rest of it, make sure you are the alpha. Sounds like he doesn't quite respect you yet. They do say it can take up to a year for an adopted dog to settle into a new home. I also recommend going to dog training classes if he's your first dog. They can help you with training techniques. At 3 months of age he should be able to begin learning all the basics. It does take lots of repetition and consistency though. And Border Collies are generally very intelligent and needs lots of exercise. A bored, smart dog can get into big trouble. We had a border collie who, at 1 1/2 years of age, chewed up the couch in my motorhome when we left him out of his kennel (with our 2 other dogs) for a couple hours.

Congratulations on your new pup and good luck!
Posted by kjd
Nov 6, 2009
Your puppy can begin to learn to stop putting his teeth on people immediately. When he was with his siblings, they would cry when he bit too hard. My policy is to yipe whenever I feel teeth on my body, especially my hands. Doesn't matter if it is a bite or just getting those teeth too close, I yipe loudly. The dog appears hard-wired to stop nipping when he hears that yipe. He comes back far more gently. Once you get a dog that takes treats politely, you will be spoiled forever! I convinced my 80-yr-old mother to try this method; she stopped dropping a treat at the last second (sure to encourage the dog to lunge for the treat) and started handing it to the dog. One dog became so good at it, he took a piece of cake off a paper napkin in a man's hand without touching the napkin! (Cake was offered him with "Please don't eat my hand.")

For the owner of a dog, housebreaking is the single most important accomplishment. However, I think for guests, they would vote for no teeth and four (feet) on the floor.
Posted by LetsPlay
Nov 10, 2009
Hi there,

you should expect your puppy to be able to understand and do whatever you have taught him. A dog that is 8 weeks old can learn how to sit, stay, lie down and come, heel, as well as heaps of tricks. It just depends on how much effort you put into the training.

You should expect him to know to be gentle with his teeth once you taught him that this is not acceptable. You should never let him get away with it, simply because he will not learn that this is off limits if you are not consistent.

If he is 3 months now you should really focus on it a lot, the sooner the better.
When you want him to sit, don't just ask him to do it, but show him how it is done. You can use a treat and call him to you. When he is right in front of you move the treat over his head so that his backside drops down. The moment his bottom touches the floor say sit and give him the treat.
Praise him like crazy and do the same procedure again and again for the next 5 minutes. Finish off when he has done it really well and make sure he is enjoying it. Same with lie down and any other command. Practice them and treat him and he will get the hang of it.

All the best and let us know how you get on.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 12, 2009
Hi MeganE,

Did you realize that you've got the smartest breed among all dog breeds?
I have border collie mixes and they are so smart. Your puppy is totally capable to learn sit, down, stay, come at his age.

The key is to give him short trainings many times a day. They should involve with treats and lot of praises so that your puppy thinks it is a fun game. Everything dogs learn are from their experience. When something ends up with a good thing, it is more likely they repeat that specific behavior.

Contrarily, dogs will stop a specific behavior if that ends up bad thing or not fun thing. Therefore, when your puppy bites your hand say "Ouch!" in a loud voice and stop playing with him. He will soon learn that putting his teeth on your skin will end fun games. You can also redirect him to a chew toy or something he is supposed to chew on.

As for the leash biting, you can use a shorter leash and make sure that he learns he will have to leave the leash alone in order to go for walk. When he starts biting the leash, just stop right there and take the leash out of his mouth very calmly but firmly. Take a few more steps and repeat the same thing if he bites the leash again. It will take a long time to go about a block at first but I am sure he will get it eventually.

I am not a big fun of haltis or gentle leaders unless the dog is too big and pulls to the point that it is dangerous for the owner. Otherwise, I prefer to train your dogs to loose walk with a regular collar and a leash.

Training puppies is a lot to work but I am positive that will pay off later. Again, your border collie mix is smart enough to learn all basic commands and house rules if you are patient, consistent and fair.

Good luck