We just got a lab puppy last week who is 8 weeks old. The vet we took her to said not to bother entering him in training classes until he's 3-4 months. The research I've done and the trainers I've talked to say to begin right away. I think I'd like to have the trainer come out once for a private lesson in the basics and then enter formal classes later. Any thoughts?
You definitely want to start right away. I would do a group class. You puppy needs lot of socialization and the best time to do that is before they are 16 weeks. Of course that needs to continue throughout their lives, but they soak up the most when they are young. I would also suggest going to sit in on a class before you sign up, so you know how that trainer works. I personally train with only positive methods. Also a very good book you may want to read is "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell.
We live in a small town and there are only two classes, neither of which has enough for a class right now. My daughter has a good dog who plays with Finnian AND puts her in him place. Isn't the private training better than none? I'll make sure that Fin meets lots of people and their dogs.
Any training is better than none, so do private if that's all that's available right now. But make sure you really get your pup out and about. Your daughter dog is good but he need to be exposed to a lot more. I would do some organized play dates with as many people that you know with other puppies or good dogs. Also take him as many places as you can- the park, Petsmart, Lowe’s allows pets if there’s one near you, other people’s houses, and any where else that allows dogs. You want him to be used to all sort of places and people. You don’t want to go to a Petsmart/PetCo training though. I had a friend that worked there. All the training the trainers get is a binder of info and sit in on one class before they start teaching.
He doesn't need shots before he goes at this age. They still have their mother’s antibodies until they are 10-12 weeks old. Also there is no need to give 3 rounds of shots, besides to line your vet and the vaccine company’s pockets. Vaccines can cause a ton of problem with a developing immune system learn a little about them before you pump them into you pup. This site is good and also has links to lots of other information about vaccines http://www.pets4homeopathy.com/articlesvaccs.html
you want to start socializing him right now. however i would be cautious on just how many puppies he comes in contact with until he has had at least another distemper/parvo vaccine. for right now i would take him outside supermarkets, and malls and have any and everyone come up to him and say hi and pet him. they go through a fear period at around 9 weeks of age and another one around 4 months of age. so you need to get him out there and exposed to different things ASAP, but even more importantly you need to make sure every experience he has is a GOOD one. they are very impressionable at this age. if you notice another dog or pup playing to aggressively with your dog, then take your dog away from them. if you notice your dog being the aggressor, its a good time ot teach the command settle. puppies can and do play rough and hard, just keep an eye out that it isnt too much.
start obedience classes ASAP also, i think most places will start them now at 4 months of age. a private instructor is ok, but the classes, when they are young, are better because they get to socialize more.
Thanks everyone! I'm going to hire the trainer for a little while until the classes start again. And I'll get my daughter to take her new little brother out with her and Emma. Thanks again and I'm sure I'll be back with more quesrtions.