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So it finally happened! The GF and I picked up our new puppy last week, and we're now on Day 4. Overall, I think it's going OK. He accepts us as his new owners now.
What are some good training benchmarks to keep in mind over the next few weeks? I know every dog is different, but should he at least know 1-2 commands by Week 2, have good recall by Week 4, etc? Below are our current status/plans for training:
Crate training: We always keep him in a open crate + pen combo, just with no toilet. It's usually 1 hour play time into 2 hours napping. He likes to alternate between napping inside or out on the floor (maybe it gets too warm inside?). We also feed him in the crate to build up the positive association. No accidents in the crate so far. We need to start locking him in more though.
Potty training: We follow the typical guidelines (potty after naps/meals/playtime/middle of night, etc). He USUALLY potties outside whenever we take him, so that's a relief. But he's had 3 accidents in his pen so far (cleaned with enzymatic cleaner) They mostly seemed preventable from our end, but is there a better way to get him to signal when he needs to pee? Or can we only just follow the schedule as closely as possible? We have potty bells on the door, but don't want to give him access to that part of the apartment yet. No pee pads/indoor grass because our place is mostly carpet, so we don't want him to ever go inside.
Separation anxiety: He'll whine a bit when we leave his pen to do something else in the apartment, but will usually settle down and nap. We only acknowledge him when he's quiet. We also left him in a pen at a friend's house for a few hours (with all his toys and blankets), and he wasn't howling nor did he have an accident inside when we got back, so I guess that's a win? He softly whines at bedtime, but gentle shushing calms him down. We've yet to leave him alone in our place for more than 15 minutes, but we're building it up slowly.
Commands: He definitely knows 'sit' when we have his attention. Can even make him hold it for a few seconds now. We also give him treats/praise whenever he just sits on his own. Currently working on 'up' and 'down'. His name recall needs more work. We have a habit of saying his name a lot – should we stop that unless we're giving him treats?
Socialization: He's met at least 15 people so far. Also played with 2 of our friend's dogs. He mostly just annoyed the adult dog, but had a lot of fun with the other puppy. He also did very well at the vet, on car rides, and at small gatherings with 4-5 other people. Nothing seems to frighten him yet. We'll be starting full socialization and taking him out into the world over the next few weeks.
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