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I have to take a moment to tell you what Coal did yesterday. I am a very proud doodle mom! We have a designated potty spot in the yard. Well, yesterday was a gorgeous day in AZ (high 70's) and so the kids, Coal and I spent a lot of time outside. Well, I had done the poop picking up and decided to trim up some rosemary bushes and pull a few weeds. Wouldn't you know when I wasn't looking that little Coal went to his potty spot and did a poop! He's starting to get it! Peeing is another thing though. I catch him peeing in my artificial grass and I just say NO, pick him up and take him to the potty spot. Sometimes he finishes peeing at the potty spot in which case he gets enormous praise. Anyhow, I feel like he is getting the idea. He is also starting to bark when he needs to out. He is much better at letteing me know if he has to poop rather than pee.

He also knows sit which is working out nicely already. When I feed him I tell him to sit before I put his bowl down and when I need to put his leash on I tell him to sit and it's much easier then! We almost have "lay down" learned too. He knows "come" but isn't very reliable with that yet. I guess I will have to call him a million more times and treat until he gets it down. I need to teach "leave it" and "drop it" as soon as possible! Coal loves to play "keep away" now and he is getting fast so that I have a hard time catching him. I know he sees it as a game but my son freaks out when Coal is running around the yard with a toy of his. They actually make me laugh so much. I can see just how my son would be with a sibling and I don't like the looks of it! haha. He is always telling on Coal, trying to tell Coal what to do, just being as bossy with Coal as a 2 1/2 year old kid can be. Aidan loves Coal though and I can tell they are going to be great buddies for one another. They are funny together.

Anyway that is what's going on with Coal! He is almost 11 weeks now and cute as a button! He's a really great little puppy!
 
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Ah, Stacy, this is the sort of message that I love to read! You have warmed my heart with this story of little Coal!
Very smart little guy, eh?
Through the training sessions I have had (with MANY professional trainers...believe me, we have done all of the wrong things with our dogs!) we have been told (about the "come" command, especially) that we should never give a command unless we are able to back it up. Come is a really tough one to teach and you want Coal to do it every single time or he will get the idea that he can come only when it suits him...so, as hard as it is not to say "come" to him when he is playing....you might want to just keep training him until he comes every single time.
One technique that I like is to have a very long (50') lead and 2 people...one holds the lead and the other entices Coal to be with them (NOT using the "come" command...but not using a fabulous treat either)...then the other person calls out, "Coal, come!" and immediately, if he doesn't come, start pulling him in with the lead until he gets to you where you give him the most yummy treat you can think of and lots of praise. You save your best treats for "come" because this is such an important lesson to learn.
If you are alone, you can use 2 long leads, attach one to a table leg, tell Coal to "sit" and "stay" (it is much easier to teach come after they learn stay) and then walk away, holding the other lead...go to a spot not too far from him and say "Coal, come!" and again if he doesn't, start to pull him in. Again, the most yummy treat and tons of praise when he does it right.
It takes the longest time to teach a proper come command because generally it means the end of something fun. So you have to make it really good for him to come to you...and never, never punish him or scold him once he comes to you...no matter what he has done. (This makes him think that is what happens, he leaves the fun thing to come to you and you scold him...nope, don't want to do that!)
Anyway, I hope this helps a bit.
Coal is a bright dog, I bet he will be obeying you very soon!
 
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Sorry...that was me, Jac. Also, if you use two long leads for the "two people" training, it is much easier.
And when you are not teaching the come command, but want him to come to you, maybe use someting else, like..."let's go inside" or something.
It is funny what they learn as you continually repeat phrases...in the morning, Bailey gets on my bed and waits for me to wake up so that she can go out to play, she jumps up and looks at me every time I stir and if I stop and go back to sleep she lies down again, but if I say, "should we get up?" she LEAPS off the bed and bounds down the hallway to go outside! Now, I never intentionally taught her that, but I guess that every time I said those words I took her out and, she loves to go out, so she knows that phrase will do it! They are so smart!
 

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Stacy,

That is great news! Gunner had the poop thing down first. He started ringing the bell to go out two days after he got here. The pee thing was a little different. My vet said that is very common for them to get control of one before the other. I would rather him gotten the pee first, but I can't control that! I wish Gunner would stop what he is doing outside and run to his potty spot!!!!!!!

I am glad to hear things are going so well for you and Coal.
 
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