Training the Dakota Sport Retriever
Even though puppies can leave, either by being shipped, or by being picked up, at 8 weeks old, or anytime after that, training any 8 week old puppy can be challenging. Most 8 week old puppies may need to go every hour or two, day & night!
With our Dakota Sport Retriever puppies, the preferred way of training is to first dog door train them. We usually begin dog door training puppies at weaning, at 7 weeks old.. They have a temperature controlled inside area, with dog door, to go outside anytime they want. Usually by a week or less, the puppy naturally begins to only go potty outside, on it's own. We also like to dog door train puppies so that they are used to the outside weather and temperatures. If they do get too hot or too cold, or too wet, they can go back inside as they please!
After a puppy is fully dog door trained, we crate train, and begin full housetraining. We limit puppies to our kitchen, making sure to keep them off of the carpet! With Dakota Sport Retrievers, some automatically never make any mistakes in the house at all with our system! The ones that do, normally are fully housetrained, with being limited to the kitchen, from 1 to 7 days. Depending on the puppy's age when training begins, they soon are able to have full run of the house!
If you have a dog door, or get a dog door, getting a very young puppy can be very effective, especially if you are able to limit their inside area to begin with. However, most homes do not have dog doors.
If a Dakota Sport Retriever begins crate training at age 4 months or older, they usually can have full run of the house within 1 week! They often no longer "need" to sleep in a crate after 1 to 2 weeks! Before 4 months old, puppies will, and do chew excessively!!
We find that Dakota Sport Retrievers are all very easy to train, and adjust very well to new homes, if they are trained and arrive at their forever home before they are 1 year's old. After a year old, they may take a bit longer to adjust to a new home.
Even though most families do want their new puppy as young as possible, it is very satisfying to receive an older puppy that is already trained, or at least at an age that it is ready for training! That way, you can spend your time enjoying your new addition to your family, and not just spending your time cleaning up after him or her!
We also find that Dakota Sport Retrievers very naturally love to follow people! Therefore, they are very easy to leash train at any age! They are not known to run off at all! However, if you do get an older Sport Retriever, make sure to be well bonded to your new puppy or dog before just turning him or her loose! But they can be without a leash in many circumstances once bonded to you, which can take from 1 minute, to a week, depending on your puppy or dog.
Dakota Sport Retrievers are also very motivated by treats, praise, and toys! Most Dakota Sport Retrievers do love toys, and naturally play fetch! So, they are very easy to train basic commands, such as sit, drop, stay, ect. Do realize that a very young puppy is not ready to learn the command stay.
Dakota Sport Retrievers do love water! When it is hot, they love to splash around in a kiddy pool, or to go swimming! Some will even try to play in their water dish. In which case, they may need to be trained out of doing that?
We do offer training here, and we also offer neutering & spaying here! We can get any male puppy that is 4 months old or older neutered, or any female that is 7 months old or older spayed. If a puppy is not already trained, we do require training here in addition to spaying or neutering. Sometimes we may offer a puppy that is already neutered.
So, unless you are fully prepared to be very patient, do a lot of cleaning up after your puppy, and getting up several times during the night, and spending a lot of time taking your new puppy out, consider an older puppy!
Many of our older puppies are used to travel, content in a crate, and more prepared to go to a new home! They are very socialized, friendly, happy, well adjusted puppies!
Shipping an older puppy is more expensive, do to a larger crate size. However, you will have far less vet costs, if you get a puppy that has already had all of it's puppy vaccinations! Also, a puppy that is 12 weeks or older has a lot more immunity!