The Education of Lacy

Lacy is a German shepherd dog, born Feb. 1, 1999, in Memphis, Tenn. Click here for information on Lacy's breeders, Andaka Kennels, and Lacy's sire and dam.

Update. The original articles were written in Summer 1999, when Lacy was a puppy. She finished her AKC Companion Dog (obedience) title in three straight trials on one weekend in Fall 2000. She has earned agility titles in AKC, NADAC and UKC. She has earned her Herding Instinct Certificate and the German Shepherd Club of America's Temperament Certificate. She has a wonderful attitude toward training. She has fun in the ring. I think a solid, fun-filled puppy-training program formed the basis for her excellent attitude.

In spring 2003 I acquired another puppy, Katie, from the same breeders as Lacy. With Lacy, I had time to actually write down what I was doing with her. Katie is much higher drive and I have not had the extra time I used to have. Katie has been trained much the same as Lacy, with the addition of more work at an advanced level of difficulty, to keep her brain challenged. Maybe someday I'll have a chance to write about it!

Summer 1999

I won't start competing in agility or obedience with Lacy until she is at least two. Because she will be a fairly large dog, she needs time for her bones to grow and her growth plates to close. In the interim, she and I will have a wonderful time learning, playing and training. Lacy has a tremendous adventure ahead of her. While most of her time will be spent just getting to be a puppy, she will be learning some things along the way. Learning about obedience and agility gives her something to do. Otherwise, it is likely that she would find something to do on her own, such as carpet chewing or some other destructive behavior. It's my job to channel her energies into positive arenas.

I invite you to share the first six weeks with us as I post her training updates on this site.

Getting Started

My immediate plans for Lacy are to socialize, socialize, socialize with humans and other dogs. Her sire is a registered therapy dog who visits hospitals. Lacy has good genetics, but it is my responsibility to ensure that she is trained to make the most of her good breeding. I'll keep socializing her throughout her life.

Eventually, Lacy will participate in competition obedience and agility. So, during the optimum period of learning, up to age 16 weeks, I will try to introduce her to as many different facets of all these activities as I can. She'll also learn to track, so she will learn early on to use her nose to find rewards.

Click below to see what Lacy is learning this week!

  • Week One - Dog walk plank, tunnel, table, sit, down, stand and more!
  • Week Two - TV downs, go-outs, walking on leash, teeter, jumps, sequences
  • Week Three - Kick-back stand, more go-outs, targeting, attention, agility quick downs
  • Week Four - Even more go-outs, heeling, finish, stay, teeter
  • Week Five - Go-outs again, "Choose to Heel" targeting, "come" and "get it," moving stand, go to table, putting "stretch" on command, leadership
  • Week Six - Resources, balanced training, recall, down, scent training, closed tunnel, house line, self control

  • Do YOU have a new puppy? Do YOU need training help? Here are some resources:

    Puppy links

    Visit these sites for helpful information about raising and training a puppy.

  • "Keepers" from the Click-L list. Lots of articles on training for obedience, agility and other dog sports.
  • Puppy Training Articles from the Doggie Door to Canine Behavior
  • Dog Owner's Guide to Kids and Puppies
  • Possession aggression Excellent article on dealing with a pup that is defensive about food or objects.

  • Cyber Pet's Puppy Training articles
  • Teaching A Puppy The Fundamentals of Obedience. Nice article from a Great Dane owner.
  • Robin Kovary's "American Dog Trainer's Network.
  • About German Shepherds

    Sites with information specifically about German Shepherd Dogs

  • My German Shepherd page -- lots of links and information.
  • Coat Colors in the German Shepherd Dog - How they develop from Puppyhood through Adult
  • GSD Color Genetics by John Ayotte
  • Coat Lengths in the German Shepherd Dog
  • GSD movement by Carolyn Martello
  • This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit here.

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