Whether you get a new puppy or older dog, training is vital to successful life with a dog. Training doesn't have to be like rocket science-it can be fun and relatively easy. It doesn't need to cost a fortune. If you're willing to invest some time and do some reading, you can learn a lot that will help you along the path to creating a harmonious life with your dog.
A number of people seem impressed Cinder is already doing some basic tricks (she is now only nine weeks old); and they've inquired how I've done it. The answer is simple: I've spent five minutes at a time, three times a day focusing on teaching her something. She learns 2-3 new things each week and hones everything she's learned before. Border Collie puppies are very anxious to learn new things all the time so they like to learn tricks and I like it when we get it.
I am not some training guru by any means. I have a background in canine behavior, training and competition in breed shows. Otherwise I talk to trainers and mostly, I read a lot of books. I've been re-reading a bunch of books since we found out we were getting Cinder. Below are some you may find quite useful if you have a new puppy or adult dog you want to train to do things. These are some of the best books I've found for learning to work with a high drive dog, teaching basics and teaching tricks along with what most people would consider awesome feats:
Personally, I love Kyra Sundance and the way she trains. Any book by her is bound to contain something you can learn and use for your puppy or adult dog. There are MANY good books that you could use to learn how to teach your puppy and/or adult dogs just about anything you can imagine and a few things you never thought of.
Teaching Cinder also includes honing some of the older boys' skills and behaviors too. Having the two older dogs means sharing the time and attention in meaningful ways and trying to create a good balance of time and attention for each dog. Ultimately, creating a harmonious life with all three dogs together and individually is the goal as we continue raising Cinder.