I'm a subscriber to a tried and true method of dog training. There's this book which outlines it, but one really needs to be schooled by a trainer well-versed in the method to understand its correct execution.
This method begins building a foundation with 3 days of point-A-to-B walking on a longe line. Without going into detail, it's essentially walking from one point to another, stopping for a long pause or break, walking to another point, pausing... and so on. I've managed to get Pete out every day for short sessions. At 19 1/2 weeks, he's a little young for full sessions, but old enough to follow the program. This phase of training teaches the handler a lot about a dog. Pete went along nicely the first day, hardly ever testing the limits of the line. Yesterday, his brain kicked in and he tested repeatedly. He tangled himself up. He bit and yanked on the line. He charged off after a ball laying in the yard. Today, it all started to come together. He tangled himself up once and decided that wasn't the best of plans. What was most interesting was that during the breaks, he would find something interesting to investigate or a little stick or a fallen leaf to chew on, but when I stepped off, he dropped whatever he was doing and trotted merrily along.
This is a thinking dog! I can't wait until tomorrow - Day Four. It's a special day.
Meanwhile, in the house and at different times, I'm teaching him to touch my hand when a timer goes off. He has the touch thing down without fail. Amazing little dog.