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Archive for November, 2007

Training Your New Puppy Tips Part 3

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

train puppyAfter the pup has a good idea of what you want him to do, begin to ease off using tidbits every time. Do not let yourself use tidbits as a bribe. It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you give a puppy a treat he will be good. But from the dog’s viewpoint, it looks like you are treating him as top dog and whatever he wants to do is okay with you.

So only use tidbits when you are teaching a specific thing and only long enough to be sure he has learned it and associates the act with the word for it. Then ease off to the point of stopping the use.

Do not expect overnight results: Puppies learn in spurts and starts. One day he may know absolutely everything and perform to perfection. The next day it is as though he never had a moment’s training. Too many owners make the mistake of thinking that if their puppy does it right once or twice he knows it forever, but it really takes hundreds of repetitions for a puppy to learn something.

A puppy or a dog needs at least one month of consistent daily repetition before any action becomes a part of his routine. Train the pup consistently for one month, then continue for one month longer than you think is necessary. Then you can expect him to know what you are talking about, but you must continue daily use of the commands, using an occasional reminder when the pup is having an “off” day.

Be consistent: There is a wide range of individual approaches to working with a puppy. Each person will be guiding his own puppy to live in harmony with the lifestyle of that particular home. Similar to raising children, there are many different learning environments that can, each one, be successful. The key to success is to be consistent in your demands and your discipline.

Puppies need feedback: A puppy learns by getting feedback from his owner. Praise him so he will know when he has done something right. Otherwise he will never learn what it is you want him to do. Then he will get confused because you keep nagging him and hollering at him and he does not know why. He will turn into a hyperactive nervous wreck. So let him know when he has done a good job.

Hands off: Keep your hands off the puppy as much as possible except to pat in praise. It may be necessary once in a while to manipulate him with your hands, but this should be the

exception. It is easy to get into the habit of constantly grabbing, pushing and pulling. A puppy is not learning unless he is actually doing the action himself. This is why it is so important to guide him into doing what you want. The actions (sit, heel, come) that he repeats under his own power quickly become a part of his conditioning and he will begin to repeat them willingly.

If you take all the previous points into consideration, you are automatically teaching your puppy to pay attention. By adhering to his physical and psychological needs, you will find that he will respond to you and you will be well on your way to building a good puppy-person relationship.

Training Your New Puppy Tips Part 2

Monday, November 19th, 2007

puppy trainingIt is important for your puppy to feel he is a valuable individual. Try to have your training sessions in a relatively quiet place. Because he is so playful, he can be easily distracted by other people and activities. If he is constantly being bombarded by other sights and sounds, it will be difficult for him to get the message from you that you enjoy being with him.

Use words:The only way he will learn to associate the command with the action is if you use the word every time you guide him into doing what you want. A puppy can learn a very large vocabulary with such words as “Outdoors,” “Bedtime,” “Go for a walk,” as well as the basic commands.

Reward your pup: To teach him anything, you must first have his attention and then you must reward him as soon as he has done what you ask. The reward can take three forms; a

tidbit, a pat, or your voice. Consider the use of tidbits a highly successful means of puppy training. By guiding his behavior with it, you can avoid pushing and pulling with your hands and all of the jerking and pulling on the leash.

A puppy learns much more quickly when he performs the activity himself rather than being pushed or pulled into doing it. Then, as he begins to understand what you mean by “Sit” or “Come” or whatever, you can use your hand or leash to perfect the performance, thereby keeping handling at a minimum.

Timing is of the utmost importance when using tidbits in puppy training. Obviously, your puppy is not going to know what you mean by the different commands when you first begin to train him, and the only way he will learn that he is doing the right thing is when he receives the reward at the moment he does it.

An example in using tidbits is to teach the command “Sit.” If you have a puppy who prefers bouncing around and absolutely hates sitting, you may have to begin by rewarding a bending of the hind legs.

If you were to wait until he sits all the way down with his bottom on the floor, you would never get the job done. After a few rewards for partial sitting, the puppy will suddenly sit all the way, at which time you will not only reward him but tell him how marvelous he is.

Another example of rewarding with tidbits is with the heeling exercise. This is the most difficult thing for most puppies to learn. Too often, it involves excessive jerking on the leash. The more a puppy is being pulled, the more he resists and pulls in the opposite direction.

Their natural tendency is to run off and sniff around. Cheese tidbits is very effective in overcoming the problems of teaching a puppy to walk beside us. It works even better off-leash (but only for a minute at a time).

As you begin walking, the instant the puppy begins to look away from you, get his attention with your voice and give him a tidbit. This will keep him at your side for another few steps.

Repeat this a few times during each session, reversing your direction and taking some turns. Then stop while you are both still performing well and give him lots of praise with your voice along with some pats.

Training Your New Puppy Tips

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

new puppyWhatever your puppy’s pedigree and whatever your goals for him, any puppy is still an emotionally immature animal. At the same time, no two puppys are exactly alike and what works for one puppy is not necessarily best for another. You must constantly be aware of your puppy’s personality and of how you can get him to pay attention to you. However, there are some general characteristics of puppypy training that are important to working with all puppies. These are basic principles which should be adapted by you as the basis of working with your puppypy.

Do not get tough: Emotionally and psychologically, the puppypy is still extremely sensitive. This means that learning takes place quickly, but also that fears can easily occur and inhibit learning. puppys cannot take pressure or harsh treatment. Repetition is the key to puppypy training.

Never punish him if he does not do what you want him to do. This will defeat the purpose of the training and cause him to dislike the entire procedure. Bad behavior during training sessions is more often than not a sign of the puppypy’s lack of confidence or understanding of what you want him to do. Therefore, many repetitions will be needed.

Keep it simple: A puppypy learns to do things in a step-by-step manner. For example, in teaching him to stay, do not expect him to stay put for several minutes at a time while you are off someplace away from him.

You must first teach him to stay while you stand toe-to-toe in front of him, then to stay when you are standing a couple of feet out in front of him, then to stay while you walk around him, then to stay while you are standing several feet away and not holding on to the leash.

Many puppys will take several weeks to progress through these steps, but they are necessary if you want to teach “Stay” effectively. If you tell him to do something before you have properly trained him to do it and then scold him for not doing it, you are

asking for trouble. The puppy will lose his confidence and will learn not to try.

Be brief: puppypies have a very short attention span. A puppy learns only while he is paying attention to you, so it does not accomplish anything to keep on training when he is mentally tired even though physically he is still very lively. Five minutes at a time is long enough. With many puppypies, two minutes is long enough to begin with, gradually moving up to five minutes.

Build confidence: Your puppypy needs confidence-building as well as discipline and he will constantly be telling you by his body language which one he needs more at any particular time. Relax while you are with him; smile; speak in a pleasant voice; play running games with him. In puppypy training, building confidence means knowing what you expect from your puppy.