Puppy Training Classes Begins – Let’s Have Some Fun – TheDogTrainingLady
August 19, 2014 By TheDogTrainingLady Leave a Comment
There are so many things that a new puppy needs to learn, I like to address 2 or 3 items each week. I do this in a specific order so that each week builds upon the previous weeks lessons.
Always remember that training is not just something you do for six weeks and it’s over, training is a lifetime commitment. After a period of time, it just becomes more of a natural communication between you and your pet, and less like training.
I have always enjoyed puppy classes, because I firmly believe if you get the proper foundation in training, you can take it as far as you’d like. Even if that goal is to be in shows or to get the canine good citizen award.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been giving you tips on puppy training in general. This week begins the series of a six-week puppy-training course that I follow when teaching group puppy classes.
So let’s get started.
I’m really excited that you are here and ready to get your puppy trained using positive training techniques. I would normally introduce myself and have everyone introduce him or herself, so I would really appreciate it, if you leave your first name, your puppy’s name, breed, and the age of your puppy in the comment section.
The reasons I ask for this, is that different breeds learn at different rates and sometimes with a little different twist on things. This will help me going forward, so that I include any special notes that may be able to help you out a bit more.
This being week one is fairly simple and we are going to work on two things.
Now there may be many of you that do not need to work on the first exercise, but it has been my experience that many do need this, so please humor me.
The first one is the “name game” and, the second exercise we will begin to work on “come”.
These puppy classes are based on pet parents that have just acquired a puppy and we are starting at the very basics.
Puppy Name Game
When you first get a puppy, learning his or her name is important. Many pet parents are still calling their pet “puppy” as they wait to see the personality and/or behaviors before they can decide on a name. Well, let’s get that decision made and start calling your new fur-baby by his or her name.
This is a very easy exercise, all that you need to do is call your puppy by name and the moment he or she looks at you praise them and give them a small treat.
One quick word on treats: Many pet stores have training treats that are only one calorie. Or you can use small pieces of chicken; take these calories into consideration for their overall day consumption. Be sure to have about 50 to 75 pea size pieces ready for each training session.
Practice this throughout the day, so keep some treats in your pocket, and randomly say your puppy’s name, when he or she looks you in the eye, praise your pup and treat them, pet them and say good boy or girl. This will make it a happy and exciting experience for them to pay attention to you when you call their name.
This is pretty simple, but it will help the puppy get use to hearing his or her name. This will also teach them to focus on you when you call his name. Keep these sessions to 1 – 2 minutes per day, everyday for this week, and your puppy will learn the sound of his name.
I know this sounds extremely simple, but you would be surprised at how many puppies don’t immediately answer to their names. Understand they have just moved into a new home, they have new sights and smells and some pet parents call them “puppy” till they feel they have an appropriate name for them.
This is important, but if your pup already knows his name still practice this exercise. What it is doing is getting him or her to focus on you when you say their name. Focus is another exercise we will be working on in the weeks to come.
Learning to Come
The second exercise for this week is working on “come”. We want it to be exciting for your puppy to come to you when called, so we want to make a game of it.
Moving around gets a puppy excited. So what I want you to do is start jogging away from him or her a little, say the word “come”, and while you are moving away make rapid “smooching noises”. The moment your puppy turns towards you, say “yes”, praise your puppy when he catches up to you, and give him several treats. Now the reason for several treats is because “come” is an extremely important command for them to learn. It can keep them out of trouble and keep them away from potential harm.
When your puppy understands that when you move away and say come with smooching sounds he wants to come to you, he thinks it’s a game. We want to always keep it this way. It needs to be a reward for you puppy to come to you on command.
Many people have a problem when their dog gets loose and they begin to run after them, well the dog thinks this is a game of chase. I understand that it is an automatic reaction to want to run after your dog when he gets away, but if you turn in the opposite direction and run away from him, he is more likely to start running towards you, again, thinking it’s a game.
Another mistake many pet parents make when there dog finally does come to them after running away, is scolding them. Well, if I know I’m going to get yelled at when I get to you, I am certainly not going to do that again. This is just a note of caution for you, if your puppy or dog bolts out the door, get your game on, he’ll come back.
Keep this fun and exciting for you pet, and you will be well on your way to having a great recall command.
Keep this exercise to just 1 or 2 minutes a day, everyday and make sure it is always fun for the puppy, but you as well.
Now this is just the beginning of the recall or “come” cue. You will always need to practice this. Always keep it upbeat and happy. A happy puppy will come to you.
The other thing I would like you to do this week, is find a nearby kindergarten class. This is a great way to start the socialization process, and let you baby get to play with others his or her own age. This will also burn up some of that puppy energy. The more energy you burn up, the more tired the puppy. A tired puppy is a good puppy because he usually needs a nap.
So for this week, practice the name game. Work on the “come” command and start looking for a puppy kindergarten class, so your puppy can socialize with other and you can socialize with other pet parents.
Training a puppy is not hard; it just takes patience and consistency. I’m sure you can spare the 5 minutes a day working on these exercises.
If you should run into any problems or have any questions, please leave a comment or send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
I would also love to hear about your good training experiences. That will let me know we are on the right track.
Have fun, enjoy your training, and begin that wonderful bond that all pet parents have with their puppy.
Till next time
Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
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