New Puppies: from Day One

NEW PUPPIES: FROM DAY ONE
I get many owners that come to me with dogs aged 6-18 months with problems.
The majority have the same problems: Pulling on the lead, jumping up and not coming back when other dogs are around.
Unfortunately, the basis for these problems can start even before the puppy goes to training classes.
All these problems can be prevented.


JUMPING UP:
If you let you him jump up as a puppy, he will do it as an adult.
Get down on the floor and fuss him and play with him, so that he doesn't need to jump up.
Call him to you and, just before he gets to you, drop a couple of titbits on the floor. When he looks up at you to see if you have any more, show him another one and tell him to sit. Eventually, you can tell him to sit without putting titbits on the floor.
When he greets people, get him to sit. To start with, have a titbit on his nose to lure him in position and hold it there while the person smoothes him. (Although he may well know what sit means, in his excitement he may ignore the command, which is why you hold the titbit on his nose) Eventually, just the command will suffice. You can also put a finger in his collar to prevent jumping up.

THE NAME:
This is where people teach their dogs to ignore them. Do not think you must say his name over and over for him to learn it. You will teach him it is boring and meaningless and to shut off.
You want him to think that he must look at you as soon as he hears his name.
Make a noise to get him to look at you. When he does, say his name and give him a titbit or a cuddle. When you have taught him that hearing his name=looking towards you, try saying it when he is not looking at you and when he looks at you, reward him. Rewards can be phased out quite soon.
Try not to use his name if you are going to scold him.

RECALLS:
Golden rule - only give your recall command once.
Make a noise, or clap your hands, to get your puppies attention. When he's looking at you, call him. You are teaching him that the recall= running towards you. If you teach him from day one that you will call him many times, you are teaching him to ignore your recall. Just think what it will be like in a field with lots of distractions.
If he's in the garden, once again make a noise to get his attention, before calling him. you could even put some dried food in a plastic pot and rattle it to encourage him.
If you find he does start to ignore you in the garden, put him on a long lead while he goes out to the toilet. Don't let bad habits start.
Don't forget to reward him for coming back.
When he starts to meet other dogs, let him greet them, then encourage him away with a titbit. Have him on the lead so that you have control. If he pulls towards another dog, just stop until the lead slackens, so that he learns to greet other dogs in a controlled manner. when he plays with another dog, be quite close when you call him, so that you can do something about it if he ignores you. Do not call him more that once; make a funny noise to get his attention.

WALKING ON A LEAD:
Your puppy can't go out until he has had his innoculations, and only for short walks for a few weeks after that, so now is the time to teach him to walk on a loose lead.
If you do not let him pull from day one, he will not learn to pull.
Once he is used to the collar, put the lead on. Have plenty of titbits handy.
Stand still. If he pulls, or rolls over trying to get away, ignore him. as soon as the lead loosens say, 'Good', and give a titbit. Just do it a few times, a few times a day.
When he is used to the lead, walk a couple of steps and stop. Say nothing and do not jerk the lead. When your puppy looks at you say 'Good' and give a titbit. While he is eating it move behind him, so that he has to turn to look at you. do this a few times and end the session. 
You are teaching him to turn and look at you every time you stop. (When you stop because the lead has gone taught, he will turn and look at you, which will loosen the lead)
 When you go on a walk, you must stop every time as soon as the lead goes taught. Obviously, there are times when you have not got time to do this. You need to get a headcollar, or harness, to suit your dog for these times.

TIME ALONE:
Teach him from day one that he has to be left sometimes, then you are less likely to get separation anxiety. Just start off with a few minutes, maybe when he settles for a sleep or give him a Kong stuffed with something nice as you go. Build it up gradually so that it is not something to fret about. Have a key phrase: I say 'I'm going shopping'. They then know to go in their beds because I am going out. Try not to let the leaving, or arriving back be a big deal.
Subpages (1): Socialisation
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