Training becomes a lot
simpler by answering the question "What does my pup need to know before we
start this new routine?" Taking a proactive approach avoids the potential
quagmire of trying to teach more than one thing at a time. You can't go back
and makeup for what was missed without interrupting a teaching moment.
A well imprinted pup starting formal training should have heard the words
"no", "here", "sit", "fetch", "shake", etc. in a rewarding and relevant
context. If these words become a daily "conversation" in the context of
predictable routines they make more sense. This process is called imprinting and
creates a responsive, seamless flow into formal training.
For example, If an older pup in formal training comes out of the water carrying a bumper he should already know what "shake" means
(with the "wagging hand" signal to
do so). Anticipation requires a proactive mindset and becomes a useful
retriever training skill that promotes seamless teaching. Plan ahead by working at being aware. Take advantage of
the puppy "windows of opportunity". They are brief.
note: to be continued
I guess I'm not so "warm and fuzzy" with biting pups. The biting issues
are dealt with early on with tethered sessions on the living room floor.
I want to have control over the pup's freedom and consistently apply the
same correction. A "muzzle grab" and a stern "no" always worked quickly
for me. I am "up close and personal" and there is no chance for escape. Deliver consistent consequences
at the level they "dish it out" and get this issue over with
sooner...rather than later.
I'm not looking for an easy, alternative distraction and
I'm sure the pup's Mom wouldn't do much coddling, either
(see links below).
is in a different context. I am not his mother.
The regular sessions are designed to be boring and cost me zero
time......I do watch TV at times.
Being focused and under control is a good thing and puppies need to learn that not
everything is wild and exciting. Their "reward" is 30 minutes of quiet
time with me....daily.
Several neat things occur....1) the pup becomes leash
broke, 2) the possibility of escape is removed, 3) biting becomes
clearly unacceptable, 4) the meaning of "no" is established,
5) the concepts of responsiveness and control are introduced and 6)
being relaxed, quiet and calm is normal (for both of us).
The "muzzle grab" and "no bite" routine can be transitioned to a simple
raised finger and a quiet "uh...uh...uh" verbal
warning....................when he understands and just needs a reminder/cue. I
should mention that there are different levels of the "muzzle grabí.
I know I'm making headway with a pup when he falls asleep next to me.
This approach was predicated by a few recognitions. First of all I am
not a dog and not a sibling or mother of my pup. It is a given that pups
learn to modify their behavior in the litter environment, but when they
are no longer there.....it is suddenly very different. Chances are the
newly presented freedom will precipitate "experimenting". The rationale
for proper puppy modifications is to foster responsiveness.
The teacher and trainer is introduced. This session represents only a
small portion of the puppy's day.
Biting, leash breaking and being under control are developed in a
predictable, fair routine. It is a new world for the pup with his first
"job"....learning how to do (or not do) things with me. To
repeat, I am not a
sibling or mother.
On a side note, veterinarians will very much appreciate the fact that
they can easily mess with a pup's ears, legs and paws without him/her
"The Lesson" (with
subtitles) - link
"imprint" on biting (Youtube)
next up - imprinting "here", "sit", "fetch" & casting
related page link = "In