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Betterdog4u
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PostSubject: Puppy Training   Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:07 pm

What do you think is the best way to train a new puppy?

I'm doing some research for a new article for my Betterdog4u site. While doing it I ran accross a site that advocates the use of a squirt bottle.

The name of the article is: The Right Tools for Puppies Are Essential

and in the article the author (who calls herself: The Dog Lady) says and i quote: ... Obediance training tools for new puppies are a necessity. Essentials for me are squirt bottles and training treats. Better a squirt in the nose for mouthing the coffee table than having to budget for new furniture. Another top item on my list of training tools for puppies is training treats for positive reward based training.

OK, is it just me or is this a MAJOR contradiction. I can't figure out HOW a shot of water in the face is positive!!! Help!

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:48 pm

Its not. However the puppy has to learn a negative association when he chews on the table leg. I'm not quite sure that the squirt on the nose works, to actually squirt water at the puppy you'd have to get in his face and do it, by then you risk the possibility that the puppy will associate YOU with the P+ technique.

While you can't go about ignoring the behavior (especially not in a self-reinforcing behavior such as chewing) you can help make the puppy associate the unwanted behavior with somthing negative (yet humane). In the instance of chewing I recommend bitter apple or deterent sprays. These require absolutely no intervention from the owner thus no risk of getting associated yourself with the negative action. The puppy chews on the table leg and doesn't like the taste. The more he does it the more he understands that this is no longer a fun thing to do.

Another P+ technique I usually advocate is sound deterents. Throwing a bunch of keys (if done without being conspicious) will lead the pup to believe that if he starts chewing on the table something loud will sound. Of course timing is of the esence in this case, this wouldn't work if the puppy has been chewing on the table leg for 10 minutes already. The only thing this would help with (if he has been indulging in the behavior already) is to redirect the pups attention to do something more productive (counterconditioning).

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Betterdog4u
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:19 pm

Steven_L wrote:
Its not. However the puppy has to learn a negative association when he chews on the table leg. I'm not quite sure that the squirt on the nose works, to actually squirt water at the puppy you'd have to get in his face and do it, by then you risk the possibility that the puppy will associate YOU with the P+ technique.

While you can't go about ignoring the behavior (especially not in a self-reinforcing behavior such as chewing) you can help make the puppy associate the unwanted behavior with somthing negative (yet humane). In the instance of chewing I recommend bitter apple or deterent sprays. These require absolutely no intervention from the owner thus no risk of getting associated yourself with the negative action. The puppy chews on the table leg and doesn't like the taste. The more he does it the more he understands that this is no longer a fun thing to do.

Another P+ technique I usually advocate is sound deterents. Throwing a bunch of keys (if done without being conspicious) will lead the pup to believe that if he starts chewing on the table something loud will sound. Of course timing is of the esence in this case, this wouldn't work if the puppy has been chewing on the table leg for 10 minutes already. The only thing this would help with (if he has been indulging in the behavior already) is to redirect the pups attention to do something more productive (counterconditioning).
I usually use sound deterents. A sharp NO, then I give a toy to chew as a replacement.

If (as a puppy owner) you are giving corrent guidiance, you wouldnt allow the puppy to be in the room by itsself. It would have been put in the crate!!! Right??? Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:26 pm

Betterdog4u wrote:

I usually use sound deterents. A sharp NO, then I give a toy to chew as a replacement.

If (as a puppy owner) you are giving corrent guidiance, you wouldnt allow the puppy to be in the room by itsself. It would have been put in the crate!!! Right??? Smile

Using your voice as a deterent can be quite helpful because you aren't always going to have your keys on you.lol. But yes, part of puppy training (and potty training) is to NEVER leave a pup alone.

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:40 pm

you two always post such interesting topics and convos! hehe Grin
i'm learning a lot!
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:43 pm

schnauzkyLVR wrote:
you two always post such interesting topics and convos! hehe Grin
i'm learning a lot!

We're glad to hear that! But hey you throw in some good ideas in too! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:32 pm

schnauzkyLVR wrote:
you two always post such interesting topics and convos! hehe Grin
i'm learning a lot!
Thanks for your kind words. That is what will make this site a great resource for dog owners everywhere ... :Cool:

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:25 am

I don't know if I'm just incredibly lucky with Baloo, but he's making leaps and bounds in training. I tell him no when he chews something he shouldn't and give him a toy instead. If he doesn't respond to that, I stomp my foot and promptly leave the room, because that seems to be the worst possible thing in his little mind. Within seconds he's on my heels and I praise him for that, then get a toy and play with him. I would not use a squirt bottle!
I play with him for about 30 minutes before I need to start getting ready for work, and the moment he sees me getting my things together, he goes to his crate and either takes a nap or just listens and watches.
The puppy biting has almost ground to a halt. Occasionally he goes into destructo-puppy mode and starts mouthing or tugging at clothing, but I've found that his frantic moments may mean a need to go outside. He sits on command every time now. He will stay when told even when I leave the room and then come back. We're up to about 3 minutes now. Last weekend we were just starting on this and at about 20 seconds.
I use a lot of facial expressions and notice that he IS watching my face, which is what I want. He's walking well on a leash, which the breeder had already started. He stops when I stop, he turns when I turn. I haven't attempted teaching him to heel yet and am not really sure when to start, but will probably take cues from him, as I already feel like we're a TEAM.
Although he's quite time-consuming, I highly recommend the puppy experience. I'm already seeing that in the long haul we will have done more together, gone through rough spots together, accomplished things together long before he is an adult.
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:08 am

Ann wrote:
I don't know if I'm just incredibly lucky with Baloo, but he's making leaps and bounds in training. I tell him no when he chews something he shouldn't and give him a toy instead. If he doesn't respond to that, I stomp my foot and promptly leave the room, because that seems to be the worst possible thing in his little mind. Within seconds he's on my heels and I praise him for that, then get a toy and play with him. I would not use a squirt bottle!
I play with him for about 30 minutes before I need to start getting ready for work, and the moment he sees me getting my things together, he goes to his crate and either takes a nap or just listens and watches.
The puppy biting has almost ground to a halt. Occasionally he goes into destructo-puppy mode and starts mouthing or tugging at clothing, but I've found that his frantic moments may mean a need to go outside. He sits on command every time now. He will stay when told even when I leave the room and then come back. We're up to about 3 minutes now. Last weekend we were just starting on this and at about 20 seconds.
I use a lot of facial expressions and notice that he IS watching my face, which is what I want. He's walking well on a leash, which the breeder had already started. He stops when I stop, he turns when I turn. I haven't attempted teaching him to heel yet and am not really sure when to start, but will probably take cues from him, as I already feel like we're a TEAM.
Although he's quite time-consuming, I highly recommend the puppy experience. I'm already seeing that in the long haul we will have done more together, gone through rough spots together, accomplished things together long before he is an adult.
WOW, this is really great news. Im not sure you should call it "luck" though!!! It sounds like you had "the best breader" and she did a LOT for you in starting him out right. Be sure to thank her often!!! Grin

I am SO pleased that things are going so well. The time you spend in "face to face" is why things are going as fast as they are. Eye contact is the best way to open the lines of communication. Baloo obviously respects you and sees you as his pal. He knows that the feeling are mutual and wants to please you b/c you please him.

I remember the "time-consuming" part, but as you have found out, it's WELL worth it. Grin Baloo sounds like the smartest lil' guy, so "Heel" should be a breeze for him. You can probably start it anytime now. Just go at his pace.

You two are going to be the greatest of friends. You are both lucky to have each other!!!

BTW, I'd love to see some training videos!!! and ... Would you consider doing a "Secess Story" for BD4U sometime?

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:50 pm

Yep it sure is great that the breeder gave you a headstart but your prompt and effective training are laudable as well. Grin So glad to hear that your training is going so smoothly!

How is potty training coming along?

Heh, wouldn't know about the time consuming part, Both my pooches I got them when they were a bit older. Maybe one day... Nervous

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:12 pm

He's had no accidents in the house since about the 3rd day he was here. He had 3 or 4 pee accidents, and I hope everyone knows that this is the fault of the HUMAN.

We had several inches of new powdery snow today, and I had to take him out alone to get him to do what he was supposed to be doing. When I took him out with Grizz-Bang, it was a complete free-for-all. They were hilarious together and I didn't mind at all, because he IS just a baby, not even 11 weeks old, and I'm enjoying the puppy antics.

As for teaching heel, I want a heeling dog to be so totally focused on me and what I'm doing. DeeOhGee was a natural at that, Baloo is not. At least not yet. Like I said, he's a baby, really...I don't expect that kind of focus yet and probably not for several months. He's actually learning about as quickly as any adult dog I've worked with though. I just don't want him to become frustrated with the focus thing. A pup his age can't possibly have the attention span that an adult would have. He hasn't even explored the entire yard yet. I love watching him with his nose to the ground and have been going out with 3 or 4 pairs of gloves so that I can hide one I've just been wearing and letting him try to find it in the snow. He's needed a little help but he does find them. The area we are working in is about 1/3 acre, so I think he's doing well to understand the find it thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:24 am

I had an interesting conversation with a trainer last night. She said to keep all training as a playful game right now as play is what is important to a pup. She also said to praise when he is walking beside me and then to teach the heel command later, not to prod his body into any position. It will keep him focused on my face instead of my hands.
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:27 am

Ann wrote:
I had an interesting conversation with a trainer last night. She said to keep all training as a playful game right now as play is what is important to a pup. She also said to praise when he is walking beside me and then to teach the heel command later, not to prod his body into any position. It will keep him focused on my face instead of my hands.
Yep, everything needs to look like play!!! Great advice ... when teaching the "heel" command to a puppy it should be done by praising the pup when he is walking at your heel and NOt by pulling or forcing it into position. On the other hand, Ive used light touch on ocation to teach sit and laydown with no ill effects. But I never used any pressure to PUSH them into place.

Good Info Ann!!! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:27 pm

Yep I definitely agree with the trainer, if it doesn't seem fun they'll tune you out and find something else that they consider fun...like chewing on your hands Nervous

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:16 pm

Steven_L wrote:
Yep I definitely agree with the trainer, if it doesn't seem fun they'll tune you out and find something else that they consider fun...like chewing on your hands Nervous
Or your HOUSE or the CAR!!! ROFL

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:23 am

You know, I always train that way. Making it fun and never getting too serious. They do well because they WANT to...not because I make them. I always figured it would be difficult to make a 110-140 lb. dog do something they didn't want to do anyway. lol
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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:34 pm

Ann wrote:
You know, I always train that way. Making it fun and never getting too serious. They do well because they WANT to...not because I make them. I always figured it would be difficult to make a 110-140 lb. dog do something they didn't want to do anyway. lol
Over the past 25 years I have run into alot of flustrated dog owners who said they couldnt get there dogs to do ANYTHING. After watching some of them for only a few minutes it was very obvious that the problem was with the owner. They were upset, impatient and even hostile in front of the dog ...

Time after time I walk in, put a few treats in my hand and sit down in front of the dog. After just a few minutes of play they are following my direction like a normal dog. Most ppl ask, "How did you do that?" That give me the chance to tell them and show them the playful way to do training.

On the other hand, I actually had one owner say, "Why dont you take the dog with you and train it, then bring it back"!!! I just looked him in the eye and said, "Because you need to learn, not the dog. But Id be glad to stop by every day and help you until you get the hang of it"!!! So far he has not asked for my help, and his dig is still out of control ... Frustrated

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PostSubject: Re: Puppy Training   Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:05 pm

Ann wrote:
I always figured it would be difficult to make a 110-140 lb. dog do something they didn't want to do anyway. lol

Very true. Very true Nervous

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