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HOUSE TRAINING - by Liz Gordon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Sunday, 04 September 2011 12:12

If you closely follow some simple rules, house-training your puppy will only take a few weeks.  However, occasional accidents may happen for a few months. Accidents most-certainly will occur if your puppy eats something it shouldn't, is exposed to varying routines, or has an infection or parasite of some kind - requiring veterinary treatment. I always recommend when taking your pup for 1st and 2nd inoculations (which are 4 weeks apart) to also take a stool sample for the vet to check at the same time. 

The first thing is to decide where you would like your puppy to eliminate:  An outdoor area easy to access is ideal.  For apartment dwellers or those that must leave their puppy alone longer than he will have control, require to set up an elimination area with paper.

Establish a routine, and stick to it! 

After sleeping, eating & drinking puppies will usually eliminate.  Shortly after these activities (& very quickly after your puppy 1st wakes from a night of sleep) take your puppy to the elimination area.  Use a simple phrase such as “go pee” as he starts to eliminate; he'll quickly learn to associate these words to the action.

Give your puppy lots of praise (don’t worry if your neighbours think you are crazy, your pup will love it, and it'll serve you well for years to come).  Give a food treat as soon as he finishes.  Don’t wait till you get indoors - due to the time-delay, your puppy will not be able to associate that it was the outdoor elimination he was being rewarded for.  That way, your pup will learn to eliminate regularly in the area you have selected.  If you take puppy to the area, but he just wants to play or investigate, you can return indoors.  However, watch him carefully & try again every in about 20 minutes.  Always go outdoors with your puppy.  Then you'll know he's done his business, be there to reward behaviour and observe for any abnormalities.

To learn how your puppy behaves when he needs to eliminate, observation is vital!  If you see your puppy circling, squatting, sneaking off or heading towards the door, take them to their elimination area immediately, following up with a reward. Your dog(s) will soon learn to show you these cues, when they need to go outside. heart Liz

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 12:41
CRATE TRAINING - by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer & Daycare Supervisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Sunday, 04 September 2011 11:55

Some people think using a CRATE to confine a dog or puppy, is not a kind thing to do.  They would be mistaken.  If dogs are trained to use their crate properly, they'll very much enjoy it. 

It's important to ensure the crate is large enough for the adult dog to stand up and turn around in.  However you don't want a crate that's too large, so the dog can use it as a bathroom & sleeping area combined.  For a puppy, putting a box in the back of a large crate will reduce the crate size to allow for a sleeping area only.

To relate the Crate to a 'good experience', feed your pup/dog his meal one kibble at a time, tossing it into the crate - so it can run into it and get the kibble.  Call the pup/dog back out, then toss in another as you say “go to your crate”.  At the next meal toss in 5 kibbles, one at a time using this command.  Then place the rest of their meal in the crate.  Slowly close the door and let them eat their dinner.  Open the door & let them out when done eating.  An hour later, toss in a treat using the command “go to your crate”.  Once inside, give them some kind of chew treat or “safe” toy that will keep them busy for 15-30 minutes.  Close the door & cover the crate with a blanket or a bed sheet - ignoring them for at least 30 minutes.  Only if there is no sound coming from the crate, open the door & let the pup/dog out.  My next command would be “outside go pee”.

You the owner, must make going into or coming out of the crate a non emotional experience; do not feel sorry, sad, or guilty.  Never open the door to let the dog out if there is any noise; you have to wait till there is no noise, then open the door & take the pup/dog outside to have a bathroom break. After, bring them in the house to play.

Some dogs will make no sound once placed in a crate; some will make a lot of noise (5-15 minutes); some will make so much noise that it sounds as if the crate is killing them; protests will ease within 3-5m days.  Do not be tempted to open the door until they are quiet. Slowly start to increase the time they spend in a crate.

The crate is a great tool for house training your puppy; any time you can't watch them in the house or you have to go out, place the dog in his crate. Your pup will be able to travel with you in a crate or, if he gets hurt & needs to stay at the vet's, be happy to stay in a crate.  May your Dog(s) be happy & relaxed in the crate. smiley Jean

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 12:09
The WAIT command - by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer & Daycare Supervisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Sunday, 04 September 2011 11:36

Wait is short for: "Wait a minute, and pay attention; I'm going to ask you to do something”.  The hand signal for WAIT is a moving signal. With the dog sitting in a heel position on your left hand side, use your left fingers pointed down, palm facing the dog.  Move your arm from right to left in front of your dog’s face saying: WAIT.

The easiest way to teach this command is at a feeding time.  Allow at least a half-hour for the 1st few times.  Place the dog’s meal at counter height; put your dog in a sitting position at least 6 feet away.  Give him the “wait” command & signal.  Step off with your right leg as you move towards the dog’s food on the counter. (chances are that this is as far as you will get the first time)  If the dog moves, say “wrong” & place the dog back in the sit position.  Repeat the command & signal, and try again.  It'll take some time until you can get to the counter without the dog moving.  Next, feed your dog its meal saying “take it”.  After 2 or 3 days the dog will begin to understand the command and know what's expected of them.

Now you can take this one step further.  When you reach the counter, tell your dog to “wait” as you slowly lower the food to the floor.  If they move towards it (& they will) say “wrong” and place the food back on the counter.  Return the dog 6 feet away in the sitting position and start again.  The object is to get the food dish to the floor without the dog moving until you say “take it”.  As your dog improves, only use the first “wait” command & discontinue the second.

In less than a week, your dog should be a PRO!  Begin to use WAIT going in & out doors and up stairs - especially if you have small children or people who may fall, if the dog accidentally knocks them down.  Use WAIT to start a “recall”.  Leave the dog in a “wait”, walk a few feet away & call the dog to “come”.  May your Dog(s) always WAIT patiently. smiley Jean

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 11:51
The COME command (Part 2) by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Sunday, 04 September 2011 11:11

The first thing to teach is the name game or the "WATCH ME!"  You'll need alot of treats (small pieces) that your dog likes to start.  Say your dog’s name, and when he looks at you...bring the treats up to your eyes & make eye contact with him.  If you are a Vocal trainer say YES or Great!  If you're a Sound trainer use a Clicker or clap once.  A Signal Trainer?   Use a THUMBS UP and reward with a treat.  Wait until your dog gets a little distracted then repeat the exercise.  Do this 10 times in a row, rewarding each time for eye contact made.

After repeating the process of the name game, the dog will start coming towards you to get his/her treat - and the message will become clear that you are rewarding eye contact when calling the dog’s name.

For all dog training exercises, always start with no distractions so your dog will succeed and be rewarded.  Move onto increasing distractions slowly. When you start the name game, start in a quiet place with just the two of you.  Then add a few people, move to a different location, or be around other dogs - always rewarding eye contact.

In the training world eye contact is called “focus”.  You will always want your dog to focus on YOU before he/she does anything.  It's like the schoolyard game called “Mother may I”.  Haven't played it before?  Ask your parents or grandparents to explain it, and: "May your Dog(s) always look at you with great FOCUS!" wink Jean



Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 11:27
The COME command - by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer & Daycare Supervisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Sunday, 04 September 2011 10:56

What should the COME command look like to a Dog Owner?  On hearing the command, the dog stops what they're doing, runs as fast as possible to its owner, and sits!  Ahem.  Now that RARELY happens in real life.  Why?  The trust between the owner & dog has not been built & rewarded.

If you call your dog to come only to give him a bath, a pill, eardrops or cut nails, he may be reluctant to come if he's never been allowed to expend his energy with lots of exercise.  Should he get loose, or if you take him to the park, and only call him when it’s time to go home - he may not come if he thinks fun's over!

When teaching the “recall”, always reward the “come” with either a favourite treat, a game your dog enjoys, petting and/or lots of praise.  In the beginning a tasty treat works the best.  Let the dog get the scent, then say “come” & back up a few steps, as the dog approaches you ask him to sit; reach for the dog’s collar slowly & then reward with the food. The reason to reach & get a hold of the collar is to prevent the dog from taking the treat & then running away (known as a fly by).  Do 10 recalls in a row, rewarding each one with food & 10 seconds of praise!

Practice also before each meal.  Take 10 kibbles from his dish, do 10 recalls.  Then let your dog eat his meal.  You can also give 5 treats to each family member (or friends) and have them spread throughout the house or in fenced back yard; take turns calling the dog to come between the people.

These training tips will work on all puppies & young dogs.  If you have an older dog or a rescue - and they've learned to ignore you or run the other way, you may have to change the command word “come” to “here” or “front” and start retraining as you would have with “come”.  May your Dog(s) run to you, with much speed & happiness! smiley Jean

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 11:31
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