Another week gone and Maggie is getting better at her waiting, finally! I’ve been trying to teach her since the lock down began and only now is she grasping the concept that she will get her treat eventually. I haven’t forgotten about her! How are all of you? I’ve been receiving so many videos and pictures of you trying out the ideas I’ve been sharing and it’s so nice to see so thank you!
Today I’m continuing on from last week and our quest to train our puppies! I get a lot of clients asking about puppy obedience and it’s a topic that scares so many of us. Just think of your new puppy like a child. Not in the literal sense, don’t put them in a pushchair! All they need to learn is what is right or wrong and this can be different in every household. Some people like their dogs to sit o the furniture with them and some people don’t. So before you start any obedience training with your puppy have a think about what it is you will allow your dog to do and not to do. Then stick to it!
One very common thing that most people are not keen on is their puppy chewing the furniture, so I’ll use that as an example! When Rover thinks the table leg is an afternoon snack simply say “no” or any word that comes naturally to you so you use the same word every time. Try to use an authoritative tone, but not too scary. Shouting will only teach your puppy to be scared of you so they’ll hide their behaviour, just like with the toilet training last week. Again, patience is key! So simply say “no” or “oops” and swap out the table leg for something they can chew. Teaching them what is right and what is wrong. Stay consistent and Rover will soon learn that toys are for chewing, not your expensive furniture!
Teaching some simple commands can be really helpful when training your puppy, especially starting them early. It helps build the bond between the two of you and helps when they start to venture out of the home. The wait command for example will help immensely when trying to cross the road. So I thought I would run through a simple sit and wait command to help you on your way;
Get your dogs attention and hold a treat in front of their nose. Move the treat over the top of their head until they’re in a seating position. Reward and do this a few times. When Rover is getting good at this, add the command word. As their bottom goes to sit, say the word “sit.” They should start to do this every time. When this happens remove the luring of the treat and just say the command word. Hooray!
You have sit mastered, well done you (and your pooch!) Now get them into the seat position and before you give them a treat, take a step back. Step forwards back to your original position and give lots of praise! If your puppy gets up, which is very likely, say “oops” or “no” and get them back into the sit position. They may need you to break it down for them, so simply give a treat for the sit and another for the step back. All dogs learn differently and at different paces so be patient. I think that’s becoming my catch phrase! To progress, just take a step further back. Soon you’ll be able to go all the way to the bottom of the garden.
Let me know how your dog is getting on! Remember your dog doesn’t need to be a puppy to join in the fun. You can practice these commands just as easily, I’ve been doing it with Maggie and she’s five next month!
Until next time keep those tails wagging,