All posts by rattlerjen

Puppy Orientation Part 9 – Class Preparation

What You Need For Class

Class Preparation

Let’s take a moment to fill out the Rewards List in your Handbook. This is a list of all the things Fido likes to eat, prioritized. When you come to class, bring a baggy full of the top 3 things from your list, cut into pieces the size of half an M&M. It’s important to bring Fido’s very favorite foods, and to be sure he’s coming on an empty tummy.  …..

Puppy Orientation Part 6 – Chew Training

Chew Training

Keeping your things safe

Puppy Orientation 6

Chewing is a natural, hard-wired behavior and is not something that puppies generally outgrow. But we certainly don’t want them chewing on your shoes, furniture, etc.

The best approach is to give them legal outlets for their chewing needs—to teach them what they’re allowed to chew on. Trying to stamp out chewing altogether usually leads to stealth chewing, which usually means the wrong things get chewed.

Puppy Orientation Part 5 – House Training

Safe Areas

For when you are not supervising

Puppy Orientation 5

Your house-training program will require setting up both long and short-term confinement areas. The short-term area, usually a crate, is for short absences and building up your puppy’s ability to hold their urine and feces.

When you will be gone for longer periods of time, such as going to work, you’ll need a longer-term confinement area where your puppy has a legal place to relieve herself.

Puppy Orientation Part 4 – Socialization

Fear and Aggression prevention

Working at your Dog’s Level

puppy orientation 4

Socialization is the process of positively introducing your puppy to Places, People, Animals, Sounds, Objects and Obstacles in a manner that’s tailored to his own needs so he will more easily accept new experiences as an adult. Once puppies reach a certain age—around 4 to 6 months—their ability to easily accept new experiences begins to wane.

If they have not been well socialized by that time you can see all sorts of behavioral problems stemming from fear—aggression, agoraphobia, reactivity towards certain people, animals, or situations, etc.

Puppy Orientation Part 3 – Bite Inhibition

Preventing Fear and Aggression

Bite inhibition and Time Outs

Puppy Orientation 3

Puppies are hard wired to play bite. It’s not aggression, just play. It’s also part of how they learn to control jaw pressure. Because of this, it’s important that we not require them to stop altogether.

Not allowing puppies to mouth us at all means they never learn to control their jaw pressure. Should a true bite happen in the future (should Fido be cornered and feel threatened, for example) there’s more of a risk of physical damage because he never learned to control bite pressure. So it’s in his interest and yours that he does.

Puppy Orientation Part 2 – Marker Training

How to Use a clicker

Puppy Orientation 2

We’re going to talk for a minute about getting ready for clicker or marker training for next week.  Again, the concept of clicker training is better, quicker communication with our dogs so that they can learn more easily and quickly—and learn to love training in the process.

The click or marker word simply tells the dog that he has done what you want and has won a treat for it.

The first step is teaching the dog that click or the marker word means treat.

Puppy Orientation Part 1 – How Dogs Learn

Puppy Orientation Part 1

How Dogs Learn

Puppies Learn in Two Ways.

Learning by Association

The first way puppies learn is by Association (By Emotional Response)

Human example:

We humans learn by association, too.  For example, when you meet someone for the first time you come away with an association—either positive, negative, or neutral.  If you really enjoyed your interaction with the person, you are likely to be really happy to see them again.  If you found them to be difficult or argumentative and then you see them again, you might get that little pit of dread in your belly—you have formed a negative association with that person.

Human-puppy comparison:

Puppies experience the world this way, too, only they rely on this learning far more than we do.  They are constantly forming associations—safe, dangerous, neutral or good for me, bad for me, neutral.  These associations inform the decisions they make and the reactions they have to various situations and stimuli.

(Listen to Audio for whole discussion.)