Puppy Training Day 5


Today it was cold and raining.

07:00am – He started his noisiness at little earlier but that is a full bladder issue.

Then we walked, he pooped, we came back, he drank some water and accompanied me to get his breakfast, he had his paws up on the food bin and was chomping away at the food in the serving cup! We walked to the kennel, I gave him his breakfast and a new toy (rope).

11:00am – Session 1 we worked place, house, whistle recall, kennel and ultimate workout. He was absolutely incredible!!! He ate about 7/8 cup of the dry kibble and he’s loving his hot dog (training treats). His big breakthrough was going into the crate, the door closes and then opens WITHOUT him breaking out! That got rewarded big.

He’s getting the idea that he can have anything he wants but only if he does certain things. It is so critical for the puppy to feel control – you want him controlling his destiny – not you using coercion, intimidation, bribery to get your dog to do what you want them to.

This is the foundation that all other trainers will have with Babe as he matures.

4:00pm – Session 2 This was the first time that I had a chance to work with Babe. Z had updated me on all his sessions and I also had a chance to look over the records we keep so I was really excited to work with him today.

When I pulled him out of the kennel he made a few squwaks as I put the leash on, and we were off. He bounced along next to me as I walked. The first few behaviors I asked for were ones that Z had already worked with him on. This was because I wanted to make sure that he succeeded and wanted to ask him things I knew he was going to win at. This is important because I am working at building a relationship with him and I wanted it to start off fun and positive.

Working with Babe, it’s easy to see that he likes people, likes to learn, and is high drive. Because of this I worked with him on a few behaviors Z had not started with yet. The first was down. This can be a harder to work on because you need to get all four of the legs on the ground and most often puppies will have the back two but the front two are slightly up. He did really well with this first approximation and I was able to get him in the down position 4 times during the session.

The next behavior I worked on was stay. Again this can be harder because they know that you are a source of food so more often than not they will want to move toward you. For this first approximation I did not move away from him only shifted side to side. He did great with this. He was definitely interested in my movement as he cocked his head side to side, however he stayed in the sit position which was great.

The last behavior I worked on was come. For this I asked him to sit when he was a couple of feet away from me. He did great with this behavior and it took very little prompting from me to have him come.

I did take a long break in between working some of the behaviors and sat on the ground with him and a chew toy. The object of this was to build my relationship with him while working with him to understand biting me is not an option, however the chew toy was where he should direct his desire to bite. He did well with this however this will be something we need to work on a bit more as he loves to play and bite. Wanting to bite is a totally normal and desired behavior for puppies as they have little teeth they are wanting to get rid of as their bigger teeth are coming in. Again I was just teaching him what is ok and what is not ok to bite.

Babe is an absolute gem to work with. He’s very smart and has a beautiful balance of both drive and calm behaviors which makes sessions fun and exciting.

5:30pm – play time and dinner.

8:00pm – play time and walk.

10:00pm – play time and walk.

A few things to remember when you are training puppies.

Behavioral Enrichment

BE refers to toys and games. If you try multiple toys, textures, energetics you’ll discover which one your dog likes the best. Giving these toys is the start of teaching secondary reinforcement. So far Babe has been given the following:

Green soft plastic ball with spikes – he loves it

Chew rope – he loves it

Nerf football – hasn’t even looked at it

Kong ball – haven’t seen him interact with it yet

The most important thing about BE is to never give them access to a toy long term. Meaning they should get it – as a reward – and then at the end of the day take it away. If you don’t you’ll desensitize your puppy to that toy; they’ll get used to it and stop playing with it.

Anytime you give them their toy you want them excited to get it.

Inclement Weather

With puppies in our 8 week Elite Puppy Training program they get worked twice a day, every day, no exceptions. We know through experience there is no such thing as “too much” training at this age. But when the weather doesn’t cooperate it is always a challenge for us as handlers. But for the puppy it’s still a “play session.” You see we instill in them that each session is a play session – you get to have fun, do things you already know how to do, get better at some of those things and maybe get exposed to some new behavior or toy. It’s always play time.

So, during inclement weather we still train. We’ll pull the cars out of the garage and use the whole garage to do the training session.


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