This is book described to be science and ethical based techniques to raise a puppy.
Incase you didnt know! At this time I am currently progressing through a behaviorist qualification as a student under Steve Mann, the author of this book. So I am sure he wouldnt mind me doing a good summary for all of you to read to promote his message and values - and mine.
Lets jump straight into the first bullet point:
Dogs ‘disobey’ for two reasons.
They dont understand what you’ve asked them to do
Theyre not motivated enough to do it
Advice on punishing puppies
It is our job to show them when a behaviour is appropriate.
Show your pup:
What to chew
How to say Hi
Where to wee
When to get excited
Reward and punishment have context
Lets use some examples to explain this idea.
You teach your dog to sit indoors. You have to reteach your dog to sit outdoors. Each time you teach the behaviour it is limited to the context (environment) of where it was taught.
You punish your dog for jumping up on the counter to get to the chicken on the side. Your dog learns that jumping up on the counter when you are there is bad. Dog jumps up on the counter when you are not there.
What is a den and why do you need one?
A den is a safe, secure place where all your dogs needs are met. Essentially a ‘doggy house’.
What it should be:
An area where they are fed and given lots of tasty treats.
An area to explore new things, toys, objects
An area where they rest and sleep
In a location that is not too sunny, hot, damp or cold
What it shouldnt be:
A time out zone
In a isolated area away
Learn the basics of body language
I sense another blog post coming.. At this stage your pup is just learning how to ’speak’ using their body language and its important that you try your best to read what this means. Next week we’ll look further into the basics of reading dog body language and how to know when your pup is too stressed.
The 3 D’s!
The three variations in dog training. These are used to make a command more interesting, varied and strong. Duration: Increasing the time that your pup performs a behaviour for. Distraction: Practicing your cue is different environments with different distractions. Distance: Practicing cues with your pup further and further away.
Mouthing and play biting
Ouch. They are lucky theyre so cute. Here are some tips:
Dont play with your puppy when they are over-aroused. This means pick your playtimes carefully, not straight after dad has just come home from the shops or when your pup has just finished playing with your neighbours dog.
I need this printed on a tshirt. Boring is powerful. When your dog learns that biting hands = boring they soon will lose interest. If theyve really got their knashers around you, keep a tea towel handy for a bit of protection.
They are biting to explore you - you’re the most interesting thing in the room and thats a good thing. Use this opportunity to replace the nibbles with nibbling a soft toy.
A calm dog learns better
A over-aroused dog is a dog that is not ready for learning. The park is so exciting! No way can they learn recall within the first 10 minutes of being there. Learning is more powerful when followed with sniffs, explore time and time to sit and relax.
I love this phrase that steve used. Illegal chews are ones that should not be in sight. Electric cables, tv remotes, slippers. Its your job to replace these with legal chews. Stuffed kongs, rope toys, appropriate toy. Pups can chew for up to hours a day because those teeth coming through hurt very badly. If you are able to make any of the legal chews cold then Im sure your pup would appreciate that.
Using a positive interrupter
Surely shouting ‘Ah ah’ at your pup is the opposite of what Im trying to teach above! Its a word used to interrupt whatever a puppy is doing except the outcome is positive and not negative. Lets use a chew example:
Puppy is having a good chomp on a table leg, you use your trained interrupter. Puppy leaves whatever they are doing as the interrupter is a far better noise and owner gives them a more suitable chew.
This is trained in a similar way to recall. Positive interrupter is made - puppy looks - puppy recieves exciting treat/chew/toy/attention.
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