Your New Puppy
They are blank slates and information sponges!
Success is up to you!
MANAGEMENT IS ESSENTIAL!
It takes no "training", it's easy, it's not time consuming, and it WORKS!
Set your puppy up to succeed. Make it convenient to be "good" and impossible to be "bad' - it's all behavior to them, with no stigma of "good" or "bad" - dogs just do what dogs do. They will repeat what works and stop doing what doesn't all by themselves!
Long term confinement:
Just enough room for sleeping and pottying.If you will be away more than a couple of hours then your pup will need a place to relieve himself. (The general rule is the pup's age in months plus one: a 2 month pup could go 3 hours in a crate if well exercised before you leave.) It is a good idea to confine the puppies to a relatively small space, because the larger the area the puppies have to play in, the more likely they will forget where the papers are. Be sure to take them to their papers or outside after meals, during play sessions, and after naps. These are the usual times that puppies need to eliminate.
Short term confinement.
Just enough room to curl up and sleep.
Let your new pup get used to her crate by putting toys inside and letting her explore long before you close her inside. When it looks like your puppy is ready for a nap, gently place her inside. Stay close by and when she wakes from her nap, before she feels stressed about being locked inside, let her out and take her directly outside to go potty. This will help teach her to wait until doors are opened to go out and relieve herself - and will speed up your house training progress.
"Helloooo! Bladder bursting! Help!"
Keep your puppy's crate next to your bed while you sleep and in a living area where the family spends time, so your puppy doesn't feel isolated.
If your puppy's confinement is in a main living area during the day and next to your bed at night, you will hear any fussing and be able to act quickly to usher her outside right away.
If every time your puppy feels a full bladder you respond with cheers and a consistent "let's go outside!" as you carry her to the door, and say "go potty" just as her little paws touch grass and she relieves herself, you will form a strong association between the words and the action.
As she gets older, lead the way as you call "let's go outside!" - soon she will rush ahead of you to the door. You may want to give a small treat for "results" - remember puppies usually pee twice and poop once, so don't be in any hurry to rush her straight back in until you know she is really "empty".
No results right away?
Run around, get her jazzed up and then stand still and wait patiently. If after 10 minutes you have no results, put her back to bed and take her out again in about a half hour.
SUPERVISION is key.
Keep the puppy within your DIRECT EYE SIGHT at all times.
Baby gates are essential to keep the puppy in the same room you are in.
Can't watch? Confine!
"It tastes good, it feels good, it crunches - whaddya mean it's not a toy?"
AH, VELCRO! It feels so good on a teething puppy's gums!
ALL puppies chew!
The answer isn't to teach them not to chew, but teach them WHAT to chew and provide them appropriate toys. If you don't, they will find their own chew toys - probably in your closet.
Management: Keep closets closed. Keep the kids' toys picked up. Keep a variety of interesting puppy toys available at all times. When the puppy feels the need to soothe his aching gums on something or is driven to explore the universe the only way he knows how, the first thing he sees should be an appropriate chew item, endorsed by you!
If you only get out of your chair and talk to your pup when it has an inappropriate item, you raise the item's value (it must be a great one, you want it back!) and reward "bad" behavior with your attention.
Pay attention to GOOD behavior and prevent inappropriate choices so you don't have to correct them.
If you do, good choices will become good habits.
Hands are not toys.
Remembering this, and never allowing family members and visitors to tease, play fight or wrestle with your puppy, will make a great difference in how much mouthing and biting your puppy does on human skin.
Your puppy must never fear your hands. Handle gently.
Never use your hands to correct your puppy.
Good habits are hard to break.
Teach your new puppy, from day one, that sitting gets attention and jumping up makes you ignore him. Your puppy will repeat what works. You and every one he meets are teaching him every second of every day.
"Sit" is equal to "please": ask your pup to sit before feeding, petting, giving a treat. Soon when your puppy wants something he will sit politely and look at you expectantly!
When should you start training your puppy? You already have!!
The things you wish you wouldn't have taught him will be much harder to un-teach!
CONSISTENT RULES, CUES, EXPECTATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES.
Decide as a family what the rules are and how they will be rewarded and reinforced.
Is being allowed on the couch in your puppy's future?
If not, don't lie to her by letting her sleep there now! Don't let habits form that won't be wanted later. If you don't mind sharing your furniture, it's a good idea to make it by invitation-only so she will accept that sometimes you might say "not when company is here."
What can I expect my puppy to be able to learn?
At 7 weeks of age, your puppy has the same ability to learn as an adult dog.They just have a shorter attention span and less impulse control. In these photos, 8 week old pups learn to "leave it" and wait patiently as each gets its reward.
Each pup had a solid "sit" prior to beginning teaching the "leave it". Each learned to "leave it" separately. Then when all were confident in what was expected, a second pup was added, then a third. Adult Benny looks on!
This handout may be reprinted in its entirety for distribution free of charge and with full credit given:
© CAROL A. BYRNES "DIAMONDS IN THE RUFF" Training for Dogs & Their People -
ditr_training @ hotmail.com - http://www.diamondsintheruff.com